As Thanksgiving draws near, I am reminded of the myriad ways in which our schools teach students to be responsible citizens, and to give back to the community. Our District does an exemplary job in this area, with countless employees who are themselves role models for serving the less fortunate.


While the primary focus of Hesperia Unified is to equip students with the academic skills necessary to be competitive and successful in the "real" world, we also believe that it is essential to instill in our youth the value and intrinsic rewards of charitable work.


This year, continuing a fine tradition, our high school students have donated items for Thanksgiving baskets, given hundreds of pints of blood, contributed thousands of canned food items to help needy families, and purchased hundreds of coats for children. They will also support similar worthwhile endeavors in December, including the collection of new clothes and toys for underprivileged kids. In another form of service, they participated in the city-wide cleanup day to remove litter and rubbish from our community.


Such selflessness is not limited to the older students. Several of our elementary and middle schools have collected food baskets for the needy, created Christmas grams for pediatric patients, given blood, donated toiletries to homeless shelters, organized toy drives, donated cat and dog food to local animal shelters, sponsored Angel tree projects to purchase toys for low-income families, written letters and mailed care packages to deployed Marines, collected money for the Ronald McDonald House, participated in recycling drives, and adopted streets to keep clean. Mission Crest is even developing a support group for children at the school whose parents or siblings are serving overseas in the military. We have some amazing young people in this District!


As I reflect on my own blessings, I want to thank the employees of Hesperia Unified for their commitment to the youth of Hesperia. I also want to express my gratitude to the parents and guardians for partnering with us to educate our students.


Thank you for taking the time to read about some of the terrific things that are going on in the Hesperia Unified School District. Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, or concerns as they relate to HUSD by emailing me at mark.mckinney@hesperia.org.


Next Month: Read about the creation of the "Superintendent's Blog"