Year-End Message from ESUSD Superintendent Melissa Moore

Dear El Segundo Families and Community Members,

This is my favorite time of the school year! It’s a time when we celebrate all students’ accomplishments as they progress to the next level and we join family and friends at year-end celebrations such as promotion and graduation ceremonies. ESUSD continues to have one of the highest graduation rates in the region and I’m pleased to announce we have 296 ESHS students receiving diplomas on June 14, 2019.


It’s also a time to recognize ESUSD’s educators and Board of Education who are dedicated to each student’s educational journey and to upholding ESUSD’s mission. I want to personally thank ESUSD teachers, staff and administrators for a job well done! Our school district is fortunate to have an exceptionally talented faculty, classified staff, and administrative team who are committed to the ongoing cycle of improvement. Our Board of Education is committed to transforming education for a changing world to ensure our students are prepared for the jobs of the future.


It has been an incredible year of achievement for ESUSD marked by notable recognition for El Segundo High School from outside agencies. A few of the milestones this year include:

  • ESHS named 2019 California Distinguished School
  • ESHS honored for its Exemplary Arts Education program
  • ESHS honored with a 2019 California Civic Award of Merit
  • ESHS distinguished as a 2019 California Democracy School
  • Ranked in the top 5% of high schools in California and the nation by US World Report 2019

For a list of ESUSD’s noteworthy accomplishments in the last five years, please visit the ESUSD website here.


ESUSD recently adopted a new Graduate Profile and has begun to align educational practices to help students achieve the profile competencies. Our desire is for all graduates to leave our school district as responsible, self-directed individuals who demonstrate expertise in taking initiative and personal accountability; strong interpersonal skills; emotional intelligence; ethics; and a commitment to personal well-being.


I’d like to conclude my year-end message by spotlighting some ESHS seniors who are graduating this week. These stories of student success provide a snapshot into our graduates or leaders of  tomorrow that make up the entire class of 2019!


Tara Bouverat

Tara is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming a chef. She will be attending the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business of culinary arts. It is a three-year program and one of those years will be abroad (outside of Paris). She is extremely excited to study under a specific Cordon Bleu chef she has followed for years. “I have never been scared of food and was open to trying most anything as a child, said Tara. “My dream job is to follow in the footsteps of my godmother and become a personal chef.” Although she has had the opportunity to visit 16 countries, she is looking forward to the experience of actually living in another country. While at ESHS, Tara was a member of the Girls Lacrosse team and completed four years in the Biomedical Science Pathway. She credits her teachers at ESHS for preparing her with the confidence and knowledge to go out in the world and follow her dreams. “My favorite part of attending ESHS was working with the teachers I had during my senior year. I built really good relationships with all of them.”


Quin Kirsten

Quin will be attending Princeton University this fall as an engineering major. An aspiring filmmaker, he is happy Princeton encourages students to explore majors during the first two years because he wants to keep his options open. Quin completed four years of the Engineering Pathway and designed and built an electric skateboard for his senior capstone group project. As a pitcher for the Eagle baseball team, he was named CIF Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was also a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Throughout high school, Quin volunteered with Challenger League Baseball, an organization that provides an adaptive baseball program for children with physical and intellectual disabilities. He was honored to be selected as one of only 10 students in the Los Angeles region for the Anti-Defamation League National Youth Leadership Mission. “One thing I think is great about ESHS is that students are provided a lot of guidance on having balance in life and encouraging both creative and analytical activities,” said Quin. “I always felt everything would be OK because of the great support and mentors I had at ESHS.”


Payton Polk

Payton will become a Bruin this fall when she attends UCLA to major in biochemistry with a minor in African American Studies. She is considering a future career as an anesthesiologist or in sports medicine. With a nod to her French Creole ancestry, she will also study French for the first time. Payton is no stranger to learning new ways to communicate – in 10thgrade, she learned Braille in about eight months. While in middle school, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that has gradually taken about 80% of her sight. Ever strong in her faith, Payton remains positive that her sight will return, and she never lets the impairment slow her down or stop her from achieving her goals. “I’m a go-getter; I need to get things done!” she said. Despite being in and out of the hospital numerous times during high school, she maintained good grades and completed two years college! She also served as ASB senior lieutenant governor; was a member of the Black Student Union and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club; volunteered to work with the ESHS football, baseball and basketball teams through the ESHS sports medicine class; performed in choir and all four annual spring musicals; and was honored with five scholarships at Senior Awards Night. “I get inspiration from my mother. She always says: ‘Be a Great Day!’ – I believe that no matter what happens, you can always have a great day. You just have to “be” the positivity you seek.”


William Schodorf

William will be attending UC Santa Barbara this fall on a full scholarship as a member of the swim team. He is a freestyle mid-distance and distance swimmer who participated on the ESHS and club swim teams for four years. While he has not yet declared his college major, he is interested in working with sea life and is considering studying marine biology. He was honored to receive the Brian Kutil Scholarship at Senior Awards Night. Swimming on the ESHS team was a highlight for William and he enjoyed being a mentor to the underclassmen who joined the team each year. The boys swim won the league championship his junior and senior years, and this year, placed fourth at the CIF championships with only five team members scoring. While at ESHS, he took the opportunity to explore some of the career pathway classes offered such as business entrepreneurship and human body systems. “I believe my years at ESHS have prepared me for college and career,” said William. “I learned good time management skills, and I believe the teachers care about helping their students succeed.”



To all of our ESUSD families, have a safe and happy summer! We look forward to preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. I continue to encourage parents and community members to engage with the ESUSD, and welcome opportunities to continue building partnerships that support the education of our children. Together, we are building a better future for ESUSD students bypreparing them to be 21stcentury learners, workers, and citizens.


With Gratitude,

Melissa Moore, Ed.D.

Superintendent, El Segundo Unified School District