Sahuaro High School Letter of Support

Sahuaro High School Letter of Support

Sahuaro High School Logo
Tucson Unified School District

       Sahuaro High School

545 N. Camino Seco

Tucson, Arizona  85710

520 731-7100

Fax 520-731-7101


To whom it may concern,

As a veteran mathematics teacher, I have come to appreciate the application of mathematics in all its glory. I am also very aware of the difficulty that many students have in understanding the utility of mathematics. “When will I ever use this?” is a common mantra expressed by many students. This sentiment is the backdrop for my involvement in the 5Saturdays program. My first introduction to the 5 Saturdays program was in the summer of 2019. Dr. Dave asked me if I will be willing to join him as a facilitator as he launched the first 5 Saturdays summer program in Tucson. I was a little hesitant at first, but as I learned more about the program, I decided that it could be an excellent way to get students involved in their own learning. My seven weeks of experience with the 5 Saturdays curriculum and working with the twenty students involved was excellent. There were lots of experiential learning going on, and students were excited about what they were learning. I recruited several students from Sahuaro High School to attend the 5 Saturdays summer program, and they were excited about the opportunity to learn differently. It was not about grades or other external rewards; this was truly about the joy of learning. Many students expressed those sentiments. They learned many applicable skills, including writing a resume, developing a business plan, and organizing their work; they did some coding and other group projects.

In the spring of 2020, as we were in the middle of the pandemic, I had a meeting with my administration, where we discussed how we can get students more involved in their own education. At that time, I proposed we start a mentoring program at Sahuaro High School; the premise was that we match up Seniors and Juniors as mentors to freshman and sophomore students as mentees. The administration agreed with my proposal; after speaking with Dr. Dave, I asked him if I could use the principles of the 5 Saturdays program as the framework for the mentoring class; he agreed, and we adopted the 5 Saturdays program. The program worked very well, especially since all my students were remote learners. I was able to get professionals and other community members to do zoom presentations to my students. Dr. Dave created a unique 5 Saturday curriculum that included a Job Readiness and Effective Communication course, a Design Thinking course, a Lean Business Startup and Innovation course, and a Business Financial Acumen course. Students were able to learn and practice some real-world business and entrepreneurial concepts in the high school setting. I was very pleased with the outcomes from the students’ involvement with the 5 Saturdays program and hope to continue this program next school year.


Charles Collingwood

Dr. Charles Collingwood PhD

Mathematics Department Chair

Sahuaro High School