End of Year Thanks (2012/13)

IMPORTANT CALENDAR NOTES

First Day of School Next Year
Monday, September 9
(Note later start than usual).

Change of School Hours Next Year
Monday-Thursday 8:00-2:30 (10 minutes longer)
Fridays 8:00-1:40* (40 minutes earlier)

*This change will create time each week for teachers to meet and collaborate on Fridays.

END OF YEAR THANKS

As we prepare to wrap up the school year (a bit later than usual!), it is a natural time to pause and reflect on this past year.  As I reflect on my work, I realize how much Lawrence School benefits from a dedicated and talented staff, as well as the generous support and active involvement of our parents and families.

I begin with the Lawrence PTO as a whole – the organization that sponsors the many family events that strengthen the sense of community in our school, provides financial and program support, and convenes meetings on topics of interest to parents.  In particular, I would like to thank PTO Co-Presidents Jessica Eber and Lisa Lisi for their visible leadership and active support.   I have appreciated their presence, as well as their counsel on matters of concern for parents.   As her youngest child moves on to high school, I would like to acknowledge Jessica’s exceptional myriad contributions over the years – from preparing the summer mailing, editing and writing the former PTO Paper (and this year’s “PTO Monday Update”), chairing the Visual Arts committee, leading the mural project and finally serving two years as Co-President.

Thank you Christopher Ternan for overseeing and updating our website each week all year.  Thank you to the Performing Arts Council chairs K.C. Turnbull and Lisa Viola for their work to preview, schedule and coordinate a rich array of school assemblies and classroom-based programs.

Thank you to the many parents who coordinated an event and or a special activity.    These events have become much anticipated traditions in the life of the school and help build and strengthen a strong sense of community.   They include the Fall and Spring Picnics, the Japanese Fairs, International Night, Family Fun Night and the PTO Play.  For a complete list of  these coordinators, go to: http://lawrenceschoolbrookline.org/pto/volunteer/.

Thank you to the Lawrence Special Activities Board led by Joanne Liautaud.  LSA makes a valuable contribution to our school community by providing a wide variety of popular after school enrichment activities and making a significant financial contribution to the PTO each year.

Thank you to School Council parent members Jessica Eber (PTO), Stevie King, Joanna Lieberman, and Makeeba McCreary, and Laura O’Brien, who have met monthly all year to offer advice and feedback on school improvement work.  Watch for our updated School Improvement Plan next year.

Thank you to our Brookline Education Foundation Board Members Grady Clouse, Joanne Liautaud and Kate Silbaugh, for their work on behalf of the BEF and its mission to support and promote professional learning for teachers.  A BEF grant will fund a “Habits of Mind” study group for a second year at Lawrence next year.

I am also reminded how fortunate I am to work with such an amazing Lawrence staff.  They are caring with students, thoughtful about curriculum, adept at providing instruction, and incredibly hard-working.

Thank you to our Secretary Vikki Castellano, whose organizational skills and prompt attention to detail keep our ever-growing school running smoothly.  Thank you to Office Aide Maria Kalaitzidis and our spring Northeastern Co-op Megan Westphalen for assisting in the office and providing watchful coverage in classrooms and at lunch. Thank you to School Nurse Karen Miller, who plays such an active role in supporting children every day, while attending to an endless stream of scrapes, injuries and illnesses – real and imagined.

Thank you to our departing long-term substitutes for their work covering extended leaves of absence this year:  Ceara Danaher (Art), Michelle Gokarakonda (K-3 Learning Center, Johann Sadock (French) and David Whelpley (Spanish).   Two other long-term substitutes will return to Lawrence next year:  Jessica Gordon (Kindergarten) and Gabby Mahesh (Gr. 4-5 CLC).  

Leading a K-8 school of 650 students takes a team.  I want to express my appreciation to our Administrative Team. Thank you to Guidance Counselors Holly Zito and Shaina Martinez for their caring and supportive work with students, families and staff and their adept handling of of challenging issues. Thank you to Evaluation Team Facilitator Amy Nevis for her wise stewardship of our school’s special education team.  Thank you to Vice Principal Monica Crowley, for her leadership and planning, her compassion and commitment to students, and her positive energy.  It is a pleasure and a privilege to share the leadership of this school with her.

My very best wishes for summer.   May you and your family find your desired mix of adventure, rest, and relaxation.  I look forward to seeing you in September!

Rick Rogers

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