Dr. Vazquez reflects back on her first 100 days
Posted on 02/13/2023
Mondays with Maria Banner



Nancy Alvarez: Hi everyone, I'm Nancy Alvarez and we are back with your Superintendent for Monday's with Maria on your 100th day of the job.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I can't believe it. Hi everyone. I'm Dr. Maria Vazquez. And lots has happened in my first 100 days.

Nancy Alvarez: So much. So one big commitment of course was to listen, learn, and engage. We've done it here every week. And earlier this month you actually completed 44 town hall meetings. That's a lot.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: It was

Nancy Alvarez: In 22 high schools where you invited everyone to come out.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I did. And it really was wonderful, uh, being out and seeing our staff, our community members, and our parents, and hearing from them what things are going well, what are some things that we were want to work on, and to give us some feedback on communication.

Nancy Alvarez: And you've certainly gotten a lot of input. You are still reviewing all of the thoughts shared with you through the Thought Exchange as well. That's the new platform that you've been using. But what are some of the biggest takeaways when you think back?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: So it really was, uh, reaffirming in some areas. Uh, we heard a lot about the various pathways and opportunities our children have in school. Uh, the arts, the clubs, the sports, the technology. We also heard concerns around salaries for teachers, for all employees. And of course, uh, we heard about discipline. That discipline has been, uh, an issue that's impacting our classrooms and that some of the things that are happening in our community are seeping into our schools. So those were the big takeaways. Um, got great responses about communication, including Mondays with Maria. Um, and so, uh, it was really, uh, a wonderful, exciting time.

Nancy Alvarez: Great, great. And speaking of all that input you're getting, did the Thought Exchange platform work well in the town hall setting?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: You know, it really did and we structured it so the first part of the town hall meetings focused on those three questions using the platform, which, um, was, uh, easy to use. Uh, if parents didn't have a phone or a device, we had one for them. It also allowed them to participate regardless of the, their first language, which was, uh, another very, uh, interesting tool, part of that tool. Um, and we've also seen other departments now wanting to use the thought exchange as part of, uh, their work and getting feedback from various, um, stakeholders.

Nancy Alvarez: Thats great. So once you've looked at all of the thoughts and taken a deeper dive into the topics, what's next?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: So we are going to publish, um, a document that will put together all of the feedback and then the action steps that we're going to take as a result of that. So people know where we're going beyond my first 100 days.

Nancy Alvarez: And we could probably sit here and talk all day about your first 100 days. But is there anything else that you want to share with everyone about this first chapter for you?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I want to say thank you. Um, they have been so warm and welcoming, uh, and to let them know that I am so honored to have been selected to be the Superintendent for Orange County Public Schools. And I wake up each and every day, uh, with Joy to be able to do that work. And I know the responsibility that comes with it, and I don't take it lightly. And thank you.

Nancy Alvarez: Thank you for all your hard work and for representing us so well in our district and for everything you do for our kids, that's just me as a parent. So thank you.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Thank you. It's been great. Thank you all for watching. We will be opening up another Thought Exchange very soon so that everyone can continue to be included in our conversations.

Nancy Alvarez: Stay tuned for another Monday's with Maria next week. But first, we want to leave you with some sights and sounds from the last 100 days. Take a look.