Santa Lucia Middle School (SLMS) welcomed 120 6th through 8th grade students to campus for the 2022-2023 school year on Tuesday, August 16, with much anticipation and excitement.  The school year started with two days of the six “color” groups (combined teams of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders) who went through multiple stations during the first two days of school to learn about the school, complete assessments, and compete in games like trivia, memory, and other cooperative learning activities.  SLMS has many new faces on our campus as we start this new year, and there is a new enthusiasm on campus.  

     Kasey Hass is one of the new teachers at SLMS this year and, she is teaching Environmental, Life, and Physical Sciences, as well as 7th and 8th English Language Development (ELD) and Advancement Via Individual Development (AVID) classes.  She earned her degree in environmental science from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and then spent some time in Hawaii studying sea turtles.  She likes to surf and do anything outdoors like camping, running, and sailing. 

     Taylor Henderson is a new teacher on campus who the school shares with Coast Union High School (CUHS) to teach two sections of U.S. History here at the end of the day.  Mr. Henderson went to Biola University for his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history and attended California State Fullerton for his history Masters degree.  In his not frequent spare time, he likes to read historical biographies and Louis L’Amour books. 

     Moises Jimenez is a new teacher to the campus who we share with CUHS to teach one section of Spanish 1 as an elective on campus.  He graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and received his teaching credential from Cal Poly.  In his spare time, he likes to travel, play soccer, and is proud to be a Bronco alumnus who grew up in this community attending the old schoolhouse for elementary, SLMS, and CUHS. 

     David Nygren is the new principal, and he comes from Lake Arrowhead in the mountains of Southern California,  He is happy to not shovel snow anymore!  He went to Westmont College for his BA in English and to Azusa Pacific University for his Masters degree in School Administration.  In his spare time, he likes to serve in Rotary Club, snowboard, go to movies and concerts, and give his cat and girlfriend a better life. 

     Trevor Neer is the new Leadership teacher, and he also teaches Geography and World Cultures.  He graduated with his BA in Liberal Arts from California State Chico and received his credential in Special Education from University of Massachusetts Global.  In his spare time, he loves coaching, playing baseball, riding his dirt bike, and spending time with his fiancé, who is finishing her student teaching this semester. 

     SMLS just held a Back to School Night on Tuesday, September 6, on the blacktop here at school where parents heard from teachers about SLMS programs.  The Back to School Night was very well received.

Currently, the cross country and volleyball teams are practicing and readying for competitions with other middle schools beginning this month.  They will start competition during the week of September 12; a schedule can be found under “athletics” on the SLMS website at:  santalucia.coastusd.org. 

     The teachers and staff have been giving out positive behavior tickets, and we are doing a drawing each week for ice cream at lunch on Fridays.  The new Champions program is providing after school care on campus each day until 6:00 p.m., so contact the school office for more information on this program.  Finally, SLMS leadership students carried a banner in the parade at the beginning of the Pinedorado Festival this weekend; we have much to celebrate this school year.