Payson Unified School District has been in the news regarding the recent legislation which provided $100 million to be used for teachers' salaries in Arizona. That is a lot of money. PUSD will receive a portion -- $72.50 per weighted student. That amounts to $255,463 for Payson teachers.
AIMS scores are in also in the news. You will hear more about our scores soon. We're pleased with our results. We're above state averages in almost every grade and subject.
The Payson community has given the Payson Unified School District a huge responsibility, which we accept willingly and eagerly. Our staff is charged with educating Payson young people so that they will be ready to take their positions in the 21st century. Not only do we want them to read better, use computers, understand advanced math, understand the latest science, be conversant in a second language, and take the most rigorous courses, but we also want them to be good citizens who understand their responsibilities in this global world.
This young generation, this digital generation, is different. They have been raised with television, computers and Mars probes. They have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games, and 20,000 hours watching television.
This generation uses information and communications technology to meet, play, date and learn. The computer is an integral part of their social life.
Many of our staff members are digital immigrants from another generation. The computer is not second nature to us.
Fortunately, we are bringing many new young staff members -- digital natives -- to our community. The team we form will provide the best of both generations for our students as we each refuse to be ordinary, and, as we teach an even more rigorous course of study and prepare our students for a future we cannot even imagine.
For the past 10 years, under the guidance of several governing boards, our district has devoted most of our resources to staff salaries. We were assisted by passing an override so that we would be able to retain all the teaching positions that are presently in place -- librarians and physical education teachers in particular.
In the process, our school facilities suffered. At the Governing Board meeting Monday evening the Board passed a proposal to bring a bond issue to the community of Payson. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this in the future.
"Refuse To Be Ordinary" is the motto for staff, students, and Governing Board of Payson Unified School District for the 2006-2007 school year. Pursue excellence. Do your very best in everything you undertake, which probably wouldn't be a bad motto for all of Payson.
-- School Superintendent Sue Myers will be writing a column once a month this year. To reach her call 474-2070, or e-mail Smyers@pusd.com.