SUPE'S ON November 2019 - Fall Edition


By Grant Bennett, Superintendent

The Four C's of 21ST Century Learning

The four C’s of 21st Century Learning are some of the most popular learning strategies in today’s environment.

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Creativity
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication

Critical thinking is the practice of solving problems, among other qualities. In addition to working through problems, solving puzzles, and similar activities, critical thinking also includes an element of skepticism. This is important in the 21st Century because it’s harder than ever to verify accurate information. Critical Thinking empowers students to discover the truth in assertions, especially when it comes to separating fact from opinion. With critical thinking, students don’t just learn a set of facts or figures. Instead, they learn how to discover the facts and figures for themselves. They ask questions. They become engaged in the world around them. They help others to think critically. That might be the most important part of critical thinking. Once one student has it mastered, it quickly spreads to their peers. Whether they learn how to think critically from spending time online or simply asking “Why?” in everyday life, this skill prepares students for a life of independence and purposeful thought. Still, critical thinking is just one of the four C’s in 21st Century skills. It works just fine when students use it alone. But when students combine it with the next skill, the sky is the limit to what they can achieve.

Creativity is the practice of thinking outside the box. While creativity is often treated like a you-have-it-or-you-don’t quality, students can learn how to be creative by solving problems, creating systems, or just trying something they haven’t tried before. That doesn’t mean every student will become an artist or a writer. Instead, it means they’ll be able to look at a problem from multiple perspectives — including those that others may not see. Creativity is allowing students to embrace their inner strengths from big-picture planning to meticulous organization. As a student learns about their creativity, they also learn how to express it in healthy and productive ways. More importantly, they also become motivated to share that creativity with others. Just like with critical thinking, that makes creativity contagious. One student creates an interesting or innovative solution to a problem. Then, when they share it, the next student can become inspired to try something similar. That’s not to say every single creative endeavor will be a ringing success. Students will fail at some point, and some of their ideas simply won’t work. But that’s okay. The point of creativity is to encourage students to think differently than convention demands. They don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. Instead, they can figure out a better way. Students don’t have to embrace their creativity alone, either. In fact, creativity works best when combined with the next 21st Century skill.

Collaboration is the practice of working together to achieve a common goal. Collaboration is important because whether students realize it or not, they’ll probably work with other people for the rest of their lives. Virtually every job requires someone to work with another person at some point, even if it’s for something as simple as what to get for lunch. Practicing collaboration helps students understand how to address a problem, pitch solutions, and decide the best course of action. It’s also helpful for them to learn that other people don’t always have the same ideas that they do. In fact, as students practice collaboration more and more, they’ll learn that they have almost none of the same ideas that others do. This can affect students in one of two ways. First, it could discourage them since nobody seems to agree with them that often. Second, it could embolden them because they realize they’re bringing something unique to every conversation. As a teacher, it’s crucial that you encourage students to look at themselves through that second lens. That way, students learn that they should speak up when they have an idea. They may not be on the money 100% of the time — and some of their peers may have strong, opinionated reactions — but it’ll teach them to speak up when they’re working with others.

Communication is the practice of conveying ideas quickly and clearly. Communication is often taken for granted in today’s society. After all, if you say something, that means you conveyed an idea, right? Not exactly. In the age of text-based communications — SMS, emails, social media, etc. — It’s never been more important for students to learn how to convey their thoughts in a way that others can understand them. That’s because text-based communications lack tone, which is critical to understanding the context of someone’s words. Still, even in situations where vocal tone is available, students need to learn how to communicate effectively. That includes minimizing tangents, speaking directly to an idea, and checking other participants to make sure they’re engaged. Reading an audience — even if it’s just two other people in a group discussion — lets students determine whether they should keep expanding on an idea or wrap up their point. Their audience could even be their family at Thanksgiving dinner. The point is that as students practice communication, they become better at efficiently conveying an idea without losing their point “in the weeds,” so to speak. With communication locked down, students can streamline their ideas and make a positive impression on those around them. Still, it’s important to note that communication isn’t enough on its own to help students with 21st Century skills. To really succeed, students need to use all four of these skills together.


By Candace Reines, Deputy Superintendent

Facilities Construction Update

Liberty High School Project

Liberty High School is beginning to take shape and has now gone vertical! With the support of our community, Perris Union High School District (PUHSD) was able to pass Measure W in November of 2018 which paved the way for our 4th high school located on Leon Road, just North of Scott Road. Construction crews have been busy working on the project since beginning construction in March of this year. As part of the earthwork, crews crushed millions of tons of rock that existed on the site. Large equipment moved material to on-site rock crushers to be processed into smaller material that was used as fill for low spots on the campus. Rocks that were too large to move with equipment were broken through the use of explosives. Construction crews have moved into underground utilities throughout the site. Storm drain lines have been installed on the campus as have electrical and water lines. Crews have placed concrete foundations for the Gym building, the campus operations building and the first portion of classroom buildings. These foundations have allowed the placement of the steel building columns which are visible as you drive by the site. Liberty High School will be completed and open for students and staff for the 2021-22 school year!

Block walls of the Campus Operations Building
Foundations and rebar columns of the Gymnasium Building
Gym and locker room building foundations
Steel columns for classroom building

CMI Gymnasium and Student Drop Off/Circulation Project

The CMI Gymnasium and Student Drop Off/Circulation project also began this year. This will add a new gymnasium building that includes a full CIF basketball court, fitness and exercise room, new boys and girls locker rooms with coaches offices, and an ASB classroom. The project also includes removal of the original 1962 locker rooms, moving the existing R portable classroom buildings to that location. Parking and student drop off facilities are also being reconfigured and expanded as part of this project. Additionally, the City of Perris plans to widen A Street in front of the CMI Campus and will add a traffic signal with a crosswalk at Highland Vista, next to the school. Construction began with the demolition of the Q building and crews are currently finishing the site work and building foundations. Underground utilities will begin shortly after the building foundations are finished. This project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2021.

Earthwork equipment ready to begin construction
Demolition of the Q Building

Paloma Valley High School Classroom Addition and Stadium Improvement Project

At Paloma Valley High School, the Classroom Addition and Stadium Improvement Project was completed and opened for students in August of this school year. This project added a 2 story, 10 classroom building addition next to the existing J buildings at Paloma. This classroom building includes 4 labs and 6 regular classrooms. The project expanded the area in front of the gymnasium to create a student plaza that has seating areas and allowed for expanded student circulation. The new building at the Paloma stadium provides a new stadium entrance with expanded parking and includes restroom facilities, concessions, and a ticket booth. A dedication ceremony for these additions to the Paloma campus was held on August 30.

Ticket booth at concession building
Concession/restroom building
New classroom building - upstairs

Perris High School Completion Phase

Plans for the final phase of construction at Perris High School have been completed and submitted to the Division of the State Architect for approval. The final phase will include a new administration building, a new on-campus performing arts complex with a variety of classroom/performance spaces, a new learning commons (library), an agricultural mechanics facility, new tennis courts, new PE facilities, and improvements to the existing weight room and wrestling room. It is expected the project will begin in Summer 2020 and be completed in 2022.

Perris High School architects rendering


By Dr. Charles Newman, Assistant Superintendent

I cannot express my excitement and gratitude at the opportunity to serve in the Perris Union High School District. After completing my first year as Assistant Superintendent, I continue to be inspired and encouraged about the high level of professionalism and passion that so many of our staff members and teachers have for our district and the students that we so proudly serve.

This school year we selected “teacher clarity” as an instructional focus area to help move us forward and improve learning outcomes for our students. The rationale behind this decision is based on teacher clarity being a foundational practice for all student learning. For our students to achieve at high levels in all content areas, learning targets must be clear and concise in daily classroom lessons. There are two key indicators for teachers to establish teacher clarity. The first is for a teacher to communicate in student-friendly language the learning intention for students. Secondly, teachers define the “success criteria” that provides clarity to students with regard to what success looks like when meeting the outcomes of the daily learning target. These two key indicators of teacher clarity are evident when students can independently answer the following questions:

  • What am I learning today? (Learning Intention)
  • Why am I learning this today?
  • How will I know that I have learned it? (Success Criteria)

As professional learning teams work to answer PLC essential question # 1, “What is it that we want all students to be learning?,” teacher clarity serves as a catalyst to ensure daily classroom learning targets continuing to align with the essential standards that their content level teams have selected for students to master.

This year we have embarked on a journey focusing on building “teacher clarity” so that as a district, we can identify the most critical parts of instruction: learning intentions, success criteria, and learning progressions. In an effort to support this work, we have coordinated our professional development with Dr. Nancy Frey of the Instructional Leadership Networks (ILNs) to train and develop site-specific professional learning experiences to build capacity at our district school sites. We have also ensured that a large percentage of our content level teachers received training on teacher clarity, encompassing the development of learning intentions and progressions for students.

Over the next few months, I look forward to visiting classrooms throughout the district to get a first-hand look at how teachers are practicing “teacher clarity.” Additionally, we are asking for teachers and administrators to share artifacts and samples of how departments and individual teachers are ensuring “teacher clarity” for our students. Once again, I am enthusiastic to serve the Perris Union High School District and I look forward to visiting your school site.

Parent Engagement

School, Family, and Community Partnerships are an integral factor in the quality of a student’s education. Perris Union High School District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Goal #4 is to secure and strengthen home-school-community connections and communications. Each of our school sites are taking a more meaningful approach to connect with our families and community partners. The partnerships between schools, families, and communities allows schools to build on their strengths. Research shows that all parents want their children to succeed in school; however, not all parents know how to best support their children in education. Our goal is to build a trust between our families, create a sense of community and build partnerships that will positively influence our student’s educational success.

Parent Engagement Leadership Initiative (PELI)

The PELI curriculum has been developed based upon the Six Types of Parent Involvement and moves family engagement from a program to a practice. The PELI curriculum is a ten module training, including the topics of Parent Engagement: Keys to Student Success, Positive Parenting in Public Education, Communicating, Volunteering, Learning at Home, Decision Making, Collaborating with the Community, and Action Teams for Partnerships. The Action Team for Partnerships is made up of administrators, classroom teachers, counselors, support staff, community aides club leaders, coaches, business partners, students and parents. Each ATP develops goals called an Action Plan that provided the structure for successful family engagement in alignment with the priorities and goals found in the LCAP and in the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).

Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)

On September 19, 2019, PUHSD held its first of three PAC meetings, establishing a strong collaborative school, family and community partnerships. The Parent Advisory Committee's mission is to provide an authentic parent voice, that reviews student achievement and provides advice and input to the PUHSD School Board and Superintendent, to ensure that the District’s LCAP reflects the input of parents and key stakeholders.

Curriculum & Instruction

October is the start of college season in the Perris Union High School District. This month, the District hosted a variety of college and career readiness activities across school campuses. There are two major events that take place each year. First, the annual Kickoff to College Event is hosted at each school in the District to focus on getting students prepared for post-secondary plans after high school. The activities include, college applications, interest inventory assessments, college searches, college prep assessments such as the PSAT and ASVAB, and completing the FAFSA application. This event began in the Perris Union High School District five years ago, and has now spread throughout the county to more than 300 schools participating in similar events county-wide. More than 1000 seniors district-wide began their college and FAFSA applications. The second event is the annual District College Fair. This is the 13th year that the District has hosted the event with more than 50 colleges, trade schools, and careers represented. In addition to these district-wide events, each of the school sites offer additional activities to help support students with the college process. These events include college application workshops, Cash for College FAFSA nights, and AVID family nights. It is the goal of the Perris Union High School District to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to prepare them for a successful future.

English Learner Program

Starting this Spring, the English Learner Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) will be administered completely online. Sites have participated in the ELPAC field tests to give us a better understanding of how students will be assessed with the new test format. Teachers can help students prepare by using the Online Practice test at https://www.elpac.org/resources/practicetests/ (try clearing browser history if you can’t get in).

We are in the process of providing English Learners and parents with College Readiness workshops in the 6th Annual Latino Family Literacy College Readiness program. Our District EL TOSA, PUHSD Teachers and Counselors, MSJC Counselors, and current college students have provided training on High School graduation requirements, A-G course requirements, and financial aid. The college students share advice and real world experiences which is always the highlight of the workshop. The next series of workshops will start in March. Contact your site Literacy coach for more info or if you would like to attend.

Pupil Services

On October 10th and 11th every staff member in the Perris Union High School District had an opportunity to attend professional development training that covered a variety of topics. Pupil Services was proud to bring Dr. Joelle Hood from Thriving University to present on Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning - S.E.A.L training. Dr. Hood spoke to our entire classified, teaching and administration staff about the importance of “Belonging." In her sessions she covered topics of suicide training and protocol, bullying, and spoke about issues of self harm and trauma that students often bring to school with them. As she addressed those very important topics, she did so within the larger context of “Belonging.” Students, parents, and all staff members need to have a sense of connection and belonging in order to thrive and be successful at school. She quoted Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they are separated from one another.” Dr. Hood led our teachers and staff members through activities to foster belonging in the classroom and across the campus. She provided strategies on connecting students to their school, to activities, and ultimately to the curriculum and skills that they need to learn. The Mission Statement of the Perris Union High School District states that, “We will develop a high quality, CARING staff who will be dedicated to learning, and connect students to their education and potential goals.” The recent training by Dr. Hood demonstrates a genuine commitment to that mission. Teachers, administrators and classified staff were energized and rededicated themselves to providing the caring atmosphere that students need.


By Kirk Skorpanich, Assistant Superintendent

Celebrating Staff Longevity

A relatively recent study concluded that forty to fifty percent (40% - 50%) of new teachers leave the occupation within the first five years (Ingersoll, 2016). Turnover is even higher among African-American and Latino teachers. This is staggering! This is also problematic when we look at the current nationwide teacher shortage. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2015), fewer college students are pursuing careers in education. In fact, over the past ten years, the number of students who have entered the teacher education programs has declined by over thirty percent (30%).

However, the Perris Union High School District’s Board of Education has supported policies and practices within our district to recruit and, more importantly, retain high quality employees. And, the results speak for themselves. The certificated staff (i.e. teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, etc.) within the Perris Union High School District have an average of over ten (10) years of service within the profession. Similarly, our classified staff (i.e, secretaries, campus supervisors, groundskeepers, custodians, etc.) have nearly eight (8) years of services. It is obvious that we have a workforce that are clearly committed to our district, our students, our families, and our communities.

In October, we celebrated two groups of people. First, we recognized all of our employees who gained permanent or veteran status within the District with the Apple Award. This is a celebration that our Superintendent, Mr. Grant Bennett, instituted several years ago. Certificated and classified employees earned this recognition by successfully passing probation. Certificated employees, for example, serve a minimum of a two-year probationary period. This year, we were able to honor seventy-one (71) awesome permanent employees within the Perris Union High School District and veteran teachers at the California Military Institute.

Apple Award Recipients

  • Manuel Aviles - Pinacate Middle School
  • Samantha Avne - Heritage High School
  • Raquel Bailon - Perris High School
  • Gricelda Barboza Quiroz - Paloma Valley High School
  • David Behrens - Perris High School
  • Agatha Berglund - District Office
  • Brenda Bernabe - Paloma Valley High School
  • Annette Blount - Paloma Valley High School
  • Rebecca Burgess - Special Education
  • Rashiid Burgo - California Military Institute
  • Jacob Carroll - Maintenance and Operations
  • David Casey - Paloma Valley High School
  • Tomeryl Collier - California Military Institute
  • Kristi Coulter - Perris High School
  • Maria Cruz-Smith - Paloma Valley High School
  • Frank De Anda Jr. - Heritage High School
  • Rueben Diaz - Pathways (PALS)
  • Charlitha Dotson - Heritage High School
  • Lawrence Duncan - Perris High School
  • Jami Eiler - Perris High School
  • Lusiza Felix - Special Education
  • Hector Flores Jr. - Pathways (PALS)
  • Jennifer Galindo - Heritage High School
  • Kyle Garrity - Paloma Valley High School
  • Samuel Gomez - Pinacate Middle School
  • Tawny Gonzales - District Office
  • Kassandra Gonzalez - Heritage High School
  • Andrew Green - Paloma Valley High School
  • Luis Gutierrez - Perris High School
  • Reyna Gutierrez - Perris Lake High School
  • Samuel Halls - California Military Institute
  • Amber Hamilton - Perris High School
  • Carmen Herrera - Heritage High School
  • James Holmes III - Special Education
  • Casey Jones - Paloma Valley High School
  • Joseph Jones - Student Services Center
  • Dana Lane - California Military Institute
  • Kailey Langdon - Perris High School
  • Stephany Lon - Perris Lake High School
  • Chelsea Long - Student Services Center
  • Rosetta Lovell - Heritage High School
  • Scott Malone - Heritage High School
  • Yenessa Miranda - Heritage High School
  • Victoria Muedano - Perris High School
  • Ernesto Murillo - Perris High School
  • Nathanael Nash - Pathways (PALS)
  • Tara Noonan - Paloma Valley High School
  • Martha Nunez - Heritage High School
  • Judith Oceguera - Heritage High School
  • Vanessa Patino - California Military Institute
  • Vanessa Penaloza - Pinacate Middle School
  • Deborah Pohl - Paloma Valley High School
  • Natalie Priester - Pinacate Middle School
  • Dylan Purcell - Paloma Valley High School
  • Brittany Ross - District Office
  • Elide Sanchez - Perris High School
  • Juan Santos - Perris High School
  • Gretchen Schultz - Paloma Valley High School
  • Michael Soza - Paloma Valley High School
  • Tricia Stainer - Pinacate Middle School
  • Alejandra Tavarez - Perris High School
  • Veronica Tejeda - Paloma Valley High School
  • Delia Toscano - Paloma Valley High School
  • Amber Trejo - Paloma Valley High School
  • Francesco Triolo - Information Technology
  • Antoinette Vallejos - Student Services Center
  • Catherine Vargas - Perris High School
  • Melanie Walker - Pathways (PALS)
  • Candace Watts - Heritage High School
  • Damany Willingham - Paloma Valley High School

Secondly, we honor the years of service that our staff have completed in our District. We celebrated one-hundred and eighteen employees with a combined 1,568 years of service to the Perris Union High School District! Mr. Robert Serewik, teacher at Heritage High School, and Mr. Robert Lara, Groundskeeper, topped the list with 42 and 40 years of services respectively. That means, when they started working for our District, President Jimmy Carter was in office. They began working for the Perris Union High School District before the Internet, the launch of the first Space Shuttle, before the cell phone, before Microsoft Windows®, before ESPN, before Michael Jackson’s Thiller, and before the Sony Walkman®. In fact, they started working in our District before some of our principals were even born! Yet, they, like most of our staff, have demonstrated a continued commitment towards our students.

We recognize years of service every five years, until an employee reaches thirty years of service. Then, we recognize those individuals annually. Below is a list of our Years of Service Award recipients this year.

Years of Service Recipients

  • Daisy Angel, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Anabell Arreola, Custodian - 10 Years
  • Thomas Ashley, TOSA - 25 Years
  • James Austin, Delivery Driver - 36 Years
  • Hilda Avalos, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Brandon Baker, IT Technician III - 5 Years
  • Lucia Barragan, Speech Therapist - 5 Years
  • Amanda Bates, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Ana Becerra, Receptionist - 15 Years
  • Alan Benson, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Kerry Bobbitt, Student Information Systems Coordinator - 5 Years
  • Velma Borrows, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Scott Boydston, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Jonathan Briggs, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Debbie Buck, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Moises Bugarin, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Javier Caro, Custodian - 10 Years
  • Anthony Carrillo, Groundskeeper - 10 Years
  • Norma Carrillo, TOSA - 15 Years
  • Steven Carroll, Senior Skilled Maintenance Worker - 10 Years
  • Judith Cavallaro, Teacher - 34 Years
  • Jessica Chirat, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Princess Choi, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Orell Colbert, Paraeducator - 5 Years
  • Kimberly Cooper, School Secretary - 10 Years
  • Andrew Cruz, Librarian - 10 Years
  • Chelsye Deboor, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Heather Dudziak, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Flavio Espinoza Nicaragua, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Bert Esposito, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Guadalupe Fierros, Counselor - 5 Years
  • Alejandra Garcia, Community Aide - Bilingual - 5 Years
  • Pauline Garcia, Principal - 20 Years
  • Christopher Genton, Plant Supervisor - 5 Years
  • Yolanda Guerrero, Attendance Tech - 20 Years
  • Simona Hargraves Webb, Guidance Technician - 10 Years
  • Cyndy Harris, Senior Clerk - 15 Years
  • James Harris, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Eliot Hays, IT Technician I - 15 Years
  • Layne Heiny, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Russell Henderson III, IT Technician I - 5 Years
  • Rosaura Herrera, Paraeducator (SH) - 10 Years
  • Sidney Hifo, Paraeducator - 5 Years
  • Sara Huerta, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Melissa Ingram, Paraeducator (SH) - 10 Years
  • Joseph Jennings, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Janesche Johnson, Paraeducator - 5 Years
  • Brandon Jones, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Roclyn Kane, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Lorraine Kardos, Teacher - 35 Years
  • Brian Kingman, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Brian Lapp, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Robert Lara Jr., Groundskeeper - 40 Years
  • Corey Leutz, Office Assistant - 15 Years
  • Francisca Lopez, Paraeducator (RSP/SDC) - 10 Years
  • Ryan Lundstrom, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Francisco Macias-Rios, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Christopher Mackenzie, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Margaret Maratsos, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Andrew Mares, Paraeducator - 5 Years
  • Socorro Marruffo, Senior Clerk - 39 Years
  • David McCoy, Teacher - 25 Years
  • Michael McGregor, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Catherine McNicholas Sacayan, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Katrina McPhail, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Juana Melendez Navas, Nutrition Services Assistant - 5 Years
  • Gary Miller, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Vickey Mueller, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Lucas Myhill, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Darleen Nash, Teacher - 36 Years
  • Natalie Navarro, Counselor - 15 Years
  • David Newton, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Beatriz O'Connell, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Monica Orozco, Secretary II - 10 Years
  • Julia Peacock, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Jeremiah Perotti, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Robin Perry, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Dorothy Peters, Teacher - 33 Years
  • Jerald Powell, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Coral Prendergast, Counselor - 15 Years
  • Delisa Provost, Personnel Technician - 15 Years
  • Robert Quevedo, Custodian - 20 Years
  • Christean Rathbun, Counselor - 31 Years
  • Sonia Rezkalah, Community Engagement Specialist - 10 Years
  • Tyler Richardson, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Luisa Rodriguez, Nutrition Services Assistant - 5 Years
  • Barney Rojas, Senior Groundskeeper - 5 Years
  • Daniel Ruiz, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Ignacio Ruiz, Custodian - 5 Years
  • Joshua Rushing, Campus Supervisor - 5 Years
  • Shaina Rushing, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Lisa Salazar, Account Clerk I - 20 Years
  • Faten Salem, Guidance Technician - 15 Years
  • David Sanchez, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Myrna Sanchez, Secretary IV - 10 Years
  • Sylvia Sandoval, Job Development Specialist - 5 Years
  • Matthew Schmidt, Teacher - 15 Years
  • Robert Serowik, Teacher - 42 Years
  • Audrey Smith, Secretary II - 38 Years
  • Anthony Stafford Jr., Custodian - 10 Years
  • Troy Stenlake, Teacher - 25 Years
  • Slobodan Stevanovic, Programmer Analyst - 5 Years
  • Gary Stone, Teacher - 30 Years
  • Lonnie Strickland, Teacher - 33 Years
  • Andres Tapia, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Ladonna Tapia, Nutrition Services Assistant - 5 Years
  • Angelia Terrell-Newman, Counselor - 10 Years
  • Jennifer Thomasian, Principal - 5 Years
  • Charles Tippie, Director - 15 Years
  • Jose Trujillo Iniguez, Groundskeeper - 10 Years
  • Nishantha Unantenne, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Martha Valenzuela, Translator - 10 Years
  • Kristy Wakeman, Teacher - 20 Years
  • Craig West II, Teacher - 5 Years
  • Marvin Williams, Lead Campus Supervisor - 36 Years
  • Mark Wojciechowski, Teacher - 10 Years
  • Dyanna Young, Teacher - 20 Years

It is obvious that the employees in the Perris Union High School District defy the statistics we see throughout the country. It is also clear that our District is committed to recruiting and retaining an awesome workforce.

*Ingersoll, R. (2016). The national teacher shortage: Sources and solutions. Fact sheet and presentation at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

*U.S. Department of Education. (2015). Teacher shortage areas nationwide listing 1990–1991 through 2015–2016. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf


By Joseph Williams, Executive Director

EdCamp Perris

EdCamp Perris is becoming a staple for quality professional development in the Inland Empire. An EdCamp is a gathering of people, focused on improving education and supporting each other in the process. It is based on 4 strong tenets: Free + Open to All, Participant-Driven, Experience not Experts and Rule of Two Feet. The Rule of Two Feet or “Vote with your Feet” means that if you are in an EdCamp session that you find is not relevant, then you are free to use your two feet and walk to another session. We encourage everyone to learn how to replicate this model at edcamp.org. Our event has run since Spring 2015. We have had many teachers from our own district as well as neighbors across the region grow together through EdCamp Perris. PUHSD rotates the venue each season, this year it was held at Perris High School. Not only were the sessions at EdCamp Perris impactful, holding the event at Perris High School allowed the district to showcase the improvements to the school.

Topics for discussion at any EdCamp are decided on by the attendees on site, the morning of. The hosts will simply provide time, space, and some moderate refreshment to all who are there. They start with an empty banner with room numbers and sessions times. Then EdCamp Perris participants collaborate to fill the sessions.

Some highlights shared by attendees of this most recent event include a book club for educational leadership, models for project based learning and standards based grading, improving classroom management and finding emotional support with common teacher challenges, time saving apps and best practices, and how to balance current events in politics and culture with the classroom.

EdCamp Perris Session Board

PUHSD continues to support the active participation that takes place at EdCamp Perris and are inspired by all the learners that make this event so great.

Please view some of the highlights in the photo album at http://bit.ly/2PsQYwV


EdCamp Perris is just one example of professional development that has a great impact on teaching and learning. The model of professional learning that allows for some degree of autonomy works well with adult learners. Another example of awesome professional development is IACUE and PUHSD’s involvement in the organization.

First, some info on IACUE. Computer Using Educators (CUE) is the largest statewide non-profit group dedicated to the successful integration of technology in education. CUE has affiliate regions across the state: Our local affiliate is called Inland Area CUE. Until about five years ago, IACUE was underperforming and was frankly losing its impact on the region. At that time, myself and the PUHSD Tech Coaches committed to helping take IACUE to the next level. We brought a large group of PUHSD and non PUHSD teachers to the 2015 affiliate spring affiliate meeting and several of us ran and won seats on the IACUE board, including myself, Jed Butler, and John Brubaker from the Beaumont. The 2016-17 IACUE Board Members set out to collaboratively transform how IACUE functioned. Many goals were adopted by the IACUE Board, but one of them was to hold an IACUE Tech Fair and leverage the extraordinary talent in the region.

After much work by the IACUE board and by Tom Ashley, who secured the location, on January 21, 2017 the first IACUE Tech Fair at the MSJC Temecula Higher Education Center. If you are interested, here is a link to the session board of that first event. http://bit.ly/31ZDs6y If you switch from the “schedule” tab over to the “speaker” tab you will see that Erik Anderson, Robert Guzman, Judy Lane, Chad Shaner, Ceara Torres, and Nishantha Unantenne were all contributors to the success of this event. If you switch over to the “attendees” you will see many names from PUHSD and some names of people who came to work here.

The first IACUE Tech Fair had dedicated people planning the event and inspiring people presenting and attending. Similar to an EdCamp, at IACUE Tech Fair participants select sessions that are right for them. And similar to an EdCcamp that collegiality and camaraderie are phenomenal.

Tech Coaches and Techs

Tech Coaches

There are many options you could seek out to drive your own growth and professional learning. EdCamp Perris, IACUE Tech Fair, online resources, professional organizations, or books are just some of your options. But one of the most powerful models of professional learning that PUHSD has been steadily providing is in-class, job embedded support from our technology coaches and our techs.

Here are just some examples of how tech coaches support teaching and learning at PUHSD.

  • Model Best Practices with instructional technology for teachers and students; co ­teaches in the classroom when needed
  • Collaborates with classroom teachers and district instructional staff to design lessons and activities that integrate technology into the curriculum
  • Encourages classroom teachers to share best practices and collaborate with other classroom teachers (empower and build capacity)
  • Designs and conducts effective professional development sessions at the site and district levels
  • Leads the Digital Citizenship Certification for the district; co-teaches digital citizenship lessons with other faculty
  • Collaborates with other district tech coaches to design and implement professional development, explore effective pedagogy, and explore new technology tools/programs
  • Provides instructional support to the District Testing Coordinator, site administration, and teachers as it relates to SBAC testing
  • Sits as a member and contributor to the Educational Technology Council (ETC) including participation in focus groups and info sessions


An interesting thing that has developed over the years is the role of the techs. Not only are our techs amazing in the traditional role of techs on a school campus, they all have taken it upon themselves to learn about the platforms teachers and staff use daily. When I was a teacher, someone once told me “tech just provides the email, we don’t type it for you”. While on some levels that statement might be true, the premise bothered me. Over the years, I have used that example with techs to illustrate that an indispensable tech should use their talents to go the extra mile with customer service.

Lucky for the district, our techs have created high standards for themselves. They have an innate curiosity of how things work and they don’t stop at just hooking up wires or working behind the scenes. I am amazed when techs brief me on helpdesk requests that required more digging, research, or an innovative solution. It is impressive the amount of care and dedication the tech takes to help build the capacity of others. When I read the tech notes in our helpdesk platform, I often see where each tech went beyond what a traditional tech would have done. To go further, every single tech learns from each other, reads all the helpdesk notes, and communicates with each other across schools to ensure that each of them stays current of solutions occurring at each site.

When you have a chance, please thank the techs for all they do.

Technology Department