Now celebrating our 50th anniversary since voters elected to unify our district, the Irvine Unified School District was founded by forward-thinking educators who settled for nothing short of world-class schools and supporting choices for parents. While times and technologies have changed, our core objective remains the same: to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision.
I have been working in IUSD since 1997, and this is my 12th year as superintendent. I feel a tremendous sense of pride and humility when I consider my legendary predecessors, including Stan Corey, Dean Waldfogel, and Gwen Gross. At the same time, I have come to recognize that the strength of our district is its ability to leverage the individual talents of its stakeholders, including our amazing teachers, our dedicated support personnel and our remarkable Board of Education. Fittingly, the two letters at the center of IUSD spell "US," and it takes all of our unique gifts and capacities to pave a path of continuous improvement.
I should note that we are not alone in this effort. IUSD is fortunate to serve a community that truly understands the importance of education. Our PTA members volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours each year, and our parents and families nurture learning at home by setting aside time for their children to read and study. Meanwhile, we have tremendous partners that fill critical gaps and enhance our programs, including the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, the Irvine Company and the City of Irvine. And not enough can be said of our students, who exhibit poise, dedication and wisdom beyond their years.
Looking ahead, we know that technology will continue to play a pivotal role in enhancing classroom instruction, and advancements will be introduced thoughtfully and strategically to empower our staff and to leverage their expertise in nurturing student engagement and achievement. Though technology will never take the place of great teaching, it can be a transformative tool in enhancing educational outcomes.
We are committed to ensuring all IUSD schools are equipped with the necessary features and resources to promote intellectual risk-taking, creativity, communication and critical thinking. Our focus is to create a rich learning environment that will enable students and teachers to learn and teach in new and innovative ways, so that our students are 21st century college and career ready. One such resource stems from the passage of Measure E, a school facilities improvement measure, passed by Irvine voters in June 2016 to modernize the District's aging schools.
The next school year will no doubt bring untold challenges and opportunities for our district. Yet I eagerly add my confidence to the other stakeholders in this organization that we have the ability to meet those challenges and to seize those opportunities, knowing that we have the right people and partnerships in place to fulfill our promise to maximize the educational experience of each student entrusted to us.
This is, after all, a new year, with new possibilities. And it's just the latest chapter in the ongoing story of IUSD.
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools