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Commentary: Goodbye, my Newport-Mesa friends

March 09, 2012|By Jeffrey Hubbard
(Steven Georges )

When I was in seventh grade, growing up in La Mirada, I decided to become a teacher because I thought it was the greatest and most important job in the world.

In the last 43 years, my opinion has not wavered. In the course of my professional career as an educator, I was able to attain that job and accomplish, I hope, some wonderful things for students in three districts as a teacher, principal and superintendent.

As a graduate student at USC I first heard about how highly the Newport-Mesa Unified School District was thought of. I dreamed of working there someday. Thanks to the school board and community for making my dreams come true.

I want to thank the Daily Pilot for giving me this opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to the school district and community that I love so dearly. There is no doubt in my mind that my first 24 years in education were simply preparation for the best job in the California public school system — that of being superintendent in Newport-Mesa.

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I am, of course, saddened at the turn of events in the last year which were initiated by a previous district that I worked very, very hard for, and, sadly, no one there stepped up to tell the truth. However, that sadness has always been overwhelmed by the joy and satisfaction of being the superintendent of NMUSD.

If I had one thing to share with the communities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, one would be to please celebrate, as often as possible, the wonderful school district that serves your youth. The students, teachers, administrators, classified employees and board are, by far, the best with whom I've ever been associated.

While other school districts' dysfunction creates myriad changes, the NMUSD remains a stable and healthy place to work and learn, and is the envy of every superintendent in the state. It is truly student-centered.

The programs in English-language learning, Nutrition, Transportation and Professional Learning Communities are copied and coveted all over the state. The influential and powerful California School Boards Assn. has had many presidents from many districts over the years, but only one district has had two — let alone three CSBA presidents — and that's our NMUSD.

I will miss my friends and employees very much over the coming years and months, but knowing and working with each of them has enriched my life beyond words. I am sorry our goodbye was so abrupt, but that's the way of the world at times.

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