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November 19, 2021
Notes of Gratitude from Executive Staff
"I am grateful to work in LBUSD. In fact, I continue to believe that we are in the 'best place at the worst time.' We have deep relationships with one another. We maintain a commitment to putting students first. We are strong financially. We continue to improve and to grow in our organization despite the many things that we can’t control in our environment. 

In addition to being personally grateful, there is much research connecting gratitude to our well-being, and I want to offer that to you as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. 'Research has found that practicing gratitude has powerful benefits on our physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Practicing gratitude is linked to resiliency, lower stress levels, higher immune system functioning, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and fewer symptoms of depression. Practicing gratitude towards others can also foster closer, more satisfying relationships.' (positivepsychology.com)

I know that this year is not what everyone expected or hoped it would be. However, my wish for you in the next week is that you take a pause, step back, unplug, rest and express gratitude for something in your life. I am grateful for each and every one of you and I want nothing more than for you to be well. Thank you for your contribution to what makes LBUSD so special!" - Jill Baker, Superintendent of Schools
Jill Baker
"One of my favorite quotes is, 'How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life, you will have been all of these' from George Washington Carver. As we focus on a time of thanks, I am grateful for all of our staff, families and students who are striving toward new ways of really seeing each other. We need our whole village now, more than ever. I am both grateful and proud to be a part of this community." - Tiffany Brown, Deputy Superintendent
Tiffany Brown
"Thanks to my classified colleagues who have always leaned in to support our educators in the amazing work that they do. I love this quote by Mother Teresa: 'If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.' I am truly appreciative that we are a district of people who never forget our interconnectedness, who define success in the collective, and who see ourselves in others." - Yumi Takahashi, Chief Business & Financial Officer
Yumi Takahashi
"As one of the newer members of the LBUSD team, it’s hard to express in words the immense gratitude I have for how welcoming and supportive every student, teacher and staff member has been since my first day on the job. Living and working in Long Beach has been a dream of mine since I was a teen growing up in Philly, wondering what the great American musician Snoop Dogg meant when he said 'So we can break it down the Long Beach way.' Well, now it all makes sense! This community is one of passion, togetherness, tradition, drive and forward thinking – and I couldn’t be more thankful for joining a team here at LBUSD that embodies those traits. I’m thankful in advance for all of the great memories and experiences we will create together!" - Justin Grayson, Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Justin Grayson
"In June, my youngest child will graduate from Millikan and is well-prepared (like his older Poly alumnus brother) to head off to college. I know in my heart that both of my sons’ college and career readiness – and that of thousands of other students – is the direct result of the hard work of every employee in LBUSD. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, 'The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.' Thank you, district colleagues, for being there for our students… and my students. I am thankful for each of you!" - Brian Moskovitz, Assistant Superintendent, Early Learning and Elementary Schools
Brian Moskovitz
"Although we were fortunate to open our schools for the 2021-22 academic school year, the first quarter has shown us that many of our students have fallen behind academically and socially. The High School Office is so grateful to our teachers, classified employees and administrators that are working so hard everyday to reconnect with our students. THANK YOU ALL! To quote Maya Angelou, 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'” - Jay Camerino, Assistant Superintendent, High Schools
Jay Camerino
“'Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.' – William Arthur Ward. Special thanks to all of our staff who bring thanksgivings, joy and blessings to our children, and fellow staff on a daily basis." - Christopher Lund, Assistant Superintendent, Middle School and K-8 Schools
Christopher Lund
"Dr. Martin Luther King once stated, 'Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' This quote resonates with the work to which the Office of School Support Services staff and other LBUSD staff dedicate themselves by giving their time, energy and spirit to serving students well. It is my distinct pleasure and honor to work alongside each of you. I am so proud of the relationships you have forged with students, families and the community, and the deep compassion you have shown through this most challenging time. Thank you for all that you do and have done and will continue to do." - Erin Simon, Assistant Superintendent, School Support Services 
Erin Simon
"I wish I could say that I follow Roy T. Bennett’s advice, 'Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart,' but it isn’t always easy to do. But as I start my day today, I find it easy to find gratitude as I think about all of our teachers working tirelessly to try out new things in their classrooms in the name of equity. And I have gratitude in my heart when I think about the staff and site leaders who support their efforts to live by their commitment to all students. It often goes without saying that I’m especially thankful for the dedicated teacher leaders and staff in OCIPD who help make these changes a little less difficult, and do it all with a smile, in spite of another challenging year. You are really the BEST!" - Kristi Kahl, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development
Kristi Kahl
"I am grateful for the Human Resources and Employee Relations Office and the service that is provided to all of our certificated and classified employees. A quote by Voltaire reads, 'Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.' Deliberately focusing on the excellence, acts of kindness, care, concern, genius and best characteristics in others helps each of us appreciate the tremendous impact we have on our students, district and community. Thank you all for your hard work, determination and optimism as we appreciate the very best in others this season and all year." - David Zaid, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resource Services
David Zaid
"In the most trying of times, we succeed and persevere through those who surround us. I am thankful for the team of professionals who work tirelessly in the Research office to support our district. I am thankful for the training they have provided me, the patience they have shown me, and the grace they have given me each and every day as I work with them. The mix of dedication, professionalism and entertaining personalities make it easy to come to work, even in the midst of the maelstrom. I am grateful for all the teams throughout LBUSD that support each other like the Research office has supported me." - Chris Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Research and School Improvement
Chris Brown
Official publication of the Long Beach Unified School District issued from the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.

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JUAN BENITEZ, Ph.D., President
MEGAN KERR, Vice President