Superintendent's Thanksgiving Message 2020

Nov. 23, 2020

Dear Los Alamitos Unified School District Staff, Families, and Community, 

We are nearing the end of what can only be described as an extraordinary year — a year of extraordinary times requiring an extraordinary response from all of us. This is also a gracious time to pause and consider this year in a different light, to see it in terms of what we at Los Alamitos Unified are thankful for. We have many blessings this year that cannot not go unnoticed. 

Photo of Dr. Andrew Pulver, Superintendent

First, our staff — the amazing team of teachers, staff and administrators who faced the complete disruption of the pandemic by reimagining, in just a few days, what a Los Alamitos Unified education should be online and then being there ready and willing to engage with our students remotely. When summer came and we glimpsed the possibility of reopening our classrooms in some measure, a committee of more than 70 District employees worked tirelessly for months to create a plan that offered families two pathways forward: one online and the other an in-person instructional setting that has spared no effort to protect the safety of students and staff. We are thankful that our return to both our virtual and in-person classrooms has gone smoothly, safely, and successfully.

We are grateful to our parents and families for their phenomenal patience and incredibly hard work in supporting their children in distance learning while also trying to manage their own work lives. The stress of these conflicting obligations is overwhelming, but our parents and families persisted. We thank our families for entrusting their children to us daily as we continue to partner together to help our students thrive. 

Next, we need to send a big, virtual thank-you hug to all our students. This year upended their world and stole from them many of the joys, small and large, that are part of a normal school year.  But they never gave up. They showed up in their virtual classrooms, they raised their hands, did their work, and hung on to their desire to learn and build their future. And when many returned to their classrooms, they stepped up and shared responsibility for protecting themselves and others by following safety guidelines. As educators, we could not be more grateful for our students and their smiles, persistence, and grit. They truly inspire our work every day! 

Finally, we must thank the members of our Board of Education who have led us through this difficult time with unfailing commitment and compassion. Two of them, Karen Russell and David Boyer, are leaving the Board of Education after each having served 16 years. Grateful doesn’t begin to convey how we feel about their service to our District and our community.

A year from now, I hope I can write again about giving thanks — this time for COVID-19 being something of the past! But whatever the new year brings, we will always treasure the endless resilience, strength, and grace of our staff, students, families, and community who have journeyed with us through 2020. 

Please stay safe by following all public health guidance, hold those you love close in mind and spirit, and know that whatever comes our way, we remain Better and Stronger Together!

Blessing and gratitude to you and your family, 

Kind regards,

Andrew Pulver, Ed.D, Superintendent


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