Undercover – well, maybe.

Superintendent Scott Bailey joined Desert Sands Unified School District in April 2017. He has been quoted as saying that he was here to polish the district’s reputation as a gold standard district. To do that he created the Superintendent Action Plan. Among the goals he set out to achieve was to be involved member of the communication team and to continue to build on the relationships in our communities.

One of those communities is internal. He proposed a unique employee engagement and recognition program, one that would celebrate the work of those folks who serve in what the tourism industry refers to as role in the “back of the house”. Thus was born the idea for Not So Undercover Sup. Produced in partnership with DIGICOM Learning (www.digicomlearning.com) and the IMPACT students from the CTE (Career Technical Education) pathway at Indio High School, filming began in late January with the premier of Episode 1 on Tuesday, March 20 just prior to a regular school board meeting.

Stars and crew entered the room via red carpet and were escorted to their reserved seats. Each member of the team received an Oscar-like statuette commemorating the event. Superintendent Bailey and David Vogel, CEO and Co-Founder of DIGICOM, opened the evening describing the partnership and plans for future growth. Max Finneran, DIGICOM producer, who works closely with the Indio High School digital arts program introduced teacher Tom Buck, student director Renae Farias, and featured actor and DSUSD director of nutrition services, Dan Cappello.

Then the fun began as the 10-minute short film opening credit appeared on the screen.

The premise behind the series is that Superintendent Bailey dons a disguise. At least he thinks it is a disguise but staff are quick to see right through it. Enlisting the unwilling assistance of sidekick Public Information Officer Mary Perry he goes “undercover” in a department to see for himself the amazing work being accomplished throughout the district.

In Episode 1 he becomes “James Beard” (in honor of the late renowned chef of the same name). With a fake beard he is introduced to Dan Cappello as his new intern and put to work in nutrition services Central Kitchen who reminds the new team member that this group of people prepare and distribute over 20,000 meals a day to the students of Desert Sands Unified School District. Needless to say, things go very wrong as “James” simply cannot handle his assignment. He is subsequently fired before he reveals himself to the team.

Using humor to bring attention to the dedicated staff at Desert Sands Unified School District, Superintendent Bailey and his sidekick are already preparing to film Episode 2.

Special recognition to the students of Indio High School’s IMPACT program: Miranda Hernandez, Bexy Campos, Irie Gonzalez, Renae Farias, Athena Marron, Alexis Torres, Issac Perez, Alma Escobedo, Ricardo Lopez, Angel Tzompantzi, Daniel Valdez, Eric Escalante, Anissa Arriaga, Casandra Fuentes, Alma Escobedo, Ricardo Lopez, Angel Tzompantzi, Daniel Valdez, and Zeph Neri.

Kudos to the real stars of the show from DSUSD Nutrition Services: Dan Cappello, Jodi Schneider, Ignacia Salcedo, Bertha Celedon, Francine Martinez, and Debbie Barber.

Want to watch the first episode of Not So Undercover Sup? Check it out:

Some interesting facts to note about DSUSD Nutrition Services:

  • 20,000 meals prepared and served each day
  • 3,000,000 meals served per year
  • 180 team members
  • Team members begin their day at 5:00 am
  • Favorite student meal? PIZZA!