Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, Superintendent of the Sahuarita Unified School District (SUSD), was the guest presenter during September’s monthly program of The Women of Quail Creek. Covering topics ranging from the challenges of operating within the Arizona education system to how to increase teacher retention, Dr. Valenzuela offered a unique perspective to those in attendance.
Unlike many districts in the state of Arizona, SUSD is growing at a rate of 4 to 5% per year and has been doing so for many years, all while the funding provided by the state has been diminishing. This presents many challenges for the 6,300 student district. Dr. Valenzuela’s presentation helped the audience understand how upcoming ballot propositions, if passed, would help the district meet some of its future goals. Ironically, members of TWOQC cannot impact those ballot initiatives because Quail Creek residents do not vote on SUSD propositions. In spite of this, Dr. Valenzuela shared his belief that understanding the challenges helps all in the area be more supportive of education for all students.
Following Dr. Valenzuela’s remarks, the audience enjoyed a brief performance by the Walden Grove High School Women’s Chorale. Under the direction of Benjamin Lebovitz, the chorale provided a variety of musical numbers and shared information about some of their upcoming performances.