Welcome to the first in a series of monthly articles that I will be sharing with members of the community of Hesperia. My name is Mark McKinney, and I am proud to be the Superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District.


Our employees serve over 20,000 students every school day, and they do so with caring, compassion and a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.


They deal with some of the same challenges that you are all facing, and some unique to education - making a dollar stretch further than it's ever had to; making the most effective use of their time; making headway with children who have behavioral issues or learning disabilities, making every effort to include parents in matters concerning the education of their children; and making sure that the lessons they teach are in alignment with state mandates and at the same time spark a child's interest in learning. Are they perfect? No. Are they always successful? No. However, in spite of the many obstacles that life and the State of California continue to throw at them, these are the people who choose to make lemonade out of the lemons that life throws their way.


Whether or not you currently have children in school, you do have a vested interest in the effectiveness of our school district. Students under our care and tutelage will, in the not-so-distant future, become your neighbors, and fellow businessmen and women, Our goal is that students graduate with a diploma and a plan. That plan can include furthering their education at a college or university for two years or more, or preparing for a career at vocational school. Whether our graduates stay in the High Desert or relocate to other areas, they should have the skills necessary to begin making their mark on the world.


For that reason, I am hoping to strengthen the lines of communication with our community. I'd like to thank Peter Day for providing an opportunity to use the Hesperia Star as a forum for sharing information with all of you. If you'd like to let me know what's on your minds - good, bad or ugly - as it concerns our district, please feel free to e-mail me at mark.mckinney@hesperia.org. Parents, I encourage you to take an active role in your child's school; Taxpayers and community members. I hope that you will stay informed about the things that are going on in our district, and work with us to provide the best environment for our most valuable investment - the children of Hesperia.