Return to Headlines

Vista, Gila Ridge earn top safety committee awards

Brett Surguine accepts safety committee check from Phil TownsendVista High School and Gila Ridge High School received the top “safety committee” awards of $8,300 on Wednesday, Aug. 11, during Yuma Union High School District’s Governing Board meeting.

It is the third year in a row that Vista has earned the highest award. They earned the most outright in 2020 and shared the top spot with Kofa High School in 2019. Gila Ridge and San Luis have also been past winners. The district has distributed safety committee awards since the 2015-16 school year.

On Wednesday, YUHSD Financial Services Facilitator Neil Brown distributed checks from Board-approved insurance proceeds to the safety committee for each of the six schools in the district. In order to be eligible for the funds, the campuses fulfilled several requirements for the 2020-21 school year.

Each school was required to have a safety committee that meets quarterly and conducts inspections twice per school year. During those meetings and inspections, each committee is looking for building and equipment hazards and safety concerns such as damage to crosswalks and signage. They also monitor injuries on their campus throughout the school year.

VHS Principal Brett Surguine and GRHS Assistant Principal Joe Kapugia were presented checks in the amount of $8,300 for their schools incurring the fewest safety hazards and injuries on campus last school year.

Asked what the continued commitment to safety says about his school, Surguine said, “It shows me our Vista value ‘Run as a Pack’ in action. We practice teamwork and collaborative problem solving. We discuss safety concerns openly and we believe that when we work together our actions can create a healthier and safer school community.”

Other safety committee awards included: Kofa High School ($5,700), Cibola High School ($4,300), San Luis High School ($4,200), and Yuma High School ($3,900). Brown and Governing Board President Phil Townsend presented oversized checks to a representative from each campus administrative team.

The committees at each campus will now choose three proposals for how to spend the funds, and allow students and faculty to vote on which proposal to approve for improving their respective campuses.

Eric Patten