Category Archives: Co-Presidents Letter

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




Co-Presidents Letter November 2018

November 2018

Hello Zervas Families,

What an eventful October we just had with so much happening in the Zervas Community.  We are struck by all the faces we are seeing at events and delighted by the strong turnout at our community events.

We started the month with a very well-attended PTO Coffee with Dr. Beck.  We invite you to attend the next one this Friday, November 2nd in the cafeteria after morning drop-off.  We won’t have a formal Q+A with Dr. Beck, but this will be a nice opportunity to grab some coffee, chat with parents and get to know your PTO.

We have a lot of people to thank in this newsletter so bear with us.  We want to start by thanking Suzanne & Mike Afergan for hosting the Zervas new family pizza party at their house.  We had a nice turn out of new families who had a lot of fun playing in the yard and chatting with each other.

Suzanne Chow, Elisandra Lopes and Alicia Collins hosted a Zervas Buddies Play Day at the Franklin Park Playstead.  It was a fun afternoon where kids enjoyed some playtime together and parents got the opportunity to chat and get to know each other.

We can’t wait to start seeing all the new spirit wear around Zervas.  Thank you to Sera Miller for organizing the fall Zervas spirit wear on-line sale.

Wendy Feiner, Amanda Zurick and Ginna Driscoll did it again. They planned a great Destination Dinner evening, giving the Zervas adults a chance to get out. We had a record turnout of guests which made our volunteer dinner hosts up their game to feed them all.  Thank you to Katherine & Roger Kranenburg, Mira & Jeff Woods, Heather & Allen Sussman, Katie Britton & Allan Telio, Jessica & Aaron Davis, Alison & Craig Kapilow, Merrill & Lee Barnes, Justine & Kyle Mikulis, Amy & Bill Massey, Krystle & Joe Benedict, Mindy & Glenn Gomes Casseres, Christine & Steve Klaus, Maggie Schmidt & Ken Danila, Santhi Gollapalli & Jai Venkatraman, Mali Raman & Madhu Natarajan, Kate Grundy & Adam Lewis, Cara Attanucci & James Miner, Suzanne & Mike Afergan, Michelle & Matt Zisow, Kirsten Fertuck & Chris Payton, Jenn & Neil Martin, Karen Kipman & Ronen Zoran, Suzy Peled & Ori Spigelman, Daniela & Darren Abrahamson, Lee Blum & Federico Acher, Monica & Evan Richardson, and Andy & Lisa Silverman for your imaginative themes and delicious cooking. Thank you to Becky & Dari Mozaffarian for hosting the cocktail party and Jen & Matt Rhodes-Kropf for bravely hosting dessert.

The Halloween Party proved to be yet another fun night.  We are ever so grateful to our creative and hard-working coordinators Jennifer Glennon, Asa Priddis and Barbara Talvitie.  They went above and beyond transforming our cafeteria and gym into a frightfully fun party place.  They could not have pulled it off without an army of volunteers, thanks to Pisey Burgess, Rina Yosubash, Eileen Imada, Karen Burzdak, Patrick Timmons, Elisa Derby, Jackie Nazoliny, Darlene Nedeljkovic, Kelly Olesen, Lori Unver, Utku Unver, Kirsten Fertuck, Katie Davenport, Julius Starkman, Denise Langhammer, Kate Cox, Aimee Sprung, Kamryn Eddy, Cathryn Freid, Scott Friedman, Stephanie Berzin, Saumya Rao and all those who pitched in the night of.  Thank you to our SEPAC liaisons Talya Meltzer and Adi Barlev-Ehrenberg who created and organized the Quiet Room which was an important oasis to have in the middle of this crazy-fun event.  We want to thank ZASP for letting us use their spooky inflatables.  And a big thank you to Salon Capri and Amy & Nick Penna for generously sponsoring the Photo Booth.  It is nice for our kids to have a take-away photo to remember the night.

Thank you to our Social Action Committee Chairs, Jackie Washington and Tanya Ianniello, for coordinating the UNICEF trick-or-treating boxes.  We hope your kiddos were able to collect some money for UNICEF.  Don’t forget to return the money to school to give to their classroom teacher before November 8th.

Now mark your calendars for some upcoming November events that you don’t want to miss.

The Zervas Variety Shows will be held on Thursday, November 8th for Kindergarteners through third graders and on Thursday, November 15th for fourth and fifth graders. Both shows begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Zervas cafetorium. Come support our Zervas dancers, singers, musicians, actors, comedians, and more.

Lace up your sneakers for our Thanksgiving Walk-to-School Day on Friday, November 16th.

Join Zervas families for an engaging evening of stories, games and songs at Dynamic Diversity Night on Thursday, November 29th at 6:15 p.m.  Come meet new people and strengthen community connections.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments or suggestions.

Maggie Schmidt & Jenn Martin
PTO-Co Presidents

Co-Presidents Letter October 2018

October 2018

Hello Zervas Families,

We survived getting back to school!  We hope you all are settling into the fall routines of school, homework, fall sports, evening meetings, and making lunches.  We hope your students are adjusting well to the new school year.  A warm welcome to all of the new Zervas families.

Thank you for such strong participation in paying your Zervas PTO Dues!  We have over 60% participation and it’s not too late if you haven’t yet donated.  Donate through My School Anywhere (Our Store link) or leave a check for $30 in the PTO mailbox in the school office.  We are still collecting those green committee volunteer forms as well. Let us know how you want to get involved with the Zervas PTO.  And now some important and fun events coming up in October.

We would love to see you all at the PTO General Meeting on Wednesday, October 10th at 7:00pm at Zervas. This meeting is a great opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Beck and the PTO Board and learn more about how the PTO uses the funds it raises to support our school curriculum, staff, and community.  Join us to learn more as well as find out how you can become more involved.

Destination Dinner, our adults-only community-building event, takes place on Saturday, October 20th. Don’t miss out! The deadline to sign up is October 16th so reserve your tickets now by using this link. We kick off the night with cocktails and appetizers at the home of Becky and Dary Mozaffarian. Then we divide up into smaller groups for dinner at the homes of local Zervas families. We meet up again as a big group for dessert at a surprise home that will be revealed that evening. It is a wonderful way to get to know other Zervas parents better and make new friends!

Finally, the month ends with one of the most anticipated activities for kids, the Halloween Dance. For those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, children (and many parents) come decked out in their costumes and enjoy pizza and desserts, DJ-led dances and games in the gym, and photobooth and quieter activities in the cafeteria. Friday, October 26th from 6:30-8:00.

We have a lot of people to thank for helping us get the 2018-2019 school year up and running smoothly.

Thank you to Suzanne Afergan for reaching out to Kindergarten and new families this summer. She organized two playground playdates, which were very well-attended despite some rather wet weather. A special thanks also to Sanskriti Singh for organizing meals to welcome back the teachers and staff.

The Family Picnic was a huge success thanks to Heather Knapp! Despite more rain, we had a great gathering of families in the Zervas cafeteria and gym. We’d like to acknowledge Wegman’s for donating the fruit and veggie trays and O’Hara’s Restaurant for giving us a special PTO rate for their delicious pizzas. Heather was ably assisted by Julius Starkman, Michelle Powers, Jackie Nazoliny, Ana Barros, Eileen Imada, Elisandra Lopes, Ken Danila, Jackie Washington, Anoush Mouradian, Karina Rodriguez, Katie Davenport, Kai Shanahan, Amy Behrens, Wendy Feiner, Youxiang Wang, and Daniela Mackinnon.

Annie Ganot and Karen Kipman took the lead in running Class Photo Day like a well-oiled machine! Thanks also to the other parents who volunteered:  Jacob Eidsmoe, Ruchi Bhatnagar, Kamryn Eddy, Wendy Feiner, Justine Mikulis, Marcia Matos, Valerie Graf, Erika Pond, and Taylor Lies.

A big thank you to Julius Starkman for organizing the treats and coffee for the back to school Parent Coffees. He is pulling more than his weight as our Hospitality Team!

Kindergarten Soccer, one of our largest PTO fundraisers, has a record number of players this fall. A huge thank you to Merrill Barnes, Lee Barnes, and Tara Karyanis for coordinating the program, Matt Feiner for ordering equipment, and thanks all the Zervas kindergarten parent coaches!

Amy Behrens organized the Zervas Community Connections apple-picking on Sunday, September 23rd.  Many families came out to get to know each other better while picking apples and enjoying cider donuts on a beautiful fall afternoon. Thanks, Amy.

Thanks to Room Parent coordinator Freddy Hinck for organizing room parents this year, and Grade Parent coordinator Jungmee Youn for getting the grade social events off the ground.

Lastly, thank you Lorna Dunne for the behind-the-scenes help producing our print and online school directory. This is a big job but it makes being well connected at Zervas possible.

Jenn Martin and Maggie Schmidt
Zervas PTO Co-Presidents |

Co-Presidents Letter June 2018

Dear Zervas Parents,

We have gotten a little behind on our Co-president letters. You know how that is, right? Anyway,  we hope that you were able to attend at least one of the great events back in April. We have  many volunteers to thank for all their hard work.

Amanda Zurick helped kick off the month by organizing our first annual Family Movie Night. Families brought blankets to sit on in the cafetorium while snacking on popcorn and laughing at short films by Pixar. Thanks, Amanda, for persevering with this event after two snowstorms postponed it!

In the same week, Cindy Kaplan, who is a Zervas parent as well as a Family Coach, led an insightful discussion at a Parent Coffee about setting boundaries with our children. I think we all came away with some great suggestions. Thanks, Cindy!

Next up was Family Cultural Night, spearheaded by Amy Behrens and Katie Davenport. Chinese acrobat Li Liu wowed the audience, and families had a lot of fun mixing and mingling. Thank you also to Suzanne Chow, who organized the food and to all the families who brought side dishes to share. It was one of the most successful events of the year!

The culminating event of the month was the Spring Fling, aka the Kentucky Zerby. A tremendous effort by Wendy Feiner, Mira Woods, Noemy Ehrlich, Cate Menon, Sera Miller, Becky Mozaffarian and Cheryl Hersh resulted in a fabulous night! The food and drinks were delicious, the decorations were beautiful, and the dancing was a blast. It was a great opportunity for the adults in the Zervas community to don some festive Derby gear and to get to know each other better. Thanks, Ladies, for all the work you did to throw a fantastic party. Thanks also to all the Zervas families who donated Community events, which raised approximately $16,000 for things like Creatives Arts and Sciences, Teacher Appreciation, and future family events.

Looking ahead, this Friday, June 8th is the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast put on by the teachers to thank all the Zervas parents for helping out this year. We invite everyone to come and be celebrated whether you cleaned up at one event or if you ran an entire committee. The Breakfast will run from 8:30-9:15 in the library followed by the PTO General Meeting, when we will nominate and elect Board members for next year. We hope to see you there.

This year’s Family Picnic on June 13th will be a special one. As many of you have heard, our much loved Ms. Hadley, Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire, is retiring this year. We will take some time at the June picnic to thank her for all she has done for the students, parents, and teachers of Zervas over the years. Sign-up here if you can help at the event, which starts at 6:15.

Lastly, we have several roles for next year that need to be filled. Here they are:

  • Understanding Our Differences, 3rd grade coordinator
  • Creative Arts and Science Committee, grade coordinators
  • Hospitality Co-Chair
  • Zervas Community Connections Co-Chair
  • Zervas Community Notes Editor

Please reach out to us to find out more about what the positions entail. Volunteering at Zervas is a wonderful way to really feel embedded in the community. I made some of my closest Zervas parent friends while working side by side with them at various events and on different committees.

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin
PTO Co-Presidents

Co-Presidents Letter April 2018

Dear Zervas Parents,

All right, who’s ready for spring?!? I can’t believe that it snowed on April 2nd. I am ready to see green instead of white. Speaking of green, we wanted to communicate some information about how the PTO raises and spends money. Please take a minute to read this as we know there are some misconceptions about the PTO’s fundraising efforts and spending.

We are in the fortunate financial position this school year of having a brand new school with minimal needs as well as accumulated funds from several years of successful fundraising.  So while it seems fiscally irresponsible to have a budget that allowed for spending almost twice as much as we aimed to fundraise, this will not become an on-going practice.  It was suggested and approved at the PTO General Meeting on October 11, 2017, that the financial strategy for this academic school year was to spend available PTO funds while many of the families responsible for the fundraising are still at Zervas. We are on track to meet both expenses ($122,000) and revenues ($62,000). Going forward, the PTO will budget expenditures to match fundraising goals.

Much of our funding goes to curricular support such as Creative Arts and Science, Understanding Our Differences, the CAP program, and teacher mini-grants. We were also able to fully fund monthly family events like Family Picnics, the Halloween dance, Game night, Cultural night, Movie night, and Dynamic Diversity nights — events which help make the Zervas community unique. This year we were also able to purchase classroom supplies for teachers and fund regular teacher appreciation events from meals in August, October, and December to monthly recognition for our teacher’s dedication spearheaded by Grade and Room Parents. 

The major fundraisers of the PTO are Kindergarten Soccer ($27,000), the Teacher Raffle last December (which raised $3,000), the Zervas Online Auction in March (which raised $20,000) and the Community Events auctioned off at the Spring Fling on April 28 (with a goal to raise at least $14,000). Check out these pie charts for more information.

Leading the way in raising funds for next school year was our Online Auction Team made up of Stephen Davenport, Jessica Davis, Craig Kapilow, and Justine Mikulis. They worked tirelessly to organize the logistics of the Online Auction. Helping them with soliciting donations were Kristen Beaupre, Sera Miller, Tara Karyanis and Tim D’Souza. The Zervas children, parents, and teachers send you all very sincere thanks! Amazing work.

We have another great team working to raise both funds and fun at the first annual Spring Fling, aka the 2018 Kentucky Zerby. Get your tickets here for the Saturday, April 28th  Zerby party, starting at 7 p.m. at Zervas. Usually an Auction party is the culminating event at the end of a week of online bidding. This year, that Auction party has been separated from most of the bidding and transformed into the Zerby, the themed party for this year’s Spring Fling. It will be a fabulous, adults-only party with a delicious dinner, festive drinks, a fun DJ, and opportunities to bid on Community Events like dinner parties and parents’ nights out, which are only available to the Zervas community. If you would like to offer up a Community Event for bid, please reach out to Wendy Feiner at Come reconnect with friends or make new ones. It will be a blast!

There are three terrific Zervas events planned for the next two weeks. After two snow delays, Zervas Movie Night is finally here on Wednesday, April 4th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Bring your dinner or eat before you come; popcorn and fruit snacks will be served. We will be showing Pixar shorts.

Our next PTO Parent Coffee will be held on Friday, April 6th from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Zervas Cafetorium with Family Coach and Zervas parent Cindy Kaplan who will lead a discussion on What does it really mean to set clear boundaries with our children? Come learn the two essential ingredients to setting and holding effective boundaries with our kids and feeling good about it.

Family Cultural Dinner is Wednesday, April 11th from 6:15-8:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the many unique cultures that make up the Zervas community with friends, food, and traditional Chinese acrobatics!  Burritos will be provided by the PTO, and we hope you will also bring a side dish that represents your cultural heritage or a favorite dish for your family.  Please bring serving utensils as well as a print out of ingredients.  Water, plates, and eating utensils will be provided. Even if you can’t bring a side dish, we would love to see you!

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin
PTO Co-Presidents

Co-Presidents Letter March 2018

Dear Zervas Parents,

It’s an exciting week for Zervas! Our online Auction opened on Monday morning and will run through Sunday, March 11th. What does the money go towards, you ask? Well, it funds the PTO’s programming which helps to bring authors, artists, and scientists into the classroom through the Creative Arts and Sciences program. It funds teacher appreciation and professional development. It allows us to organize community events like Picnics, Game Night, Dynamic Diversity night and Movie Night. It also helps support Zervas families in need whether it’s a gift card at the holidays or financial assistance for a field trip. Please check out the wonderful items up for bid here:!

Speaking of Family Movie Night, come join us next Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Zervas Cafetorium for popcorn and movie shorts. We are proactively rescheduling this due to tonight’s forecast. Kick back and relax with your kids for the evening. Feel free to bring a blanket or pillow to make yourself more comfortable.

Last week was another great Dynamic Diversity night organized by Amy Behrens and Rashin Khosravibavandpouri. They worked very hard to put together an elementary age-appropriate program teaching about the experience of refugees. The kids were engaged by the speakers, games, and dancers. Thanks so much, Amy and Rashin.

At the end of January, Peter Malagodi and Ginna Martin helped bring Eureka Toys to Zervas for another fun Game Night. Approximately 180 people came, spread around the cafetorium and played some serious games! It was exciting to see so many families enjoying an evening devoid of electronics. Thanks, Peter and Ginna.

Looking ahead, book a sitter for Saturday, April 28th for the first annual Spring Fling, aka the 2018 Kentucky Zerby, starting at 7 p.m. at Zervas. Usually an Auction party is the culminating event at the end of a week of online bidding. This year, that Auction party has been separated from most of the bidding and transformed into the Zerby, the themed party for this year’s Spring Fling. It will be a fabulous, adults-only party with a delicious dinner, festive drinks, a fun DJ, and opportunities to bid on Community Events like dinner parties and playdates, events that are only available to the Zervas community. If you would like to offer up a Community Event for bid, please reach out to Wendy Feiner at Come reconnect with friends or make new ones. It should be a blast!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or a burning desire to volunteer. We can find a position for you, even if it’s only for a couple of hours a year.

Thanks so much,

Alicia Collins and Jenn Martin
PTO Co-presidents

PTO Co-Presidents Letter: Jan 2018

Dear Zervas Families,

Happy New Year! We hope you managed to have fun with family over the holidays and stay warm. What a frigid end of 2017 and beginning of 2018.  And then two snow days! Hopefully the rest of January will be more kind to us.

Our second annual Family Game Night will be held Wednesday, January 24th at 6:00 in the Zervas cafetorium. Pizza, veggies, and fruit will be served while Eureka!, a toy store in Brookline, sets up a ton of games for parents to play with their kids. They will also have games for purchase if you fall in love with one of the games you try. This is a great chance to unplug with your kids for the evening. If you have any questions, please reach out to Peter Malagodi or Ginna Martin who are helping to organize the evening.

We’d like to thank all the Zervas families who donated books to the December Library Book Drive. A total of 54 books were purchased and dedicated to various teacher and staff members! Lou Bonegio and Becky Kinney deserve a huge thank you for organizing the book drive.

Zervas families were also generous in donating to the Toys for Tots Toy drive. Amanda Zurick, our fearless leader who organized the toy drive, estimates that well over 100 toys were dropped off in the lobby. That’s amazing!

BOKS is a before school exercise program that was piloted very successfully at Zervas this Fall. If you missed the Zmail announcement about the next session, please go to our website or you can go straight to register your child here by January 19 at midnight. The winter session will begin on February 9th and will be limited to 55 students. Thank you to Aimee Sprung for her vision and leadership in making BOKS a reality.

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin

PTO Co-Presidents


Co-Presidents Letter November 2017

Hi Zervas Parents,

It was an exciting October with lots going on in the Zervas community. Bear with us; Jenn and I have a lot of people to thank in this newsletter! Before I get to our gratitude, I would like to invite you to swing by the outdoor classroom at drop-off on Friday, November 3rd to grab some coffee and hang out with other parents. In the very unlikely chance you don’t get to the bottom of the newsletter, I wanted to make sure you knew about Friday’s coffee!

Amy Waksler and Cheryl Hersh organized the New Family Pizza Party in early October. Originally scheduled to be at Cheryl’s house, we needed to move it to Zervas when over 160 people rsvp’d yes! Thanks, Amy and Cheryl, for helping to welcome the new Zervas families.

Wendy Feiner, Noemy Ehrlich, and Ginna Driscoll did it again! They planned a wonderful Destination Dinner evening, giving the Zervas adults a chance to get to know each other better. Ginna, Wendy and Noemy were very grateful to have a record number of volunteer dinner hosts, who made delicious meals with creative themes. Here they are: Aimee & Eric Sprung, Lori Berkowitz & Scott Perman, Amy & Craig Waksler, Zoe & Craig Fishman, Ariel & Bram Raphael, Katie Britton & Allan Telio, Jessica & Aaron Davis, Alison & Craig Kapilow, Jessica & Will Savage, Cate & Roshen Menon, Natalya & Amr Hafez, Kim & Chris Neal, Anne Jackson & Rajiv Srinath, Toni & John Moninger, Mindy & Glenn Gomes-Casseres, Christine & Steve Klaus, Anoush Mouradian & Joe Killoran, Katie & Steve Davenport, Cheryl Hersh & Mike McFarland, Steph & Stu Berzin, Tanya & Phil Ianniello, Suzanne & Jeff Chow, Madhu & Mali Natarajan, Kate Grundy & Adam Lewis, Cara Attanucci & James Miner, Jillian Queen & John Curran, Kristin Knuuttila & Mark Scott, Kirsten Fertuck & Chris Payton, Jenn & Neil Martin. My husband Tony Abbiati and I had a lot of fun hosting the cocktail hour and a huge thanks to Jen and Matt Rhodes-Kropf for bravely hosting dessert.

Amy Behrens led families through a fun and engaging Dynamic Diversity Night. Thank you to the nearly 85 people who participated in the evening! Thanks also to those who helped Amy make the night a success particularly Harriet Howell, Chris O’Rourke, Gillian Vandelft, and Suzanne Chow. Don’t miss the next one in February! These evenings are a great way to connect families and develop our Zervas community.

The new gym and cafetorium could barely contain all of the energy at the Halloween Dance! From the fun DJ to the photo booth to the special desserts, the organizers did an amazing job. Thank you to Barbara Talvitie, Jen Glennon, and Katie Davenport for taking the lead. They could not have done it without a ton of volunteers. Thanks to Mindy Gomes Casseres, Pisey Burgess, Jenn Martin, Krisztina Nemenyi, Jillian Jurilla, Julius Starkman, Darlene Nedeljkovic, Anoush Mouradian, Regina Koziyevskaya, Mark Jurilla, Alexandra Fuchs, Kim Neal, Chris Neal, Jon Kadish, Stephanie Berzin, Rachel Conroy, Russell Stein, Justine Mikulis, Gul Yanmaz-Karsligil, Karina Rodriguez, Lori Unver, and Debra Stump. 

 We have a few people to thank for their efforts to get our kids up and moving!  Evrim Atas, Jon Todd, Erin Grabowski, Lou Bonegio, and Sandy Sloane volunteered to help at either the A to Z Walk or Fifth Grade Bike Safety or both! We really appreciate it.

Mark your calendars for a few upcoming November events that you will not want to miss.

The Zervas Variety Shows will be held on Wednesday, November 8th for Kindergarteners through third graders and on Wednesday, November 15th for fourth and fifth graders. Both shows begin at 6:30 in the Zervas cafetorium. Come support our Zervas dancers, singers, musicians, actors, comedians, and who knows what else!

There’s still time to sign up for Newton Turkey 5K Turkey Trot, which raises money for the Newton Food Pantry, and which is organized by a group of Zervas parents. The course begins on Beethoven Avenue, and there is both a 1-mile fun run and a 5K. Even if you are not a runner, come out to cheer or volunteer! It’s an event filled with positive energy. For more details, registration, and volunteer information, check out

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin

PTO Co-Presidents

Co-Presidents Letter Mar 2017

Dear Zervas Parents,

We hope to see all of you at the Zervas Auction on Saturday, March 25th! The Auction is one of our only adult social events of the year, and it’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends or meet new ones. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras, so join us for a delicious dinner, open bar, and a fun DJ. There’s no need to wear a costume or to get dressed up for the party. The Bidding for Good website is now open for ticket sales. On Sunday, March 12th, the online bidding will begin! Get your bids in before the online portion closes on March 19th. Some of the most exciting items, such as community dinners and parties, will only be up for bid at the Windsor Club on Auction night. If you can’t attend but would like to bid on the dinners and parties or other event items absentee, please contact Jessica Davis. Don’t miss out on this fun evening!

Our next parent coffee will be hosted on Tuesday, March 14th at 8:30am by Sandy Sloane, fourth grader Alex Stein’s mom. Swing by 25 Avalon Road in Waban for a cup of coffee and conversation with fellow Zervas parents. Here’s a chance to connect with folks you don’t get to see at the bus stop.
Have your kids told you anything about the mural for the new Zervas? Here are some details from Maggie Schmidt who does an amazing job on the Creative Arts and Sciences Committee: In early January, muralist David Fichter came and gave overview presentations on mural making to the Zervas school body. Under the guidance of our art teacher, Ms. Simkins, as well as the grade-level teachers, the students are currently researching and drawing. Our mural theme is “Growing and Learning” and the students will be taking inspiration from each other and our school and community as well as the wetlands ecosystem that surrounds Zervas. This month, the pile of collected student drawings will be delivered to the artist. Our mural will be created using the original art from the students. Watch for emails early this spring and mark your calendars. We will need many volunteers in the art room during the weeks of the mural build April 24th – May 12th. Sunday, May 7th will be a community mural building day in conjunction with our family cultural dinner that evening. We also plan to schedule some weekday afternoon and evening hours for families to stop in after school or for an hour combined with ZASP pickup. It’s an exciting project for our Zervas community. Please connect with Maggie Schmidt of the Creative Arts and Sciences Committee if you have questions or wish to help.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or a burning desire to volunteer, do not hesitate to contact us at

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jessica Davis
PTO Co-Presidents

Feb 2017 Co-Presidents Letter

Dear Zervas Parents,

Wow! You all came out in force for Family Game night. Thank you. We could have used a bigger room! A huge thank you goes to Matt Goldstein for organizing the evening. Alas, Matt graduates from Zervas this year, along with his daughter Violet. We would love it if one or more of you would step up and organize next year’s event. It involves a few emails, a couple of Zmail announcements, and a flier to go home in the kids’ folders. A great opportunity for working parents! Feeling tempted? Email us, and we’ll give you more specifics.

And how about those snacks at Family Game night?!? Thank you, Tim D’Souza, for providing all the yummy treats. Tim would like some help with the Hospitality Committee next year as his co-leader, Lyla Goldstein, is also graduating from Zervas along with her husband Matt and their daughter Violet. Although it may seem that we try to keep volunteers in the family, we are not an exclusive group. We would love for all of you to help!

You’re probably wondering if you’ll be able to get through this paragraph without being asked to volunteer. Yes! Sort of… This paragraph asks for donations. The Auction Committee has very few community dinners and parties lined up and would love to hear your donation idea by February 17th, the last day before vacation. They are also looking for more sports, theater, and concert tickets. These types of donations raise the most money at the Auction, which is our biggest fundraiser. Please send a description of any community-related donations to Wendy Feiner and other donations to Craig Kapilow.

Hopefully you all saw the Zervas Spiritwear information that came home in your child’s folder. Go online to by February 10th and order some Zervas swag for you or your student. This is not a fundraiser, just an opportunity to show your Zervas pride. Thank you, Sera Miller, for working with EmbroiderMe-Newton and organizing the sale!

Lastly, if you can make it, please join Diana Beck at the Waban Library Center on Thursday, February 16th at 8:30am for a Principal’s Coffee. This is a great chance to hear what’s going on at Zervas and to ask Diana the questions that have been on your mind.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or a burning desire to volunteer, do not hesitate to contact us at

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jessica Davis

PTO Co-Presidents