December Co-President’s Newsletter

Dear Zervas Families:

November was another busy month, and we enjoyed kicking off the Thanksgiving holiday with our second official 5K Turkey Trot.  Thank you to all of the parents and students who participated, and a special thank you to Priya Wagner for all of the energy and enthusiasm that she put into bringing our community together and raising money for the Newton Food Pantry.  We also appreciate the hard work of our many volunteers, including Caterina Betancourt, Drew Wagner, Mary Hoppe, Madhu Natarajan, Lorna Dunne, Liz Beckett, Carla Brigham, Erika Pond, Kathleen Kensela, Clare Monnier, Tiffany Houel, Hilkka Saastamoinen, James Lee, Julie Goetzler, Jen Harter, Edie Knight, Brinda Tahiliani, Tamiko Wagner, Lauren Morris, Kristin Knuuttila, Mark Scott, Tony Abbiati, Gavin Abbiati, Erin Grabowski, Jillian Queen, Ken Mignone and the Zervas Girls Scouts.

Decorating our Zervas Thanksgiving turkey with homemade feathers was another great way in which we got ready for the holiday.  Thank you to Jenn Martin and Sandy Sloane for designing and helping the kids decorate the turkey as part of our third annual  Thanksgiving Walk to School Day.  We’d also like to thank Peter Malagodi for organizing our Variety Shows and Annie Ganot for managing our Photo Days.

The students also enjoyed several special classroom activities in November coordinated by our Creative Arts and Sciences Committee, including the bee lady who presented to the first graders and a presentation on earthquakes and volcanoes to the fourth grade.  Many more special activities are planned for 2016, including a springtime visit from civil rights activist Ruby Bridges and a multi-cultural family dinner to celebrate our diversity.  Thank you to CASC co-chairs Maggie Schmidt and Liz Beckett, as well as committee members Will Joyner and Katie Davenport, for bringing us such wonderful programming.

This month, we have and will continue to honor our staff at several appreciation activities, including a luncheon in honor of Inclusive Schools Week and a Cookie Swap tomorrow, Dec 8th and a Staff Holiday Luncheon on December 21.  Thanks to everyone who donated cookies.  And special thank yous to Bindiya Stancampiano for coordinating all of our staff appreciation efforts and to our treasurer, Sandy Sloane, for the countless hours that she has spent managing our income and expenses and keeping everything running smoothly behind the scenes.

Don’t forget to participate in our Library Gift Book Sale through December 15.  Donating a book in honor of a teacher is a great way to honor our staff during the holiday season and we are able to purchase books online for the first time this year through this link: Also, please don’t forget to use Amazon Smile and select Zervas as your charitable organization for your online holiday shopping, and if you are looking to round out any end-of-year charitable donations, it’s never too late to contribute your PTO Dues by leaving a check in the front office.

Start thinking about Hawaiian print shirts and dresses and leis even if your winter travel plans don’t include any warm-weather travel because this year’s Zervas Auction theme will be “Zervas at CAR(R)ibbean” (tropical gear completely optional).  Mark Saturday, April 9 on your calendar for our largest fundraiser of the year.  Our committee will start planning the tropical food and drinks and decorations and brainstorm new solicitation ideas in early January, so please email Jessica now at if you’d like to be involved in any way.

Finally, we are brainstorming alternative ideas for our annual Spring Fair given that we will be at Carr in May and do not currently have any chairs to organize a fair.  Please let us know if you have any ideas and/or are interested in helping out.

We wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday season.


Jessica & Lori
PTO Co-Presidents

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