Veteran Saugus Union School District Superintendent Joan Lucid is working to continue improving her school district while implementing new standards.
Lucid has worked for 34 years at the SUSD and, in that time, taken on roles including teacher, project coordinator, principal, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. All of these roles led up to her position for the past five years as Superintendent.
“It’s been an amazing career and I have met amazing people,” she said. “I’ve met incredible professionals and I look at my job as (a way) to help those professionals continue to do the great work they do in the classrooms.”
Some updates and changes for this school year include new programs, more funding and new education standards.
“Our community passed a $148 million bond last November, so we are looking to see the fruits of all of that happening as we go forward,” Lucid said. “We have projects at every school that we want to get started one.”
At Helmers Elementary School, the roof at the school was redone and a new fire alarm system was put in place.
Another area of change is with the arts. The district recently received a grant and that money is expected to go to different schools in the district to help fund arts programs.
“We really believe the arts are part of the education that our children absolutely deserve and each of our schools has a little bit of a different focus but they all have a pierce of the arts going on,” Lucid said, adding that some of the fund will go to dance programs, drama and theater programs, as well as visual arts programs.
The school district is working with a new budgeting formula with the local control funding program, the local accountability plan and a new testing set up.
Common Core is a new way of teaching and testing that is being implemented by many schools this year.
“We started with our teachers last year as we moved on through helping them understand what it is and the Common Core, itself, is not a lot different from what we had as California Standards,” Lucid said. It’s that next level of saying, ‘Now that you know how to add and subtract, can you apply it.’”
The most challenging part of Lucid’s role is not having enough time, she said.
“There’s always just one more thing to do. There’s always that one more big activity you want to get in, you plan everything out and you realize ‘Oh my, the day is over,’” Lucid said. “I think there’s always (a need) for self improvement. I want to get out to schools more often, I want to be able to be a part of what’s going on.”
In the little free time that she has outside of work, Lucid looks forward to spending time with her family, including her two granddaughters.
“Family makes a whole of of a difference and I think that’s why I enjoy doing what I do,” Lucid said “to watch what happens to families when they come (to our schools) from the very beginning and all the work that happens with our teachers and how kids grow, change and become the little people they are.”