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Superintendent's Office

Dr. Jason Peplinski
District Superintendent

Extension 4002

Tania Bishop
Executive Assistant

Extension 4002

Jake Finch
Public Relations/Resource Development Coordinator

Extension 4006

Tracey Rapp
District Receptionist
Extension 4003


August 14, 2019

Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. We are so excited to meet our students and their families!

We have worked hard over the last couple of months to get our schools ready for our students. As superintendent of Simi Valley Schools, I am proud of the effort and enthusiasm all of our employees have put into the coming school year. Our teachers have transformed their classrooms into fun and engaging learning spaces. Hiring and training new employees have kept us very busy at the district office throughout the summer. Classified staff have kept us on-track and focused on the day-to-day needs of the running a public school district of this size. All of this work has been accomplished with positive energy and big smiles.

Over the summer, many changes were made to our campuses. From new air conditioning at Santa Susana Elementary School to the construction start of multi-purpose buildings at Garden Grove Elementary School and the Simi Institute for Careers & Education, to a new entryway at Simi Valley High School and extensive security measures installed in all of our schools, our facilities are receiving wonderful upgrades that add to their comfort, safety and visual appeal. Most of these projects are funded through Measure X, the 2016 school bond the voters of Simi Valley graciously approved, and we are grateful for the support of our community.

Part of the Measure X Bond includes refurbishing all of the classrooms in the Simi Valley Unified School District. Just as teaching methods evolve to meet the needs of today’s learners, so do our classrooms. Flexible furniture arrangements allow students to collaborate better, to stand at times, to move while learning, and more. Over the summer, two additional schools received schoolwide updates: Atherwood Elementary School and Valley View Middle School. They join last year’s schools: Arroyo, Knolls, Mountain View and Wood Ranch elementary schools and Santa Susana High School. These schools received new furniture and technology for all classrooms, along with additional campus renovations. In time, every remaining school in Simi Valley will receive similar upgrades to their campuses.

This year, we celebrate 59 new teachers and 20 new classified employees coming to our schools. We also welcome our new and promoted school and district leaders to Simi Valley Schools. We’re delighted for their new positions and know they will be wonderful resources for you at their respective sites. They are:

  • Jerry Block, Assistant Director of Student Support Services

  • Dr. Richard Underhill, Principal at Garden Grove Elementary School

  • Matthew Guzzo, Principal at Santa Susana High School (former assistant principal at Royal High School)

  • Aimee Spurbeck-Boian, Coordinator of Categorical Programs

  • Wendy Mayea, Assistant Principal at Royal High School

  • Aaron Dobson, Assistant Principal at Royal High School

  • Elizabeth Boucher, Counselor at Valley View Middle School

  • Denise Johnson, Counselor at Apollo High School and Valley View Middle School

  • Lisa Hotz, Counselor at Santa Susana High School

  • Kelli Sparks, Elementary Counselor

  • Layton Spracklen, Teacher on Special Assignment-ELD, Special Programs

Also, because her position is key to the operations at the District Office, we wish to welcome Tracey Rapp as our new district receptionist. Ms. Rapp was formerly at Knolls Elementary School and we are thrilled to have her with us, fielding your calls and handling your concerns.

While we are enjoying the many wonderful things happening around our district, our main goals continue to be increasing student engagement and academic achievement, improving customer service and making our campuses as safe as possible. Our mission is to welcome every child coming to our schools and to help them reach their highest potential. We provide an atmosphere of inclusion for all students and work hard to instill a lifelong love of learning.

We will not have the actual numbers until mid-September, but from early applications we are expecting that our declining enrollment has finally leveled off. We are 400 students ahead of our enrollment projects and we have more kindergarten admissions this year than in many years’ past, making us very optimistic about this coming year.

This year, we once again celebrate the first day of school with a social media event. For those who are willing, we ask that any pictures of your children that you post to your social media of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), that you include the hash tag #SimiSchoolsFirstDay2019 on your posts. That way we can all enjoy our community’s first day of school through your photos.

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are proud to serve our families. Please remember to drive safely in and around our schools during these first weeks especially. And remember that at Simi Valley Schools, our students go from here to anywhere!

Dr. Jason Peplinski
District Superintendent
Simi Valley Schools

Dr. Jason Peplinski



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