In response to the December 7, 2015 announcement of Dr. David Cash’s retirement as Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, this message of thanks was delivered by iCAN’s Executive Director Jeffry Walker at the December 8th meeting of the SBUSD School Board.

SBUSD Board Meeting – December 8, 2015
Public Comment for Regular Session on Non-Agenda Items

Good evening, President Heron & Members of the Board; Dr. Cash & District Administrators; and members of the public. My name is Jeffry Walker and it is my privilege to serve as Executive Director of iCAN, The Incredible Children’s Art Network. As a private operating foundation, for the last 10 years iCAN has invested in providing high quality visual art and music programs for the children of Santa Barbara Unified, particularly those least likely to receive them. Through sustained creative learning opportunities that emphasize both artistic excellence and access, iCAN now reaches nearly 3,000 students every week at the eight elementary schools we serve, seeking to effect positive social change in our community.

Before the line gets to long, iCAN wanted to be among the first here tonight just the day after the announcement of Dr. Cash’s retirement to say thank you to him and to express our appreciation for his leadership of the district over the course of half of the life of our own organization. In yesterday’s announcement, Mr. Heron eloquently stated what we also believe at iCAN, that Dr. Cash has embodied a clear vision for “Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day.” iCAN would like to acknowledge Dr. Cash’s dynamic leadership of a range of important, forward looking plans including those for facilities, technology, special education, local control accountability as well as a Strategic Plan for Visual and Performing Arts. In that connection, we want to highlight Dr. Cash’s leadership in the long-term funding for elementary music education and the creation of the District’s first-ever Director of Visual and Performing Arts position, which is now ably filled by Dr. Donna Ronzone.

On behalf of iCAN’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee, our professional staff of 40 music and art educators and administrators, and most especially for the 3,000 children receiving iCAN visual art and music instruction in SBUSD this week and next… Thank you, Dr. Cash. You have inspired our community and helped to lead us all toward a future for “Every Child, Every Art, Every Day!”