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Julie Blevins Winner of Optimist Award
Marieanne Quiroz

Julie Blevins, a kindergarten teacher at Mound Elementary School in the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), received the “Chris Prewitt Eternal Optimist Award” last week. The “Chris Prewitt Eternal Optimist Award” was created in memory of Chris Prewitt, beloved VUSD Assistant Principal, who passed away in 2014.

Julie Blevins, a kindergarten teacher at Mound Elementary School in the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), received the “Chris Prewitt Eternal Optimist Award” last week. The “Chris Prewitt Eternal Optimist Award” was created in memory of Chris Prewitt, beloved VUSD Assistant Principal, who passed away in 2014.

Chris was an incredible teacher, water polo coach, administrator, and friend to all lucky enough to spend time with him. Chris’ unrelenting passion for life inspired the staff and students of his schools and the community. Each year a recipient is honored with this award. The honorees of this award show the same spirit and passion that Chris carried with him daily and have positively impacted their school sites in the same way that Chris affected his.

This year’s winner, Ms. Julie Blevins, is the epitome of an eternal optimist. She teaches kindergarten at Mound Elementary School and wears a constant smile on her face. In addition, she volunteers for School Site Council and the Parent Teacher Organization in her free time. Others describe her as always proactive and positive. She always has a kind word for those she meets.

“Julie remained positive and a bright light through the complications of COVID-19 for Mound and its students. She is loved by students, colleagues, and parents alike. Anyone who meets her would agree that she deserves this recognition,” stated Principal Bobbi Powers.

“I am humbled and honored by this award. Chris Prewitt was an amazing man,” stated Ms. Blevins.

Superintendent, Dr. Antonio Castro, presented Ms. Blevins with the award in front of her kindergarten class, who gave her a standing ovation.

Back to School 2022
Victoria Cortez

Back to School 22-23 information for DATA Families. Click here to check out the details.

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! We are so excited to see all of our new and returning Navigators. The first day of school is August 24th. The schedule for the week is as follows:

  • 8/23- Class schedules will be available on Q Student Connect & Q Parent Connect at 5pm
  • 8/24: First Day of School. Classes begin at 9am. Please come at least 15 minutes early to pick up your school schedule. We will be on a "Traditional Bell Schedule" (periods 1-6). No backpacks are needed. Dismissal is 3:13pm.
  • 8/25: Classes begin at 9am. We will be on a "Traditional Bell Schedule" (periods 1-6). No backpacks are needed. Dismissal is 3:13pm.
  • 8/26:Classes begin at 9am. We will be on a  "Typical Friday Schedule" (periods 1-6). No backpacks are needed. Dismissal is 1:35pm.
VUSD Board of Education Hires New Superintendent of Educational Services
Martin Foley

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education has voted to hire Dr. Greg Bayless as the new Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.

VENTURA, CA, July 26, 2022- After a competitive sear​ch, the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education has voted to hire Dr. Greg Bayless as the new Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Dr. Bayless will begin his new role on August 1, 2022. Dr. Bayless will replace Dr. Antonio Castro, who was recently named incoming VUSD Superintendent after Dr. Roger Rice announced his retirement. 

In this new role, Dr. Bayless will oversee departments such as; Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Programs, Multilingual & Multicultural Education, Special Education, Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, Student Support Services, and Health Services and Prevention Programs. 

Dr. Bayless has over twenty-five years of educational experience with the Ojai and Ventura Unified School Districts. He has recently served as the Executive Director of Educational Services at Ventura Unified. Before that, he served as VUSD’s Director of Secondary Education since 2017. He also stepped in as Interim Co-Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services during the 2020-21 school year. 

Dr. Bayless’s extensive experience in Educational Services Administration will serve him well as he successfully leads this team. In addition, he has served as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Instruction and as Principal at Nordhoff High School in Ojai. He also served as the Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction for the Ojai Unified School District before joining VUSD. Dr. Bayless’ strengths lie in his ability to build trust with families and partnering and supporting teachers and staff, serving as a conduit when needed between the sites and the District offices.

“I believe that Dr. Bayless’ background in leading curriculum improvement, his reputation for building positive relationships with District personnel and families, his familiarity with implementing districtwide initiatives, and his drive to serve his community will serve him well in this position,” stated Dr. Antonio Castro, incoming Superintendent. 

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) is located in Southern California, in the coastal city of Ventura, approximately 70 miles north of Los Angeles. The District is made up of an early childhood education program, 26 elementary, middle, and high schools, with more than 16,000 school-age students, an adult education center, 2,000 staff, and a wealth of parents and community members who all strive to help our children find their passion—academically and personally. For more information, visit www.venturausd.org or call 805-641-5000.

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