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This Thursday, nearly 4,000 amazing kids will be starting the 2019-20 school year, the 149th school year for the Prescott Unified School District.  To say that we are excited is an understatement. With uncommonly experienced principals leading the charge of nearly 250 passionate and caring teachers, there is much to look forward to.

Today at Prescott High School, 400 PUSD teachers and support staffers will gather together at the PHS gym, kicked off by the Pride of Prescott Marching Band and a Presentation of the Colors by the Air Force Junior ROTC team, as we set our intentions together for the year.  We will be surrounded by community and business partners in support of this tradition to remind our staff about how important their jobs are, and how grateful we are for their dedication to Every Child, Every Day.

If you have read this column before, you could not have missed my constant praise for the generosity of our Prescott Community.   PUSD would not be what it is without the love and support of our community members. It truly makes us full service community schools.

For example, last Wednesday, our PUSD Family Resource Center Student Supply Give-Away set an all time record of handing out 400 stuffed backpacks in just 16 minutes.  The FRC is a grant-supported program that serves students and families in a multitude of ways. This year, volunteers from Heights Church stuffed 350 backpacks. This is a big, huge job.  Backpacks and supplies were donated by Firefighters Angel Foundation, AZ TV, Costco, Heights Church, and many individual community members. When we ran out, Verizon and Costco donated another 200 backpacks to fulfill the wait list, which will be accommodated by Tuesday.  Students from all over the area were recipients, no questions asked: public, private, charter. PUSD is about Every Child, Every Day. What a beautiful example of how a community can work together. Thank you Prescott, for putting your priority on children, and the future.

By the way, these PUSD schools belong to you, the community.  We are proud to be seen and used as a central meeting place for organizations in our community, as we have been for many years.  When I was the principal at Mile High Middle School, some of my best memories are when elderly community members would come in and ask to just walk in to the historic Hendrix Auditorium where the community came together to meet and catch up on news such as World War II newsreels.

Today, we proudly host many events in that auditorium, and the community gathers for major festivals on our Mile High Field.  Maybe you read the front page article last week about the Ruth Street Theater Project, where our community arts programs, and popular artists from around the world will be featured more than ever in the coming years.  Our friend and partner The Boys and Girls Club operated out of our district office and Historical Washington School building all summer to accommodate a renovation. We host community youth football, soccer and most sports you can imagine.  We are the center for wildfire and emergency evacuations. I could go on, but will save it for another column. Give us a call so that we can host your community event in one of our top notch historic venues. 928-445-5400

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