Transcript: 11.18.22 News Video

As Santa Cruz and its surrounding communities head into a week of giving thanks for what we love and what we have, I want to wish everyone both good appetite and loose tongues in telling the people you love how much you love them.

I am feeling particularly grateful. For our community whose votes are making it look very likely that measures K & L will be fixing roofs, expanding solar power and enriching student lives for decades. Thank you. When a community invests in itself, in its children and future, it stands out to me as an act of support and love for each other.

But I also want to take the opportunity to reflect on the fact that people have been sharing the love of community here in this place for a long time. The astounding depth of history this place holds goes back longer than we tend to think about. Of course in Europe, in China, in Mexico, people live with standing reminders of the thousands of years that this has been someone’s home.

But for us, that memory is deeper down; and so, harder to reach. But it’s beneath our feet everywhere we walk. The Awaswas and Mutsun peoples and their surrounding communities still live with all of us newcomers and all their roots are still just below the pavement.

At Santa Cruz High last year the archeologist team which monitors all excavation quickly spotted signs in the soil that we’d found a spot of human habitation. And when we cleared the way for them to explore, they found a reminder of that history. And in all histories there is of course pain, hardship, damage, malice and death. But there is of course, love and life.

We don’t know what her name was, the elderly mother who died 850 years ago and was buried with foods and medicines as tokens of her community’s love and respect for her. But she can still, across that time, tell us a lot about her life and the generations of life that built history here before we did.

Before we dig into those details, we’re going to have some news, but I would like to start this season of gratitude by thanking the indigenous representatives who decided that the life of this woman, who built a family and died in Santa Cruz, should be a knowledge shared with our students and our community. They did not have to let us in, and I want to say how incredibly thankful we are that they did.

Okay. We are also thankful that our food services team has been awarded the Farm to School Grant to help provide local organic foods and teach students more about their relationship to the food systems around them. You can learn more about this grant at here.

We are thankful to be able to hand out free COVID test kits to all families before Thanksgiving break. Those are available at your schools.

We are hosting Incoming Parent webinars in a couple of weeks to help families coming into new schools—elementary, middle or high—to get a preview of campus life, to help get a head start on making the most of opportunities and supports, and to let families as us any questions you have about a new path next year. Find more info on that right here.

This weekend is the Westlake Winter Artisan fair! Local artists will be selling jewelry, art, apparel, ceramics and more! It’s this Saturday the 19th from 11am to 4pm and all are welcome! Good way to get a head start on your Holiday shopping and support local artists. Learn more right here.

Finally there is still time to please fill out our annual family survey. Just 5 minutes of your time will help guide our programs and spending for the coming year and we want you to be in charge as much as you can. Please fill that out right here.

And now. Heading into Thanksgiving, let’s all be grateful to be able to hear a voice from hundreds of years ago remind us of the history of our world. My favorite fact is that by breathing the air and drinking the water in Santa Cruz County we share a chemical composition deep in our cells that is unique to this place. We share it with each other, and we share it with her—who lived her life almost a thousand years ago in this place where we live ours.

Thank you. Have a great break next week.

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