Tustin Unified superintendent highlights successes at annual State of the Schools Breakfast

Tustin's sixth annual State of the Schools Breakfast at the Tustin High Sports PavilionMore than 300 community members, business owners and district staff gathered at Tustin High’s Sports Pavilion this week for the Tustin Unified School District’s sixth annual State of the Schools Breakfast.

The event, presented by TUSD and the Tustin Public Schools Foundation, took place Monday morning and featured remarks by Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin, who shared an overview of that district’s “contagious culture of success.”

Superintendent Greg Franklin
Tustin Unified Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin addresses about 300 guests at the district’s sixth annual State of the Schools Breakfast.

Franklin said TUSD high schools now offer 13 different career pathways, and he discussed the importance of adapting teaching practices so they align with the latest technological innovations that are impacting the way students learn.

“This is what we were saying five years ago,” he said. “You can’t put kids in rows, lecture to them, have them do worksheets and have them come out at the other end capable of entering into that world.”

At Beckman High, he said, students worked this year with neighboring high schoolers from Irvine to develop a cube satellite that will be sent into space. Foothill and Tustin high school students competed at the UCI Energy Invitational, which challenged them to build a car that could go the farthest on a dollar’s worth of energy. And all grade levels participated in the TUSD Robotics League, with seven Tustin teams advancing to the world championships.

“You know that four years ago, we didn’t have robotics? It was only four years ago,” he said.

Franklin touched on the work that has been done in the five years since Measure S passed, touted his district’s efforts to promote school choice — he said 30 percent of TUSD students attend a campus that is not their home school — and discussed recent changes that will impact the way its Board of Education members are elected.

He began his presentation by recognizing the contributions of Tustin Public Schools Foundation Board Member Gerry Aust, who died in August. Aust was posthumously given a “Standing O” award, which was presented to his wife.

Monday’s breakfast featured performances by the Tustin High ASB, the Tustin Tillers marching band and the flag, dance and cheer teams.

For more on Tustin Unified, visit www.tustin.k12.ca.us.