Paso Robles Schools superintendent highlights achievements, sends holiday wishes
Message from Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent Curt Dubost
– I was reminded listening to Principal Overton’s presentation on Tuesday night of the many successes that are often drowned out in these most controversial of times. In the last week, I have attended a Christmas concert for PRHS band and choir at Trinity Lutheran where the Jazz Band, in particular, I thought was exceptional. Last weekend was the Winter Play, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, which was as professionally staged and remarkably performed as any I’ve ever attended. Those of you who know my background know that goes back six decades of going to school performances.
The Bearcat football team achieved remarkable success over the last two crazy seasons, in one calendar year, and absent a critical, very questionable referee call might have competed for a CIF title after two consecutive winning seasons and a critical upset road win in the playoffs. Women’s Golf, Women’s Tennis, Women’s Volleyball, Cross Country, Water Polo, and other teams also competed for league titles. We have top students awaiting acceptance letters to the most prestigious of college and universities, while others await military service, access to the Cuesta Promise, and/or entry to the best job market in recent memory.
At the same time, we continue to deal with heated controversy landing several times in the national news. Out of this upheaval though, I firmly believe, come exceptional opportunities for growth and long-term reform. Out of the debates over curriculum oversight have come good compromises, including the highly successful Ethnic Studies course, which seeks to tell the story of our nation’s history factually and objectively, without any “whitewashing,” but also with neither the exclusion of evil events which may not have been previously faced with honesty, nor a condemnation of historical actions through not the lens of the times in which they were made, but from our current perspective.
Concerns about racial equality in our schools and community are also being addressed in several formal ways including the exceptionally successful Paso Robles Diversity Panel Unity Town Hall Meeting held last month and brilliantly facilitated by Bearcat alumnus Niya Williams. The next activity planned is for Martin Luther King Day January 17th which we hope this year to grow into a school and community-wide Unity Walk with essay contests and prizes for best banners and highest participation but with absolutely no partisan politicking nor negativity. Please join us at noon on Jan. 17 in the Paso Robles Downtown Park.
The horrible incident earlier this year with the theft and vandalism of a Pride flag has resulted in student activism through appropriate channels, including a highly successful evening event and a series of tangible steps to address school issues and legal compliance. Out of this controversy also came the impetus to have a student representative on the Board, a reform supported by all.
As we close the book on 2021 and begin a new year in January, I hope we all can take a deep breath and remember all that we share in common, most notably a desire to do right by our kids. We may have different ideas about how best to do that, but we can disagree agreeably while staying always focused on the needs of our children and young adults. To that end, I hope to focus unwaveringly on our three academic goals of Early Literacy, Algebra Readiness, and Swift Mastery of English. Please resolve with me in the New Year to focus on these goals and our kids, not on adult politics.
I reiterate my sincere wish for the happiest of holidays for all of Paso Robles,