The Sweetwater Union High School District kicked-off the 2019/20 school year with a powerful vision and message of persistence from district Superintendent Dr. Karen Janney and Keynote Speaker Liz Murray. The American inspirational speaker who is notable for having been accepted by Harvard University despite being homeless in her high school years has gone on to become a motivational speaker and the founder and director of Manifest Living.
This year the Sweetwater Districts Welcome Back event focus remained on “SUHSD Elements of Effective First Instruction” that leads to student mastery and engagement through the ‘Lens of Equity’. Superintendent Janney spoke to the various ways the Sweetwater District is continuing its efforts toward equity in the district. The day was filled with workshops, professional development opportunities and back-to-school preparations.
Keynote speaker Liz Murray shared a heartfelt and powerful message with district staff that for several left a lasting impression. As the child of drug-addicted parents, Murray was homeless at age 15. She was determined to not be defined by her circumstances, which led her to earn her high school diploma in just two years and win a scholarship to Harvard University. Her story has made such a huge impact, that a Lifetime Television Movie “Homeless to Harvard” was made to share her story.
Her main message reminded district staff to be encouraging and engaging with students, so that they can reach their fullest potential and find success.