Dysart welcomes students, families back to school

Students, friends and family members pose for selfies for the first day back to school Aug. 2 at Sunset Hills Elementary School, 17825 W. Sierra Montana Loop. [Courtesy of DUSD]

Jennifer Jimenez
Independent Newsmedia

The first day of school brought excitement for students, teachers, families and the entire community as students gathered Aug. 2 at the gates of Sunset Hills Elementary School, 17825 W. Sierra Montana Loop.

For some, it was their very first experience as a kindergarten student.

Sunset Hills principal Joey Tokhi said the energy of the first day was positive and the culmination of work started at the end of last year.

“We’ve been building students schedules and putting students in classes and teacher training and the district does a phenomenal job preparing new teachers,” she explained. “They learn about what ‘We are Dysart’ means and we all come together and build a positive culture as a school to make sure we are all sharing the same vision and making sure our students and families are most important.”

Ms. Tokhi said Sunset Hills is a community school, where the teachers are excited to continue to work with families every year and welcome new students to the school.

“The best part about being a part of this district are the families and their students, who we are here to serve. We collectively work as a district to make it possible to meet the needs of all our students and we are making connections all the way across the board,” Ms. Tokhi said. “We are providing students with that true family feel and all going in the same direction, working together for all kids to get them where they need to be to have success.”

Brian Eschliman attended the first day of school with his family and daughter, Callie Eschliman, who started kindergarten this year. They took part in the “Boo-Hoo/Woo-Hoo Breakfast” put on by the Sunset Hills Parent-Teacher Organization.

“I am new to the West Valley and this district, but I have heard it’s a good one and I know Callie will do well and have fun,” Mr. Eschliman said. “I want her to improve in reading and writing and just have fun this year and meet people, so they can learn together.”

Lillian Beckierman was also starting her first day of kindergarten and brought her family along, including mother Kristy Mayberry and step-mother Ashley Beckierman.

“I want her to flourish and grow in reading and writing and learn how to treat people, while making friends and memories,” Ms. Mayberry said.

PTO Treasurer Kevin Kau said the organization has been hard at work all summer, provided teachers a welcome back breakfast and contributed to the Meet the Teacher Night.“We are also supplying all new shirts and spirit gear to the students,” Mr. Kau said. “Last year, we raised $32,000 and it all went back to students by way of flexible seating, calculators and transportation for field trips. This year, my goal is about $40,000.”

Mr. Kau said community support is huge at Sunset Hills and having everyone involved makes for success in fundraising. The first day of school was a district-wide event, with members of the finance department taking part in helping parents find their way around campuses, explained Zachary Fountain, director of communications for the district.

“We are off to a great start of the 2018-19 year with a positive first day of school. Our teachers and staff are excited to work with our students and families on another successful academic year,” Mr. Fountain said. “There are a lot of opportunities for students in academics, athletics, and arts and we look forward to being part of their learning experiences.”

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