Black Cat Bulletin

Keeping it R.E.A.L! Respect + Effort + Attitude= Leadership


From the Office.....

From Our Principal...

This sharing and giving season is my favorite time of year. It seems that minds, hearts, and eyes are opened to fantastic opportunities to lift others up, encourage one another, and collaborate to accomplish miracles. The festivities that surround this time of year lend themselves so well to learning more about each other and building community.

In our West Terrace community that is true, as well. Preparations are underway for the third grade “Season of Light” holiday program, as well as a Grandparents’ Day performance; the PTA has a Holiday Breakfast and Holiday Shoppe experience planned that promises to be great fun; and the 5th grade Band Concert is upcoming. We hope you’ll participate in these events and join in the spirit of fun and allow the children to give to you through their performances.

As a way to join the sentiment of sharing and giving, our "Leader in Me" team (called the Lighthouse Team) has met and planned a family engagement opportunity related to our “Leader in Me” process. Beginning in January, teachers will be sending a book home with 5 children a week. This book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, has a chapter about each habit and a parents’ corner at the end of each chapter. We have used this book in many classrooms, and the children love the stories. Our hope is that you will share one chapter a night as a family. You will be invited to share any commitments your family may wish to make related to the habits. These commitments will be displayed in the building. You will then return the book for another family to read the next week.

We hope you enjoy the book as much as we do, and that this helps you understand what’s behind the processes we’re teaching children here at West Terrace. Lifelong leadership and character development begins when we are children, and we know it’s important that our community be strengthened by raising children ready to enter the work force or college ready in academic ways, as well as having strong character and habits. It is our hope that this gift to our community is one that keeps giving and giving.

I hope the light and grace of this season blesses each of you and allows you to experience the true joy of community, love, and giving.


Katie White

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From Our Principal Intern

Welcome—This month I am moving away from the child development themes of my usual newsletter column. Most of you know that I’m a member of the Seneca tribe out of western NY. I was nosing around on the Seneca Nation of Indians website and came across the aim of their education department:

“The Seneca Nation of Indian's Department of Education philosophy is that education is a life-long, empowering learning process which begins with the individual, and is multi-cultural, multi-generational, and respectful of physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual wellness. The department recognizes that each individual is at a different place in life's journey and we will work with them to move them forward toward their goals.”

For some reason, this statement made me appreciate our West Terrace community even more than I do. I can name several examples of how our families create a community that follows the Seneca philosophy. This morning we have a new substitute that hasn’t set foot in West Terrace for 20 years. She was happy and proud to announce, “My granddaughter went here!” How much more multi-generational than this? Bravo to all of our Black Cat families of past, present and to our future Black Cats. Blessings to you for your life’s journey into the new-year.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Mr. White

From Our Counselor...

Raise a generous child

Whether your child is making a gift for a grandparent or putting together a care package, he is learning to give to others. Use these suggestions to nurture his generosity.

The gift of time

Being generous doesn’t have to cost money. Encourage your youngster to take a little extra time to do things for others. For example, he could handle a chore for a sibling who has a big test the next day. Or he might organize and lead games for younger cousins at a family gathering. ♥

A “wish list” for others

Does your child list gifts he hopes to receive? Let him make a list for others, too. He could write down presents he would like to make or buy for relatives and friends. Have him carefully consider what each person might want (“Grandma loves to hear me play piano, so I’ll make her a video of me playing her favorite songs”). This can help him discover how good it feels to give. ♥

My special cause

Your youngster may feel more eager to give to a cause that is personally meaningful to him. For instance, if you have a relative in the military, he could help you put together care packages for troops. Or if he loves animals, he might gather towels and blankets and donate them to a shelter. Tip: Help your child see himself as a giving person by pointing out his generosity. (“It was generous of you to offer your brother your last slice of pizza.”)♥

April Coughlin

School Counselor

Outdoor recess unless it's below 32 degrees

Please be sure to send your child in appropriate outer wear (coats, gloves, hats, etc...) so that they can enjoy outdoor recess when the weather permits. We will send students outside on days the temperature (with wind chill consideration) is above 32.

Very Special Events

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:


Grade 5 Band Concert @Perry Heights MS; December 7 - 6:30 p.m.

Grade 3 & Choir Winter Program; December 17 - 8:50 a.m. Grandparents & VIP's; 6:30 p.m. Friends & Family

Grade 3 & Choir Winter Program; December 18 - 9:00 a.m. all school assembly

Field Trips/Study Trips:

Limo Ride & Party for Top Sellers, Paragon Fundraiser December 7 8:15-10:15 a.m.

Nutcracker Performance, Victory Theater, December 11 Grades 2 & 3, 8:30-11:30

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Grade 2 - Friday, December 4

Grade 1 - Monday, December 7

Grade 5 - Friday, December 11

Classroom Parties

Grade 1 - December 18, 1:00-2:00

Grade 4 - December 21, 1:30-2:30

Grade 3 - January 15, 1:30-2:30

End of First Semester/Last Day of School for 2015

December 22

First Day of 2016 School Year

January 4

School Picture Retake Day

December 4 - 8:30-9:30 - WT Gym

If you missed our first picture day, or need a retake, remember to wear your prettiest smile on December 4!

West Terrace Spelling Bee

Our school spelling bee took place on November 24, and was a great success! We are so proud of each and every one of our spellers! It was clear they were well prepared, and all did a great job! 4th and 5th grade homerooms were represented by their classroom winners. They were as follows:

4th Grade

Mrs. Cheski’s Class: EmmaKate Goodwin and Scout Hobgood

Mrs. DeWeese’s Class: Elliott Corressell and Fletcher Osborne

Mrs. Southworth’s Class: Grace Masterson and Tasneem Mohammed

Mrs. Stine’s Class: Emma DeVoy and Ty Wilzbacher

5th Grade

Mrs. Nance’s Class: Madison Strickland and Isaac Higgs

Mrs. Paul’s Class: Ashley Fetscher and Bailey Robinson

Mrs. Schefer’s Class: Taylor Johnson and Breanna Brooks

Ms. Slagle’s Class: Maggie Fuelling and Matilda Wininger

Congratulations to Maggie Fuelling, our West Terrace school spelling bee winner, and Breanna Brooks, our alternate! Best of luck in the city spelling bee!

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The Leader in Me Overview

In past newsletters, we’ve shared our PBIS process with you. We are “Keeping it R.E.A.L. while learning, leading and loving life.” Another important process we are using to teach children not only academically, but socially and behaviorally, as well, is the Leader in Me process.

We are unified as a staff behind the principles that Leader in Me teaches which helps us live better lives, and that we use to teach and learn together with our students and our community.

I wanted to take a moment to share the “big ideas,” the important attributes, and the foundation of the Leader in Me process.

Most importantly, instead of seeing children through the lens of a normal distribution curve—some kids are naturally smart and others are not—The Leader in Me paradigm sees that every child is capable, every child is a leader. This paradigm changes everything. We at West Terrace believe this to be true, and are working to show your children their gifts in a variety of ways.

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness. Distinct in several ways, The Leader in Me:

• Starts from a powerful premise—that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. This premise shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child.

• Integrates leadership development into existing school programs, curricula, and traditions. More than a program, The Leader in Me serves as a foundational operating system for the school, helping to improve relationships, transform culture, and highly motivate staff members and students.

• Helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life. In short, The Leader in Me helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond.

• Impacts all stakeholders, starting first with the staff of a school, then expanding to students, their families, and the community at large. This Inside-Out Approach is a key ingredient to successfully creating positive change in a school.

The Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are common to all people and cultures.

The Leader in Me includes training on establishing a vision for the school, goal setting, data tracking, and personal-accountability systems and is aligned with best-in-class content and concepts practiced by global education thought leaders. The Leader in Me provides a logical, sequential, and balanced process to help schools proactively design a culture that reflects their vision of their ideal school. This shared leadership increases engagement and enables students, staff, and families to be self-confident and self-reliant, work effectively with others, and make meaningful contributions.

The Leader in Me differs from other whole-school transformation processes in that it offers a holistic, schoolwide experience for staff, students, and parents, and creates a common language and culture within the school. The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as a curriculum, but instead are incorporated into coursework, traditions, systems, and culture.

Important Policies, News, and Information

Student Leadership Council Coat Drive

December 10 - December 18

Gently used coats will be collected in the boxes designated in the office. The collection ends December 18, at which time Don's Cleaners will pick up the coats and clean them for distribution.

Special THANKS for all the donations received for the canned food and toothpaste drive. 533 Tubes of toothpaste were donated to Hangers; and 144 cans of yams and 329 cans of corn went to the Tri-State Food Bank. Your generous donations and support are greatly appreciated.

Safety of Walkers

Our WT policy regarding safety patrol is as follows. Parents of walkers need to be familiar with this information for the well-being of their children:

  • Safety Patrol will be on duty school days from 7:50-8:05 a.m. and 3:12-3:20 p.m.
  • Exceptions will be: Temperature - when the temp or wind chill is below freezing 32 degrees or lower - there will be no safety patrol guards on duty.
  • Lightning - when streak lightning is observed, safety patrol guards will not be on duty. If lightning is observed while guards are at their post, they will immediately come back into the school.
  • On days that fall into these categories, it is the RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS TO PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY of their children to and from school. On these days, it would be best for students to be driven to/from West Terrace.

Request from the Media Center

When families are cleaning out their books - especially low level chapter books - and have no family/friend to pass hand-me-down books, please consider donating to the WT Library. Gently-used elementary books are always appreciated.


The debut season of The SPARK Project at West Terrace has been filled with new and exciting experiences – graduating from plucking to learning to pull the bow, experiencing the playing of a world-class vioiinist, and playing our first performances. No matter the challenge or event, the young violinists and cellists of The SPARK Project have met them with the professionalism of their much older counterparts.

On October 12th, many of our SPARK students experienced the breath-taking musical genius of Joshua Bell, one of the world’s finest violinists. Mr. Bell was in town for just one day to perform with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. EVSC was able to procure several tickets to the performance for our young violinists. Many of our students were able to meet him during the intermission of the concert – he signed countless autographs and even took the time to have his picture taking with our students before dashing off to the airport. Many thanks to our superintendent, Dr. David Smith, and our Director of Fine Arts, Mr. Dwight Emmert, for providing our kids with this once in a lifetime experience.

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On Friday, October 30th, the “sparklers” made their performance debut in a Halloween performance for the West Terrace kindergarten students. All 140 of us (SPARK students and kindergarten students) squeezed into the commons area outside the kindergarten rooms for an afternoon of “spooktacular” fun. We couldn’t have asked for a more appreciative audience for our first performing experience. We hope they had as much fun as we did. Thank you to the kindergarten faculty and staff for filling our first concert with smiles and warm applause.

Next on our performance schedule is the 3rd grade concert on December 17th at 6:30 pm in the West Terrace gym. The concert will feature the entire 3rd grade class presenting “A Season of Light”, the West Terrace Choir, and the violinists and cellists of The SPARK Project. The performance will be repeated on Friday morning, December 18th at 8:50 am for grandparents and the students of West Terrace.

Next semester, the students of the SPARK Project have been asked to perform for the EVSC school board during a board meeting of our choosing. After the holiday vacation, we will begin rehearsing for this very important performance. Dr. Smith has also invited the students of the SPARK Project to perform for the State of our Schools address to the Rotary Club this May. In between, we will be preparing for our Spring Recital, during which our students will be given the opportunity to perform as soloists, as well as with the full ensemble.

West Terrace App!

West Terrace has a new app to use and it is a wonderful tool to help you stay connected to our school. You have information and events at school at your fingertips! Just search "West Terrace" on iTunes App store, or Google Play and the app pops up. It is FREE!

Report student absences, connect to RDS Parent Access, see school menus and make mealpayments via SchoolPay, all issues of Black Cat Bulletins, connect to PTA's facebook, photo gallery, and much more...

Helpful Resources:

Volunteering in our Schools

If you plan on volunteering in the classroom, on field trips, field day, etc. please make sure to go online and complete a volunteer application for this school year.

  1. Go to
  2. Hover over the Parent tab and click on Volunteer in our Schools
  3. Click on Volunteer Application Form Link
  4. Fill out the form and hit submit at the bottom of the page


Co-Presidents: April Curl and Ryan Reynolds

Co-Vice Presidents: Sandi Davis and Christine Hamilton

Secretary: Sommer Schippert

Treasurer: Kerri Schu

2015-16 Meetings

January 5, 3:30 PM

March 1, 6:00 PM

May 3, 3:30 PM


Calendar on our website: evscschools/

This link connects you to the newest calendar (and our website). This will be updated daily throughout the year. Check back often!

Visiting Artist - Jewell Parker Rhodes

Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes will share her stories with families on December 14, 6:30 p.m. at the Victory Theater.. Author of books for both adults and children, this will be a free event for the entire family. Books Ms Rhodes has written include Moon, Sugar, Yellow Moon, Ninth Ward and Bayou Magic.



Tara Kolb, rm 32

Wendy Brunson, rm 30

Lisa Gooch, rm 33

Angela Hayes, rm 34

First Grade

Amanda Woods, rm 1

Brooke Corressell, rm 3

Mallorie Roberts, rm 6

Acacia Peak, rm 5

Second Grade

Vera Emmons, rm 9

Carie Kingery, rm 10

Trisha Kavanaugh, rm 15

Amy Nau, rm 12

Michael Goad, rm 17

Third Grade

Janette Allen, rm 11/ Emily Gogel, rm 16

Robin Bass, rm 19/ Denise Strawn, rm 18

Fourth Grade

Shelly DeWeese, rm 22/ Lindsey Stine, rm 29

Jennifer Cheski, rm 24/Amanda Southworth, rm 23

Fifth Grade

Trish Slagle, rm 26/Nicole Paul, rm 27

Renee Smigel, rm 28/Simone Nance, rm 25

Special Ed


Jennifer Bennett, rm 4

Leeann Butrum, rm 2


Renee Jackson, rm 14

Shelley Patton, rm 21

Amanda Ritzert, media center


Susan Kemper, Art, rm 8

Anne Woodruff, Music, rm 7

Peggy Belanger, Gym

Nadine Risley, Technology


Katie White, Principal

Robert White, Principal Intern

April Coughlin, Counselor

Christine Hamilton, Nurse

Peggy Jewell, Media Aide

EVSC Calendar 2015-16

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West Terrace Elementary School

Katie White, principal

8000 West Terrace Drive

Evansville, IN 47712

FAX (812) 435-8869