Co-Presidents Letter: October 2017

Dear Zervas Parents and Guardians,

We hope your children are enjoying the new building and playgrounds. I am tickled by the enthusiasm that the kids show in their rush to enter the building each day. I don’t remember being that excited to go to elementary school!

Speaking of enthusiasm, we are excited for our PTO General Meeting on Wednesday, October 11th at 7:00pm in the Zervas Cafetorium. We will spend the first half hour presenting the PTO’s plans for this year, including how we use PTO funds to support our school curriculum, staff, and community. Dr. Beck and members of the Special Education team will then discuss the Neighborhood Inclusion program and be available to answer questions. We hope you join us.

Destination Dinner is right around the corner on Saturday, October 14th. This is a super fun night for Zervas parents. We kick off the night with cocktails and appetizers at Alicia Collins and Tony Abbiati’s house at 6:00. 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! You don’t need to be a couple to sign up. Ask a friend to join you or come solo. Here’s the link to sign up.

The next October event that you won’t want to miss is Dynamic Diversity Night on Wednesday, October 18th at 6:15 at Zervas.  The Zervas Community Connections group runs a fun, interactive evening aimed at helping parents and students in the Zervas community get to know each other better. Pizza and homework passes will be provided!

At the end of the month is the highlight of the kids’ year! The Halloween Dance will be held on Friday, October 27th from 6:30-8:00 and will take place in the Zervas gym and cafetorium. Children and parents alike are encouraged to show up in costume. The night will involve pizza, dessert, a DJ, as well as some quieter activities.

Now onto the thank you’s!

Amy Waksler has done an amazing job of welcoming Kindergarten and New Families for as many years as I can remember! This summer and fall were no exception. She reached out to new families and organized two very well-attended playground playdates over the summer. She and Cheryl Hersh are planning the New Families pizza party on Friday, October 6th, which had to be moved from Cheryl’s house to Zervas due to the huge number of families! This is Amy’s last year at Zervas since her son Aaron is in 5th grade, so if making new folks feel welcome is something you are interested in, please let us know.

We had a huge turnout for the Fall Family picnic a few weeks ago. The ice cream truck reported handing out 602 treats! (We suspect there were a few return customers…) Heather Knapp deserves a humongous thank you for organizing the evening. Thanks also to all those parents who supported her including Christine Detjen, Tim D’Souza, Noemy Ehrlich, Wendy Feiner, Michelle Powers, Karina Rodriguez, and Sanskriti Singh.

On Sunday, September 24th, Amy Behrens organized the apple-picking trip to Carver Orchards. 35 people came out to pick apples, and they were from 10 different cultural backgrounds. How cool! Thanks, Amy, for organizing the outing.

Karen Kipman and Annie Ganot took the lead in school picture day. Great job, ladies! They were very grateful to have so many volunteers help out including Lee Blum, Karen Burzdak, Erin Grabowski, Christy Nguyen, Karina Rodriguez, Rose Starkman, Nancy Sullivan, Barbara Talvitie, Lori Unver, and Keren Ludomirski Zait.

Kindergarten Soccer, one of our largest PTO fundraisers, has 240 players this fall. Wow! A huge thank you to Merrill Barnes and Tara Karyanis for coordinating the program! It is no small task. Thanks also to Matt Feiner and Cheryl Hersh, who help coordinate everything from equipment to trophies. If you drive by Oak Hill Middle School on a Saturday morning, you will see the amazing sight of hundreds of Kindergarten soccer players having a blast.

All of your children should have brought home a bright green cloth “Chico” bag with the Zany the Zebra on the front. Next time you see Sera Miller, please thank her! She organizes our Zervas Spirit Wear as well as the gifts that make us a greener school like the water bottles last year and the Chico bags this year. We hope that your kids will use them throughout the winter for their snow pants and boots! This fall’s Spirit Wear sale will run from October 9th through the 21st. Check out the swag at this link.

Julius Starkman and Tim D’Souza have helped us ease into the school year by providing various refreshments from opening day coffee and pastries in the outdoor classroom to the savory snacks at Curriculum Night. Thank you, gentlemen!

Last but not least, Madhu Natarajan and Lorna Dunne do some incredibly important work behind the scenes to help us all stay more organized. Madhu is in charge of our Zmails, which go out twice a week, and Lorna works to produce both the online and print Zervas directory. Their jobs are often thankless, but I, for one, am very grateful.

We have two volunteer opportunities that might work well for working parents. We are looking for PR people for both Kindergarten soccer in the spring and the online auction. Email us if you want to learn more about what the roles entail.

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin

PTO Co-Presidents

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