Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The teaching staff at Sierra Vista Elementary School hold up their WE BELIEVE MADERA UNIFIED cards during a meeting on Wednesday.
Today Madera Unified School District begins its 51st year of educating its youth, and no one appears more full of hope than Todd Lile. The school superintendent took some time during the Aug. 8 school board meeting to share his feelings about the prospects for the coming year.
He pointed out that MUSD was born in 1966 when it decided to unify six city schools, four country schools, and one high school into a single school district to serve a small community of 18,000 residents.
He compared that small beginning with the situation today. When the school bells ring on Monday in the district’s 27 schools, more than 20,000 students and 2,000 staff members will launch MUSD on the second half of its march toward the century mark.
With that, Lile reflected on “all our district has gone through over the past 51 years,” and he characterized Madera Unified during the good times and the bad times with two words: “We believe.”
“We believed even in the midst of deep budget cuts, we rolled up our sleeves and work even harder to insure our students continue to receive a high quality education.”
“We believed, even during times of change, in leadership. Schools still open on time, students are provided breakfast and lunch, busses transport children, and teaching and learning happen throughout the district, with a record number of students graduating from our high schools.
“We believed when a dynamic teacher and his sixth grade students brought history to life, and created a living wax museum, which continues to be an annual tradition that inspires us each year.
“We believed when Madera South was first established and the Stallion cross-county team shocked the Central Valley by winning the title and later winning nine consecutive Valley championships.”
“We believed in our Madera High robotics team who, with a limited budget, created an amazing robot which won the Central Valley Regional Championship and competed in World championships year after year.”
“We believed when a group of students and a high school science teacher said ‘Yes, we can build batteries to power schools to help our brothers and sisters in Kenya.’”
“And through it all we continue to believe,” Lile intoned as he put out a challenge.
“This year I want to challenge all of us as a Madera Unified staff to believe. Educating our children will not be easy, but we have to continue to rely on each other as a team, build trust, and hold each other accountable.”
“We will need to continue to work with our city partners who support us,” he insisted, in order to make Madera Unified a place “where the future of our children are driven by their aspirations and inspired by their circumstances.”