Tulare Joint Union
High School District
Tulare Joint Union High School District
Sarah Koligan

A Message from Our Superintendent

November 10, 2022

Dear TJUHSD Families,

As our fall semester starts to wind down, we have many things to be thankful for and celebrate! As a district, one of our main goals consists of creating a positive learning environment where students are welcomed, valued, safe, and engaged. For almost a decade now, TJUHSD has been working on positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) focused on fostering this type of environment. For the first time, one of our schools, Accelerated Charter High School, was recognized with the highest PBIS distinction, Platinum. The ACHS team achieved this distinction because of their hard work and dedication to our students. ACHS has a systemic approach to supporting the whole child and because of this approach, the ACHS team was asked to present at the PBIS conference in Sacramento. Tulare Union, Tulare Western, Sierra Vista Charter, and Countryside received a Gold distinction and Tech Prep received a Bronze distinction. Additionally, the month of September was Attendance Awareness Month. Each of our schools had a variety of incentives during the month of September to celebrate students with good attendance. The grand prize for Attendance Awareness Month was a 65-inch television. Congratulations to our students from each of our sites who won the television.

Our fall sports once again had a successful season. Congratulations to the following teams for their league championships: TU and TW boys water polo, TW girls water polo, and TU and TW girls tennis. Congratulations also to Grace Freitas, MO, and Noeliah Zavala, TU, for making it to the girls golf section finals. Grace finished fourth overall in the area championships. We also had multiple teams make it to the playoffs: MO and TU football, TW volleyball, TU and TW girls water polo, TU and TW boys water polo, and TU, TW, and MO girls tennis. Congratulations also to Kadijah Vado, TU; Hannah Salazar, TW; and Jocelyn Gomez, MO, for qualifying for the individual championships in girls tennis. Additionally, we had the following doubles teams qualify for the championships: Rodriguez/Bell from TW, Zamarripa/Jimenez from TU, Burnes/Ortega from MO, and Moreno/Quillin from MO. The Cross Country West Yosemite League meet is scheduled for this week. Our Opportunity Education schools also competed in volleyball through the Central Valley Athletic Conference League.

Beyond sports, our students were also recognized for their achievements in the performing arts. Marching bands from each of our comprehensive schools are having an excellent season, and they have earned multiple awards at various competitions. The band showcase will be held at the Bob Mathias Stadium on Thursday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to see each of our talented band programs in action. The drama program at Tulare Western and Mission Oak had a very successful performance of their fall play. Tulare Union Drama will be presenting “The Spirit of Christmas, or The Story of Ernestina Scrooge'' December 7 through December 9 at 7:00 p.m. and December 10 at 2:00 p.m. Dance Dynamixs, TJUHSD’s dance team, has also had great performances at school events throughout the district and at the Bell game. We are also looking forward to our Choir Candlelight Concert scheduled for December 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Tulare community auditorium. It is great to see our talented students excel in our various performing arts programs!

Our students were also well represented at the TCOE 2022 Character Counts! Kids of Character Provident-Salierno Family Foundation Awards for exemplifying the six pillars of character. Out of approximately 5,000 nominations, TJUHSD had five students recognized. Congratulations to the following students who were finalists in each of these pillars: Auliya Gonzales from Mission Oak, a Respect finalist; Braxton Nunley and Alex Thorpe from Tulare Union, Caring finalists; and Daisy Jackson from Sierra Vista, a Citizenship finalist. Congratulations also to Diego Mora from Tulare Western who was the overall winner in the Responsibility category.

Our Tulare FFA was recognized at the 2022 National FFA Convention as a star chapter. We also had six students recognized for the American FFA Degree. This is the highest degree that can be bestowed on any member with only approximately two percent of the FFA members obtaining this degree nationwide. Members are only eligible to receive this degree one year after they graduate. TJUHSD alumni receiving this prestigious award were Baylee Bettencourt, Emma Coelho, Blain Faria, Christian Gonzalez, Michaela Mederos, and Bryce Nagel-Baylee. Avery Coelho also competed with her agriscience fair project, placing fourth overall in the nation. Her project consisted of a study on trimming fat on carcasses at warmer temperatures to improve qualities of cut and add value to the meat. We are very proud of the accomplishments of all of our students and how well they represent our district throughout the state and the nation.

TJUHSD also continues to provide a variety of activities for our students to explore college and career opportunities. Tulare Union and Mission Oak juniors participated in the career fair in October, and the freshmen academy students participated in an Academy luncheon at the Tulare International Agri-Center. Our district has four academies, Art Media & Entertainment, Academy of Engineering, Pre-Medical Academy, and Protective Services and Law. The luncheon allows our academy students to consult and collaborate with local industry leaders. We appreciate the support of our chamber and industry partners in being able to provide these opportunities and experiences for our students. Our Chamber of Commerce also held a Business After Hours event at Accelerated Charter High School for the month of October. The event was well attended and our guests were impressed with the various opportunities available to our students at ACHS. Congratulations also to our Tulare Union students who earned their food handlers certification.

I appreciate being able to visit our sites throughout the semester and experience the activities organized by ASB and school clubs. Our students and advisors work hard to create a positive school culture and have many opportunities for students to get involved. From homecoming to rivalry game activities to chili cook offs, it is great to see our students showing off their school spirit and cheering each other on. 

In addition to our student recognitions, the Tulare County Office of Education held its annual Excellence in Education Awards on November 2, 2022, and three of our staff members were recognized for their contributions to education. Robert Rajewich is a mathematics and engineering teacher, as well as the mathematics coach at Mission Oak. Mr. Rajewich was honored in the Teacher of the Year category. Gjon Guerrero is the maintenance and operations supervisor for Tulare Western and the Tulare Adult School and was honored as a nominee for the Administrator/Manager of the Year. Tim Seible is the technology technician for Mission Oak and was honored as a nominee for the School Employee category. Each of these individuals goes above and beyond in their role and is extremely deserving of this recognition. We have an amazing staff who truly care about our students and their success.

We are also continuing to work on various facility projects throughout our district. This includes the aquatics complex and a career technical education (CTE) building at Mission Oak High School. The aquatics complex will consist of a 50-meter pool with four warm-up lanes, while the CTE building will consist of an auto shop and wood shop. We are looking forward to starting on both of these projects this spring. With the end of the semester quickly approaching, it is important for our students to make sure they take advantage of all the supports we have available. Each of our sites offers multiple tutoring opportunities for our students. Please reach out to our staff for more information regarding these opportunities.

Sincerely,

Lucy Van Scyoc

Dr. Lucy Van Scyoc
TJUHSD Superintendent