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State Superintendent visits VHS

Arizona Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman made her first visit to Yuma on Monday, Mar. 18, 2019 and her stay included two stops at Yuma Union High School District schools.

Hoffman, who was elected in November, stopped at Vista High School and Gila Ridge High School as well as Centennial Middle School and Fourth Avenue Junior High. The Superintendent was invited to Yuma by Hilary Brown of VHS and Peter Smith of GRHS. Hoffman and Brett Surguine

“I am grateful to the two Yuma Union High School District teachers that invited me to visit their schools during my trip to Yuma this week,” Hoffman said. “Mrs. Hilary Brown invited me to visit Vista High School where I stopped by her English classroom, met with Principal [Brett] Surguine, and received a tour from two exceptional members of the student council. Mr. Peter Smith welcomed me into his fifth period government class where I had the chance to talk to students about what it takes to run for statewide office -- and where I was able to see the fantastic amenities available to students at Gila Ridge High School.

“These schools visits, in addition to my visits to Centennial and Fourth Avenue middle schools, showcased the talent and excellence of teachers and students in Yuma. Thank you to Yuma County Superintendent Tom Tyree and all of the educators and administrators who helped make this trip happen. I look forward to returning often in the future!” 

According to Brown, she took advantage of attending an ACT Summit that was held in December at the Desert Willow Conference Center in the Phoenix area where Hoffman was the opening speaker. During Hoffman’s speech she had mentioned to make contact and was very open to networking with educators across the state. 

“I heard Superintendent Hoffman speak at the ACT Conference, and I was impressed that she wanted to travel to schools all over Arizona, talking with students and teachers,” Brown said. “I actually sent her a message through Twitter, inviting her to come to our school, and she accepted right away.”   

The 2018-19 school year marks Vista’s first year in their new campus location and houses both VHS and Strategies for Success (SFS) together for the first time. Two students, Alexia Figueroa and Adam Camarillo, along with VHS Principal, Brett Surguine, took Hoffman around to meet students and teachers along with observing classes in action. 

At Gila Ridge, Instructional Leader Dave King provided the tour along with students.