Ukiah Unified School District

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
The Power of Partnership, Innovation and Learning

School Desk: What are you looking forward to?

As we embark on a new academic year, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the experiences that lie ahead for our students. The beginning of a school year is a time of renewal, a chance to start anew and build upon the knowledge and friendships gained in the previous year. 

One of the most heartwarming aspects of the back-to-school season is witnessing the enthusiasm that our students bring to our classrooms and sports teams. There is a palpable sense of energy and curiosity as they eagerly await the lessons, activities, and challenges that await them. Students look forward to reuniting with friends they may not have seen over the summer, and the joy of these reunions is evident in the smiles and animated conversations that fill our hallways. I know why I like the beginning of the school year, but I often wonder what our students think, so we asked some of them what they were looking forward to in the 2023-24 school year. I wanted to know what our students are excited about.

“This year, I’m excited to make new friends, hang out with all my friends from Junior year, and get good grades! I will probably go to a lot of Girl’s Basketball games, and I'm looking forward to my Vet Practice class. I took Intro to Ag last year from the same teacher, and it was really fun. American Institutions with Mr. Bergman is another class I’m excited for,” said Ukiah High School Senior Chloey Yates.

Big Picture Ukiah Senior Isaiah Vargas said, “I’m looking forward to growth; growth as a community and as a whole here at Big Picture Ukiah. I envision us all growing mentally, physically, and emotionally. I am studying for my Certified Personal Training Certificate, my CTP, and I am looking forward to getting my CTP and possibly pursuing this as a career.”

As you can see from what Isaiah said, the start of a school year is also a time for setting goals and envisioning personal growth. Students are excited about the possibilities of what they can achieve academically and personally. They eagerly embrace the chance to learn new subjects, delve into unfamiliar topics, and develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives. The beginning of the year is a time of self-discovery and self-expression as students engage in various clubs, sports, and creative endeavors.

When we asked Ukiah High School Junior Omaurie Phillips Porter why he was excited to return to school, he singled out sports and academics. “I’m looking forward to sports this year. I’ve been working hard over the summer, so now I’m excited to see the results and build on last season, he said, “I’m also excited for my classes. I’ve got some good teachers, and I’m looking forward to knocking out my Junior year. I had Mr. Lane for science in eighth grade, and it was really fun, so I’m excited to take his class this year.”

The beginning of the school year brings a sense of structure and routine that many students thrive on. They appreciate the predictability of their schedules, knowing that each day brings opportunities for growth, interaction, and achievement. From anticipating school events, sports competitions, and assemblies to exploring new school subjects, students are immersed in an environment that fosters learning and exploration. 

“I’m really excited about planning events at school this year. I enjoyed planning the LowRider Car Show last year. I look forward to taking some business classes, and I’m interested in learning about Culinary Arts and cooking,” said Esveidi Barajas, Big Picture Ukiah Senior. Esveidi also wants to wish all the South Valley students good luck this year!

As you can see, the things that excite each student, the things they look forward to, are as unique as each student themselves. As Superintendent of the Ukiah Unified School District, I am committed to providing each student with a supportive and inspiring educational experience. Together with our dedicated educators and staff, I am eager to witness the growth, accomplishments, and milestones each student will achieve in the coming year. Let’s embrace the new school year with open hearts and minds, celebrating the potential that it holds for all of us.