CUB #10
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10thCommunity Update Bulletin

By Barry Brucker - Member Board of Education April - June 2000


Dear Friends,


The Board of Education has been busy this second quarter addressing many issues including modernization, curriculum, budget, policy, employee contracts, state funding, school safety and much more. This is my 10th quarterly newsletter …I hope you find it informative and thought provoking. Please note the following:

Beverly High…A National Blue Ribbon School and New American High School: Many hands, hearts and minds generally contribute to any notable achievements. - Walt Disney Kudos to Principal Ben Bushman, Susie Curtis, Bonnie Miller, Dan Stepenosky, the staff, students, district and community for being awarded the "National Blue Ribbon Award". This is the "Oscars" of educational excellence. To top this, BHHS received an additional recognition, by the US Dept. of Education, as a "New American High School". We were one of ONLY 10 High Schools in the country to be awarded this recognition.

  • Welcome Superintendent Dr. Gwen Gross: On June 27th the Board voted 5 – 0 to hire Dr. Gwen Gross as our new Superintendent. Dr. Gross will bring an air of stability, professionalism and strong leadership to our district. During our site visit to her school district in Ojai, the BH Board met with almost 40 community and school officials. Adjectives such as: charismatic, intelligent, strong leadership, professional, child advocate, ‘can-do’ attitude, engaging, workaholic, visionary and community oriented were on the lips of the Ojai district and community members when describing Dr. Gross. Some said they cried when they heard the news, others said "it will be a great loss for Ojai, she was a gem." Dr. Gross will officially begin full time in August.
  • Thank-you Supt. Dr. Ken Moffett: In August we say goodbye to Interim Supt. Dr. Ken Moffett. We are grateful for his leadership and guidance through some challenging times. Dr. Moffett was instrumental in establishing scores of new district policies; he set us on a strategic path for curriculum and budget analysis, and facilitated, with class and professionalism, the transition of two distinct Boards. He was an advocate for Study Sessions, and tough on accountability with our contractors and vendors. He was also a critical component in attracting an exceptional candidate talent pool for the position of Superintendent. Dr. Moffett – It was a privilege working with you…THANK YOU!
  • Good Luck Gabe: Student Board member Gabe Halimi will be attending UCSB this upcoming Fall. Gabe provided insight into the needs of our students, lobbied hard for field lights, sensible curriculum programs, and even conducted memorial services for high school students who passed away this year. Board Member Halimi is an intelligent and classy young man…he made us all proud! As we say a fond farewell to Gabe, we welcome David Foldvary as the new Student Board Member. I am sure David will continue the tradition of excellent student representation.
  • Tower of Hope: We have an artistic masterpiece covering the oil well located on the western portion of the High School thanks to Ed and Bob Massey and a host of children throughout the State. This Tower symbolizes the work of children afflicted with illness and those that are healthy coming together in the spirit of hope, love and peace. Thank you Ed, Bob and the kids!
  • Curriculum/Summer School: Recently the District had its first curriculum study session which addressed issues including: Summer School, 7AM classes, outdated computer requirements, third year physical education, 9th grade science, instruction time etc. This Board sent a clear mandate that we want some changes including greater flexibility and an immediate scheduling and course offering analysis. Historically, Summer school was meant for remedial education and relieving students of heavy school term course loads. Currently in BH it seems necessary for college bound students interested in a full academic load, diverse electives such as band, drama, journalism, leadership, and athletics to take at least two years of summer school and or attend 7AM classes. We need to allow our students the summer life experiences of camp, study abroad, travel, extracurricular programs, business internships, and more. Most importantly, we need to make sure our students do not burn out.
  • Renovation/Modernization: The board awarded a $20+ Million contract for the modernization of El Rodeo, Horace Mann & Hawthorne. Drive by Beverly Vista and witness phase one of our new Educational Complex. Walk the hallways, check out the swim gym, auditorium, and classrooms of BHHS and see our school construction bond monies coming to fruition. Our renovation and new construction program will continue in full swing next year with completion scheduled for 4th quarter 2001 and first quarter 2002. In order to expedite the construction, bungalows will be installed at all of our schools, and they will be tested for approved IAQ.
  • Budget/Fiscal Responsibility: With very tight budget constraints and a declining student enrollment, we are studying all options to insure fiscal responsibility. These options include expanding the permit program, thus bringing in more students/revenue, cutting costly or under utilized programs, making staffing adjustments and establishing tighter accountability with respect to purchasing and expenditures. I would also recommend we consider adopting a zero based budgeting model that will hold department heads and school sites accountable for their budgets. In addition we should market our "National Blue Ribbon" and "California Distinguished School" advantages to BH residents whose children have opted to attend private schools. Lastly, we could generate substantial BHEF revenue through targeted fundraising for naming opportunities of buildings, auditoriums and classrooms.
  • Board of Education Commissions: Thanks to all of our Board of Ed commissioners who devote their time and expertise to our district in the field of Finance, Construction, Community Relations and the Arts. Collectively, they have saved or found this district millions of dollars, made them safer and socially responsible, and have exposed our students to diverse artistic disciplines. We are much better off because of these tireless community volunteers…Thank You!
  • E-Mail: In the spirit of saving trees and protecting our environment, I can communicate my quarterly Community Update Bulletin "CUB" reports by email for those of you who prefer electronic communication. This will save on postage, printing, trees and efficiency. E-mail your address to me at or Thanks to the scores of community members who have already done so.
  • Communication, pros vs. con: It was brought to my attention at a recent board meeting that a few people in the community object to my quarterly CUB reports. It was suggested that I should not communicate directly with the community for fear of confusion. I would like to make my position clear as to why I continue to communicate quarterly through my CUB reports. #1. When I ran for office 2 ˝ years ago, the community expressed frustration with not knowing what was happening on our campuses and in particular with bond monies & construction, school safety, budget and curriculum. I promised better communication. The district has put out one official newsletter "BluePrint's" in the last 2 ˝ years (Mar. ’99). #2. I have continuously made it clear that the opinions expressed in these CUB reports are mine alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of my colleagues. #3. I personally pay for 100% of the printing and mailing costs …no district funds are involved. #4. I have always found it suspect when people want to curb information and communication. One of the key reasons we chose Dr. Gross as our Superintendent was because of her commitment to open dialogue and excellent communication skills.

We as a district and community have the opportunity to work together to maximize the educational opportunities for our greatest treasures…our students. As always please feel free to call, write or e-mail me. I do want to hear from you and respond to your concerns. We have a lot to be proud of, and only together through teamwork can we realize our vision for excellence in education.

Have a happy and restful summer vacation.

Barry Brucker

Barry Brucker - Member

Board of Education BHUSD


phone: 310-523-4657 (office) 310-550-1114 (home)

fax: 310-329-0943 (office) 310-275-7739 (home)

e-mail: or

Please note: No expenses relating to this mailing were borne by the BHUSD

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