• September 2017
    SYHS Medallion
    I am pleased to report that the 2017-18 school year is off to a great start at Santa Ynez High. Our enrollment this year stands at 944 students. I would like to extend my congratulations to this year’s seniors, the Class of 2018! It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by so quickly. I still remember their freshman orientation and remind them of the challenge I made back then. I asked them to make Santa Ynez High School a better place when they graduate than it was on their first day. So far, this class has risen to that challenge and has the trajectory to accomplish the goal I set out for them three years ago. I can’t wait to see what they do in their senior year.

    I would also like to especially welcome the Class of 2021 to our Pirate family. Their arrival on campus makes them part of a long, proud legacy. In just four short years, they will become the 123rd graduating class of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School. As I do with every incoming freshman class, at their orientation a few weeks ago, in addition to giving them the same challenge, I encouraged our new 9th graders to make the most of high school by first paying meticulous attention to their studies and then by taking advantage of the vast number of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities we offer. I explained to them that being a Pirate is a big responsibility, that the Pirates who came before them have set the bar high. I told them that all of us—the whole Santa Ynez Valley community—expect nothing more from them than their best effort, their highest ethics, and their active involvement in high school.

    As a member of the Class of 1985, I have very fond memories of my student days at Santa Ynez High School and feel that this school prepared me very well for college and the challenges of the future. That said, when I look at how far we have come in the last thirty-two years—from an excellent small town high school to a world-class educational institution—I am awed by those teachers, counselors and administrators who have come before me. As I hope all of our students are, I am extremely proud to continue building on that legacy for future generations of Pirates.

    Last year, we introduced Canvas, our schoolwide learning management system. I am pleased to report that in just its second year, Canvas is having significant impacts on instruction. 21st century technological tools embedded in Canvas are providing more rich, real-world opportunities to learn, create, communicate and collaborate in the ways they will be expected to do in college and career. While Canvas is our outward-facing learning-focused system, our inward-facing student information system is Aeries. Recently, you received a letter from me letting you know that if you don’t have one yet, you need to create an Aeries Parent Portal account. You will need one this spring and summer, when we will require you to login and update or confirm your student’s information online (rather than filling out yet another paper student data card!), but it will also allow you to customize the way you receive notifications from the school through our new Aeries Communications notification system. Please refer to the letter for instructions on how to set-up your account and do it now while it’s fresh in your mind!

    Let’s have a great 2017-18 school year!

    Mark Swanitz


    Class of '85
    View Mark Swanitz's profile on LinkedIn

    Go Pirates!