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West Creek celebrates school’s opening period

Posted: November 2, 2010 8:03 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2010 4:30 a.m.

West Creek Academy students and faculty listen to a music recital during the school’s opening ceremony.

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Saugus Union School District leaders celebrated the opening of West Creek Academy on Tuesday, celebrating the Santa Clarita Valley’s newest elementary school through musical presentations, praise and speeches.

“We have unfolding among our students composers, conductors and performers of the future,” Superintendent Judy Fish told hundreds of students, local educators and leaders during the dedication ceremony. “That is amazing.”

West Creek Academy, which touts an emphasis on music and the performing arts, opened to 633 elementary school students and 27 teachers this year. It’s the 14th Saugus Union School District school, and it was designed to be a school with an innovative curriculum where students have hands-on access to music, instruments, foreign languages and the performing arts.

“Today, I’m excited to take our first steps to bringing this dream to our students,” Principal Cory Pak said.

The school has partnered with the California Institute of the Arts, a world-renown art school located in Valencia, and plans are under way to form an academic partnership with a school in Korea that Pak attended as a child. West Creek is also the SCV’s first school to be completely built by a developer, The Newhall Land and Farming Co.

Throughout the speeches, West Creek students took the stage to perform for their peers. Even the administrators joined in with the performances as Fish played the cello with a group of students, and Pak led the performance of the West Creek Academy song.

Board President Paul De La Cerda encouraged students to take advantage of the world-class education at West Creek. Numerous speakers pushed the kids to study, do their homework and work hard.

“You boys and girls are responsible for your education,” De La Cerda said.

Many speakers celebrated Saugus Union’s efforts to open a new elementary school, despite the economic recession and ongoing state budget cuts to education.

At the same time, Saugus Union is among the lowest funded school districts in Los Angeles County and California.

“Look around you,” board member Judy Umeck told the crowd. “This is what we do with the least amount of money.”
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, echoed Umeck’s remarks and congratulated the district on its achievements.

“This today is just another example that I can hold up and say, ‘This is how it should be done,’” he said.


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