Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 26, Issue 38, May 29, 2019

From the Editor

I was going to come up with some hilarious analogy for how fast time flies, but for that very reason, I’ll get right to the point.

This last (!) newsletter of the year has a crazy amount of stuff, but all of it is important, so please read on for:

  • Note from the PFC President

  • 5th Grade Gift to Thornhill

  • Lost & Found - all given away on Thursday (tomorrow!)

  • Register for School for Next Year!!!

  • Box Tops - last chance

  • TK/K Summer Playdates

  • PFC Positions - we need you for next year!

  • End of Year Green Team update

  • End of Year Gardening update

  • Shop & Earn all Summer

  • Volunteer Survey - last chance

  • Read-a-thon Thank Yous

It’s been a pleasure, and I’ll see you back here in August!


[Quick note from Erin Proudfoot, VP of Communications - THANK YOU to Evie Nagy, our absolutely fabulous newsletter editor. Every week, without fail, she has put together this monstrosity for all of us to stay involved and informed at our wonderful school. I couldn't be more excited that she wants to do it all again next year! Cheers to Evie! -Erin ]


From the PFC President

By now, I am sure that there are a few things all of you have come to learn about me. I am such a fan of Hawaii that I sign these missives with "Mahalo," the Hawaiian word for "Thank you." And while they break my heart more often than not, I remain a diehard (and long-suffering) fan of my hometown Seattle Mariners. When I become loyal to something, or someone, I remain loyal for the long haul.

So when, as a boy, I learned about Abraham Lincoln, my path was set. And to this day, I am an unashamed worshipper of Lincoln. Lincoln said a lot of things for which he is revered. Everyone knows at least the first line of the Gettysburg Address ("Four score and seven years ago...”), and Lincoln's Second Inaugural appeal to "The better angels of our nature" remains one of the most poignant presidential pleas of all time.

But what I am thinking about today is what Lincoln, in his First Inaugural, called, "The mystic chords of memory," a phrase that I think refers to those ties that bind us together in ways that may be hard to describe, but have a hold on our emotions in ways that no other things do.

We are finishing what has been a very eventful school year at Thornhill. I hope that all of us, both those who will return to our school and those that are moving on, will feel those mystic chords of memory that tie us to the times, experiences and people that we chose to remember the best.

As always...Mahalo,

Rex Crum


THANK YOU to the 5th Grade Class for Their Gift to Thornhill!

The 5th grade gift this year is plastic bins for each classroom, decorated by the 5th graders. The bins are labeled with room numbers and teacher names and they are intended to be taken outside whenever that class goes outside to play. If the kids get in the habit of putting their jackets in the bin when they get hot, then all clothes will make it back to the classroom (and lost and found will no longer be a department store!). What a thoughtful, useful, and creative gift to their younger friends!

Big picture


Lost & Found - Away It Goes!

Everything will be given away on the last day of school tomorrow - Thursday, May 30th. The stands are located outside the west entrance of the multi-purpose room. Go get your stuff!


Register your kid(s) for Thornhill Next Year

We need to know if you kid(s) are coming to Thornhill next year! Don't miss your spot.

Sign into your SchoolMint account, confirm they are returning, and then “re-enroll.” Thornhill is continuously being informed about who has completed the registration packet. Once all is complete, you are done with all the forms for next school year.

When the office staff returns in the fall, your classroom assignments will be e-mailed to you. Please do not call the office for this information. Remember that no assignment will be given until all registration forms are filled out.

If your child is a current OUSD student, the district has already created an account for you! Your username is the email address or phone number that your child's school has on file. If you need help, please use the "Forgot username?" and "Forgot password?" Again the website is here.


Sherry Kaetzel, Secretary


Shop & Earn: Box Tops

Last call for Box Tops! If you've been saving them up all year and want to clean out that drawer before summer, please drop off your Box Tops in the little blue box near the teacher mailboxes in the office. They will be collected after morning drop-off on the last day of school. They'll all be counted and each one is 10 cents -- they add up fast! Thanks for your support.


TK/K Summer Playdates

Please join us over the summer for TK and Kindergarten playdates at Thornhill. These casual weekend morning playdates held at Thornhill's play structure are a great way for incoming Thornhill kids to check out their new schoolyard, meet their future classmates, and connect with fellow Thornhill families.

Playdates for incoming 2019-2020 TK/K students will be held on the following dates:

  • Saturday, June 8th from 10am-Noon

  • Saturday, July 13th from 10am-Noon

  • Friday, August 9th from 4-5pm (right after Meet the Teacher)

We hope to see you there to welcome our new families!

Catrina Vrankovich & Tatum Maggio

TK/K Co-Chairs


We Still Have Open PFC Positions…

We still have open PFC positions that really need parent volunteers. Step up and take on a role and make it your own!

Executive Committee - read the job descriptions here. Your dedication to Thornhill is sincerely appreciated!

  • Co-President: Give back in the biggest way by steering the PFC along with co-president Rex Crum.

  • Fundraising Vice President: Steer all of our fundraising activities.

  • Personnel Vice President: Along with the Ed Fund, be the liaison for our PFC employees.

Board Members - read the job descriptions here.

  • Auction Co-Chairs: Runs our biggest fundraiser of the year and make it your own!

  • Grants & Solicitations: Seeks grants that will benefit our school.

  • Hospitality Co-Chairs: Coordinates the Back-to-School Coffee and Teacher Appreciation Day Luncheon along with any other fun stuff you want to do!

  • Konstella: Love organizing, calendaring, and having admin access? Work with the VP of Communications (Erin Proudfoot) to keep things running smoothly.

  • Parliamentarian: Master of the bylaws!

  • Spring Carnival: What’s more fun than a carnival?

  • Walkathon: With the help of a new company running the major logistics, organize our fall fundraiser.


Super Green!!

A huge thank you to all of you for making significant progress in the world of Sustainability this year!


1. Our students and staff upped their sorting skills!

2. Our event leaders included environmentally conscious planning and execution (an extra thanks to Pam Schwartz, Bonnie Forbes and Rudy Gonzalez for these efforts!).

3. Our school recycled sooooo many magic markers via the ColorCycle program (woot woot Catrina Vrankovich and Ema Jitsukawa)!

4. Our garden program, run by the amazing Alexis Levine-Moore, ran strong and beautifully the entire year!

5. Our school-wide litter seems to be decreasing a bit each year...wrapper by wrapper.

2019-2020 excitements:


2. Student Council Green Team Members Laurna and Phenix are in it to win it! They have wonderful sustainability ideas - and we will work together to support them in their student leadership!

3. TerraCycle - we will be adding new sorting boxes in 2-3 locations for kiddos to put their bar wrappers! YES!

4. Electronic Waste collection. Whatever electronics you can't rid of in your next garage sale and you want to dump, please hold onto until our Electronic Waste event in the Fall of 2019.

Thornhill is upping our Green Team game and we would love for you join in!

Your PFC Sustainability Chair,

Elyse SG Bart

(Mama of Eli Bart 2nd Grade)


And the Grand ColorCycle Total Is...

Last week we collected 27 LBS of dried markers from our ColorCycle collection bins. The grand total that has been recycled for the 2018-19 school year is...86 LBS!

The markers will be shipped to a facility to where they will be converted into clean fuel. This fuel can be used to power vehicles, heat homes, cook meals all while keeping tons of plastic out of landfills each year. We'll be continuing the program next year too.

Thank you so much for your mindfulness in reducing waste in our landfills, our Earth appreciates you!


Catrina Vrankovich

Green Team Member


End of School Year Garden Update

The Kindergarten through 2nd graders have been enjoying harvesting lots of veggies from our winter crops, preparing the soil and planting new crops to grow over the summer. We have been harvesting kale, fava beans, lettuce, carrots, beets, bok choi, and other winter veggies and harvesting the nutrient-rich soil out of our compost bin. The kids are enjoying our last batch of kale chips (one of the favorites for many of them), and have requested that I share the kale chip recipe so you can make it with them at home. It's a great way to get them to eat lots of healthy green vegetables--yes, most of our kids actually like vegetables when they come straight from the garden.

Kale Chip Recipe:

Wash kale, remove stems and break into small (~2" diameter) pieces. Let kale drip dry or use spinner to get water off. Put kale in large bowl with a little bit of olive oil and salt (just enough to coat the kale). Place on baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for approximately 2 hours or until crisp.

The kids have been planting corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, zuchinni, pumpkins, sunflowers, melons and lots of other yummy summer veggies and fruits that will be ready when we come back to school.

I am looking for a few volunteers to help with watering as needed during the summer. If you are interested, please send a email to

It has been a huge pleasure doing gardening with your kids this year!! Hope you all have a great summer!

"Miss Alexis"


Shop & Earn All Summer

Whether you are stocking up on summer items or hunting for deals on Prime Day, you can help us earn referral fees for Thornhill while purchasing on Amazon—it's easy and doesn't cost you anything! Please visit our Shop & Earn page for details and update your bookmarks to our new special referral link.


Last chance… Volunteer Survey

The PFC is very interested in the ways you volunteer for Thornhill, why you do so, and suggestions you might have.

Please fill out this 5-minute Thornhill Volunteer Survey here.


Thank You Read-A-Thon Sponsors

The Read-A-Thon is a big effort with lots of volunteer and staff hours, all dedicated to promoting literacy and reinforce the love of reading with our kids, and raising important funds for our school library. Thanks to these generous sponsors for donating treats to help encourage our little readers!


Homeroom for the mac & cheese lunch party for Ms. Van Ostrand’s 3rd grade with 100% participation!

Flavor Brigade for donating an entire bucket of blue raspberry Italian ice to celebrate our top 50 readers (either in minutes read or fundraising dollars raised). See pics below!

Extreme Pizza donated an extra-large cheese pizza for the Pizza Party in Ms. Holman's rockstar fundraising first grade class.

Sabor Mexicano, Cancun for buckets of chips and salsa for the Pictures & Pajamas with Matt Heroux and Wednesday Kirwan.

Lucky's Montclair for a whole bunch of refreshments for the Pictures & Pajamas with Matt Heroux and Wednesday Kirwan.

Safeway on College Ave for the donuts at the Coffee Talk with Judd Winick.

Starbucks in Montclair for the coffee at the Coffee Talk with Judd Winick.

Mrs. Dalloways on College Ave for donating back 20 percent of the book sales from the Coffee Talk with Judd Winick.



The website always has the latest calendar information, and here's what's coming up!

    • Thursday, May 30: Last Day of School (minimum day)

    • Saturday, June 8: TK/K Playdate (10am-12pm)

    • Saturday, July 13: TK/K Playdate (10am-12pm)

    • Friday, August 9: TK/K Meet the Teacher and Playdate (3:30-5pm)

    • and... Monday, August 12: First Day of School! :)

Be sure also to download the OUSD District calendar here and subscribe to our Google calendar here.


About the Thornhill Newsletter

The Thornhill Parent-Faculty Club (PFC) eNews team publishes this weekly newsletter each Tuesday in the school year to communicate school, PFC and OUSD news, events and information.

Email submissions to our Newsletter Chair, Evie Nagy, at by 3 p.m. Thursday for approval—fine to include text in the body of the email with links and no formatting, and attach photos preferably as 150 x 150, 72 dpi JPG or GIFs only (not embedded in email or word file). Submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, brevity and clarity. Advertising and items not related to Thornhill are not accepted.

THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Erin Proudfoot, PFC President Rex Crum, and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).