August 23, 2023
Reflecting on our journey over the past four years has been a tremendous source of pride for our students, families and staff members. We have truly demonstrated to be a community that works together for the benefit of our students and the willingness to challenge ourselves and to be flexible in order to support both our academic expectations and the social-emotional well-being of our Bearcat community.
The 2023-2024 school year will prove to be a year of excitement and expanded opportunities for our students by incorporating a full-time music program, varied and engaging electives including a 6-8 advisory period for all students, before and after school intervention and enrichment activities, extra-curricular offerings to support students and, we implementing a second transitional kindergarten class to keep up with the demand of being a Bearcat. Our enrollment of 700 students demonstrates that our educational community believes in the student-focused programs and experienced staff, as well as the tenants of being a Bearcat of Character.
Union Hill is very fortunate to welcome many new staff members. Our new principal, Ms. Megan Grijalva, comes to Union Hill with a wealth of experience beginning as a teacher, a high school Assistant Principal, an Elementary Principal and also served as a District Leader in her previous district before moving to Nevada County. Megan has two children and her husband works in education as well supporting Nevada County students. Her passion for students and her commitment to educational leadership to support our staff and parents is evident in every interaction since becoming a Bearcat. I am grateful she chose to join our Bearcat family.
We also feel fortunate to have a new counselor, Kristina Renn. Kristina comes to Union Hill from Nevada Union Joint High School District. We look forward to Kristina supporting our students and staff with varied activities, student groups and she has already embraced the Bearcat traditions and culture of Union Hill. We welcomed a new Speech and Language Pathologist, Hana Richardson, being supported by new hire Tessa Moroni as our Speech and Language Pathologist Assistant. They are both highly qualified, experienced and eager to support our students. Union Hill has also hired a new Special Education teacher, Elicia Burt, who will support our team. I am particularly grateful to have the opportunity to continue to work with Erika Clawson, Director of Special Education and Student Services, Kevin Selby, Dean of Students, and Director Mary Kragel who will support all of our teachers, students, classified staff and families. A new position this year, Parent Liaison and Communication Specialist has been filled by our long-time Bearcat, Pam Torkman. Her position will serve to support our families, staff and educational partners with communication strategies, including our web destination portals, district-wide activities and parent and staff online learning opportunities. Our new Transitional Kindergarten teacher, Natalie Weaver, has been a Bearcat since 2014 and recently transitioned from a classified staff member to a certificated teacher. You will also see many new faces on lower and upper campus with Student Paraprofessionals (SSP), Child Development aides and Child Development teachers supporting our students.
In closing, it has been my absolute honor to serve as Union Hill’s Superintendent since 2020. I am very excited about the many opportunities we offer our students with an incredible teaching staff, support staff, our Bearcat Discovery Center, our dedicated Parent-Teacher Committee (PTC), our educational partners and Bearcat families as well as our Board of Trustees, who ensure they are always focused on students in their decision-making process.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, exciting and engaging 2023-2024 school year!
Andy Parsons, Ed.D., Superintendent
- College and Career Readiness: Students will be prepared for grade level transition through equitable access to rigorous standards-aligned learning and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.
- Standards-Aligned Learning (SAL)
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
- Before and After School Academic Support and Enrichment
- Broad Curriculum
- Professional Learning in all areas under Goal 1.
- School Culture and Climate: Students will thrive in a safe, healthy, nurturing and supportive educational environment.
- Strengthen Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
- Strengthen Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
- Increase and support extra-curricular activities
- Increase and strengthen our Behavioral and Emotional Support
- Implement district-wide Emergency Management System (EMS)
- Professional Learning in all areas under Goal 2.
- Strengthen Educational Partnerships: In order to support student achievement, Union Hill School District will increase involvement of our parents and community partners.
- Virtual Parent and Staff University and Education
- Parent and Community Outreach
- Web Content and Communication