It took a long time and a lot of haranguing to get the N-MUSD to understand that their hyper-focus on college acceptance was doing a disservice to many students. In the district, there are many graduates who cannot or do not want to go to college.

For too long, they were made to feel like losers if they didn’t go to college.

Much has changed for the better and while I still see traces of the old mentality, they have come a long way.

One of the biggest steps came a few years ago when I suggested that the district create a web page listing the graduates who chose to serve our country in the armed forces. That page has been updated with the class of 2018 and I am proud to recognize and salute them here:

NMUSD Class of 2018


Gavin Connor, Early College High School


Bekah Lomas, Estancia High School


Bryan Aceves-Rodriquez, CdM

Liliana Chavez, Early College High School

Eduardo Martin, Estancia High School

Rachid Haddouch, Estancia High School

Brett Beard, Newport Harbor

Leeley Fylling, Newport Harbor

Ryah Montano, Newport Harbor

Ryan Pham, Newport Harbor

These students deserve a thank you for their service and acknowledgement of the courage it took to take this road.

Thank you, all.

Steve Smith