Co-Presidents Newsletter December 2018

December 2018

Dear Zervas Families,

We hope you had a nice and long Thanksgiving break.  Wherever you traveled or however you celebrated, we hope you found some time to eat good food and enjoy kind company.  The Zervas PTO is thankful for our outstanding community.  Each year brings a new opportunity for us to foster a warm and welcoming school, and, as we reflect on the fall months now behind us, we love seeing the community that 2018-2019 has become.

Before we get too far into the letter, we want to encourage all you home bakers and food shoppers to heat up your ovens or run to your local bakery and donate a batch of cookies or favorite holiday treats to our very popular Zervas Teachers Cookie SwapContact Sanskriti Singh if you plan to contribute.  All treats should be delivered to the first-floor staff lounge Wednesday morning, December 5th.

I want to say a huge thank you to Merrill Barnes and our Kindergarten Soccer Team: Tara Karyanis, Matt Feiner, & Santhi Gollapalli.  Their efforts often go unnoticed so today we will highlight the work they do.  Started in 1993, Kindergarten Soccer is a Zervas PTO volunteer-run program that is a big fundraiser for us.  It takes hours of work to lead and manage this busy community program.  This year Merrill is finishing up a two-year tenure as coordinator and we cannot thank her enough for her tireless energy and steady organization.  Thank you to the whole team for a great 2018!

We are grateful for our big roster of Room and Grade Parents who have been busy coordinating teacher appreciation events, keeping classrooms in the know about things happening in the rooms, and getting the parents together for social events. There are too many of you to list but please know we are seeing your efforts. Thank you to PTO board member, Freddy Hinck, for keeping this group well-organized.

We hope you caught one of the Variety Shows organized by Darlene Nedeljkovic and music teacher, Ken Mignone. We are always impressed by the bravery and talent of the young performers. Thank you, Ken and Darlene, for making these nights run smoothly.

Thank you to all of you who came out for Dynamic Diversity Night.  It was a nice evening filled with engaging conversations and good fun.  Amy Behrens and Kim Hermesch, we thank you for taking the lead on this community-building event and also thank the rest of the Dynamic Diversity team: Delia Cheung Hom, Elisa Derby,  Valerie Graf, Kristin Hovis, Ben Mahnke, Serena Toh, principal Diana Beck, teachers Harriet Howell, Chris O’Rourke, and Maggie Williamson, and music teacher Ken Mignone for providing microphones.

Inclusive Schools Week is coming up December 3rd-7th.  It is a time that our school will come together to learn more about inclusion and celebrate our dynamic community.  In honor of the week, our entire Zervas staff will be invited to a PTO-hosted lunch on the 5th, to provide them with an opportunity to eat and come together as a group.

You have until Thursday, December 13th to donate a new, unwrapped toy for a child (newborn to age 12) in need. Thank you to our Social Action Committee, Tanya Ianniello and Jackie Washington, for organizing this drive for Toys for Tots. Toys for children ages 0-2 and 9-12 are especially needed, and you can drop them off in bin outside the office in the Zervas lobby.  Jackie and Tanya also coordinated the UNICEF collection for Halloween which raised $876 for UNICEF’s emergency relief work.

Class are starting to organize holiday gifts for the teachers and aides using the class dues collected at the beginning of the year. If you would like to acknowledge your student’s teacher individually, consider participating in the Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive. You can purchase a title selected by librarian Rebecca Kinney, and then donate it to the library in honor of a teacher or staff member.  Ms. Kinney will create a bookplate to put inside the cover acknowledging the Zervas staff member of your choice.

And don’t forget to add Zervas as your Amazon Smile recipient if you are shopping online this season! There are instructions on our website for how to do it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us at

We wish you a wonderful December.

Jenn Martin & Maggie Schmidt
PTO Co-Presidents




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