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Superintendent's Office

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

A huge congratulations is due to our 33 Amador Valley and 11 Foothill 2023 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. This award recognizes students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Well done, PUSD scholars!

This week, I had the opportunity to host Alameda County Superintendent Alysse Castro and ACOE Board Trustee Cheryl Cook-Kaleo as they stopped for a visit to Mr. Kevin Kiyoi’s classroom at Amador Valley High School. To say that they were impressed with the level of student engagement in the Advanced Computer Science class would be a huge understatement. It was clear to our guests exactly why Mr. Kiyoi was named the 2023 PUSD Teacher of the Year. He is now being considered for the ACOE Teacher of the Year award. Well done, Kevin.

Speaking of Amador Valley High School, the school’s Centennial Celebration kicked off last night and will run through Saturday. I look forward to celebrating with the Pleasanton community today at 2:30 p.m. as the Centennial Parade makes its way down Main Street. The parade will be followed by the annual Pigskin Event on campus and a football game on Walker Field.

If you cannot be there in person, please rest assured that Friday’s events will be recorded by our partners at Tri-Valley TV and then rebroadcast at later times. The 100th Birthday celebration will be capped off Saturday morning with a pancake breakfast that will be hosted by the Amador Friends of Music.

On behalf of the PUSD Board of Trustees, I want to express gratitude to the group of community members and Amador alumni who made this celebration possible — including their fearless leader, Joanie Fields. Learn more about the celebration at

As I close out my message, I want to speak to the responsibility that educators as public servants have in creating and maintaining safe and inclusive learning environments and work spaces. As leaders of a public school district, this truth is central to our mission and vision, and it fuels work to promote wellness and inclusive practices across organizations. Locally, we watched as Superintendent Molleen Barnes was recently forced into a difficult situation. I am proud of her efforts to stand up for her students and I stand with her in that effort.

As a Board of Trustees, we share this core organizational value. In PUSD this work is grounded in our equity policy and has been reiterated in various resolutions that the Board has adopted over time. Each of our students should experience school as a safe space — a community where they feel seen and valued for who they are. A place where they belong.

Increasingly, what I believe to be a basic human right is being confused with and threatened by politics. Some of the very things that make our students and staff uniquely special as humans are being targeted — threatening them with further marginalization. The recent behaviors of adults who hold power in school districts is deeply concerning to me. This includes actions to set aside efforts that promote inclusivity, as well as those which aim to silence anyone who advocates for themselves and/or a loved one.

I fear for the mental health of our young people, but also of their families, and for members of our staff who are feeling attacked and excluded by what they see happening around them. These valued members of our PUSD community deserve to have their identities recognized and celebrated — especially as they are subjected to efforts to marginalize or disenfranchise them occurring nearby.

As a Board, we must continue to foster environments that respect, honor, and celebrate the identities of each student and staff member, so they are inspired and empowered to succeed because of their inclusion within the broader community and ultimately go out and make a better world.

I share this message because I know that our young people are watching our actions. They see the things we do and do not do on their behalf. The things we say and do not say when issues like these arise. As I have taught my own children — and many others in my social science classroom — silence implies consent.

Said another way, by John Stuart Mill in 1867, “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

I am grateful for our Board who has and will continue to embrace the role of an ally — to advocate for inclusive practices and the celebration of each student, family, and staff member, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

All are welcome here, and we are proud to celebrate you.


David Haglund's e-signature

David Haglund, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools 

Dear PUSD Community,

It’s been a busy two weeks across the District, as I am sure it has been in the homes of our staff and families. I enjoyed visiting school sites during the first days of school with Trustees. We were able to experience the excitement in classrooms of every campus by the second day of the new school year.

It was equally exciting to attend Back to School nights at a number of our schools. On Wednesday, I dropped in at Pleasanton Middle School to see Principal Marco Lopez introducing himself to and welcoming the Panther community.

I’m always inspired to see how engaged our families are in their students' learning, and how strongly they support our schools and their teachers — This partnership is a vital part of our work with students and a critical component of their academic success.

I hope you have had the opportunity to see the updated and improved looks of many campuses. Our maintenance team has done incredible work making campuses beautiful, and in some cases significantly updating the look and feel of their public entrances.

While our schools have been busy with activity, the District Office team has worked to support staff and students, even as they readied themselves for a big change. On Monday, a large portion of our District Office team completed their move to the new District Office at 5758 West Las Positas Blvd. The balance of the team will be moving to their new spaces this coming weekend.

This has been a huge lift for Assistant Superintendent Sheikholeslami and our facilities and construction team. I believe that I can speak for the entire Board and community in thanking them for the hard work and energy invested in making it happen. I particularly want to thank Mike Rice and John Chwastyk for their leadership and responsiveness.

While most staff will be in the new space by the end of the weekend, the September Board meetings will take place at the Bernal site until the new Board Room is finished. Likewise, our Adult Education programs, and services relating to Maintenance, Operations, Transportation, Graphics, and the Warehouse will remain at the Bernal site for now.

The fulfillment of this goal has been a long time coming. I want to thank the Trustees — those current and past — for their vision and support. These centralized and professional spaces will better enable staff to collaborate as a team and deliver effective service to site staff and our families.

Keeping the big picture in mind, the move of our District Offices will pave the way for repurposing the Bernal site for two important projects. With the passage of Measure I, Pleasanton voters funded the replacement of Village High School with a new Educational Options Center to serve the nearly 500 students enrolled at Village High School, Pleasanton Virtual Academy, and our adult transition programs. The move also clears a path for addressing future workforce housing for our staff. As housing costs continue to rise, we have committed to investing in our certificated and classified staff by building housing that allows them to live within the community they serve.

While we have much work to do with regards to these two important projects, the move represents the first steps in making them a reality. We are committed to working collaboratively with site staff and our neighbors as plans are developed and the process of design and construction begins in the months ahead.

Similarly, site planning conversations are being initiated at PMS, Amador, Foothill, Fairlands, and Donlon as design work is initiated at those campuses relating to pending construction of exciting new projects. Please look for opportunities to engage with the site principals as committees are developed and input solicited.

We are drawing close to the 100th birthday celebrations for Amador Valley High School. There are many exciting opportunities to join in the fun, beginning with a special panel hosted on Aug. 29 at the Museum of Main and an exhibit that will be on display there from Aug. 29 through Oct. 7. You can find details at


David Haglund's e-signature

David Haglund, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools

Dear PUSD Community,

The first day of school is always a momentous occasion for our students, families, and staff. For me too! One of my favorite days of the year, offering the chance to visit classrooms and see excitement that is shared by students and staff.

I want to take a moment to express my appreciation to the classified, certificated and management team members for all of the work that goes into making Day One a success. Our school campuses are looking beautiful, many with fresh paint, newly finished floors, and restored landscaping.

Thank you to our classified teams for creating welcoming and safe learning environments for our students and staff to start the year. Classrooms came to life with our world class educators and students who were getting acquainted and connecting with each other.

We have a lot to look forward to. Thanks to the trust and generosity of Pleasanton voters, we have Measure I on the horizon that will bring our school facilities into the modern era — with learning environments that build pride and community. Your leadership and District Office teams have been working all summer for us to get to this point — and now our collective work begins.

We’ve talked a lot the last two years about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is the year that we will work collectively with our heads, hearts, and hands to put these bold ideas into action — to embrace the diversity of our growing community — to ensure equitable access to all PUSD programs and services — and to include them in a way that is meaningful to them and helps them feel a genuine part of this special community. Helping feel as though they truly belong. As an educational system, and a Community of Character, we must commit to working collaboratively with families to meet the needs of each student.

We’ll face many challenges and opportunities this year — from balancing available resources with needs, to growing our own personal awareness regarding how others experience our community. This week, I visited classrooms at many schools. As is often the case, one of our youngest learners helped me frame what I was thinking about saying regarding this work. When a peer was unsure of the next step, he said “Come with me, friend. I will show you.”

With that, I want to extend a warm welcome to our 2023-24 student board member, Valentina Avalos. We have much to celebrate and look forward to in the coming year.


David Haglund's e-signature

David Haglund, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools

Dear PUSD Community,

This week, our District Office buildings and schools are flying flags at half staff out of respect for the victims of the shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Our students may have a wide range of reactions to this tragedy. It will be important in the coming days and weeks for our families and staff to check in with our children and each other. If you or someone you know are in distress, it is important to reach out. PUSD has a list of Grief Support Resources available to you, and we partner with Care Solace to help individuals navigate and connect with needed mental health resources.

The following may be helpful as you navigate conversations in the days ahead:

  • Create space to talk about what you and your students are feeling. Young people may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance
  • Affirm their feelings. It’s okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate their expressions, rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings
  • Affirm that their reaction is normal and you understand the way they feel
  • Watch for signs of trouble such as aggression, withdrawal, etc.
  • Help your students return to as normal of a routine as possible 

Additionally, please find the following resources for guiding conversations and finding support. 

In these final days before spring break, please be kind and patient with each other. Recognize that this tragedy is unsettling for everyone. Take time to check in with yourself and others around you. And know that each of our PUSD team members are here to support you.


David Haglund, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools