Dear University Academy Community,
In our year-end edition of The Gryphon, 2022 UA graduate, Donyae Watson, penned these poignant words: “Stay encouraged…bigger things are coming, and you must be ready.”
Indeed, in an ever-evolving world, readiness to thrive in higher education is not just a goal—it's essential to addressing the challenges that lie ahead.
The 2021-2022 academic year opened amidst a delicate balance: students returned both in-person and virtually, as the lingering impacts of the pandemic shaped families and educational institutions nationwide. Yet, UA stood resilient, ensuring both our physical doors and virtual platforms were accessible to every student committed to our mission.
Like many institutions, UA provided comprehensive virtual learning alternatives. However, our board was acutely aware of the profound implications of reduced face-to-face instruction.
Despite such hurdles, we found inspiration when Rebecca Gudde, with her rich history in education as a teacher, principal, and UA senior administrator, was unanimously appointed as UA’s next Superintendent following an exhaustive three-month nationwide search.
Another triumphant moment was the passage of the funding equity bill in Jefferson City, a culmination of years of persistent efforts by our staff, UA families, and board members. This legislation ushers in financial parity for UA and public Charter Schools throughout the state.
Additionally, our board was heartened to receive a positive review in the November Audit, underscoring our commitment to best financial practices—a commendable achievement, especially in years of funding inequity.
On our board, we were thrilled to welcome back David Dickey, an esteemed leader across corporate, civic, and community domains, in his role as Treasurer. The board also inducted Paul Greenwood, an innovative educator renowned for spearheading organizational growth. During graduation, we celebrated Barnett Helzberg's 21-year tenure with an Emeritus Board Member title. In the words of UA Alum, Myron Oates, “Mr. Helzberg championed my cause.”
To every student, family member, faculty, administrator, board member, and supporter: your unwavering commitment propels UA forward. Remember to "stay encouraged, for as the horizon expands, we must rise to meet it."
With profound gratitude,
Katie Kwo Gerson
Chairman, UA School Board