Tiger Talk

04/23/20 -- Our Appreciation Issue

Principal Melanie Beninga Reporting In

What a year! Who could have possibly imagined the challenges that we would meet in this school year. Thank you, everyone, for your diligence in helping our Tigers with their online learning.

I know the effort and time that it takes to work from home while simultaneously assisting children with their online learning. Thank you for your participation, for reaching out to our teachers, and for your patience and understanding. I firmly believe our parents and teachers are our TRUE HEROES.

And, speaking of heroes, our teaching and support staff members may make it look easy to present daily lessons that are educational, fun, challenging, and on point, but it requires their time and a great deal of effort. I am very proud of the entire West Cypress team. They are working very diligently every day to ensure that our Tigers have the support and learning opportunities that they need in order to be successful. And, they are HAPPY to do it. We all love our Tigers, and we really are happy to do whatever it takes to ensure their successful learning, comfort, and well-being.

It's National Library Week, and West Cypress is greatly blessed to have Cathy Seidenberger at the helm of our library. She is a treasure indeed.

It's also Public School Volunteer Week, and it is difficult to find sufficient words of praise and thanksgiving to properly honor and recognize the hundreds of volunteers, mentors, and literacy partners who make West Cypress Hills such a strong and welcoming school.

With this being the week that we recognize our Administrative Professionals, I'd like to take a moment to, also, recognize and express my heartfelt appreciation to the West Cypress office administrative staff members. We are so fortunate to have Michelle Harper in charge of the front desk, Becky Wright in charge of student registration and attendance, and Donna Richardson in charge of the world.

I feel very proud to be surrounded by such gracious and hard-working staff members and to have the luxury of the support of so many wonderful volunteers and mentors. I am proud of the support of our parents and guardians who are championing the online learning on the home fronts. We are #WCHEStrong. We are #LTWorkofHeart. Thanks to all of you, WE ARE STRONG.

With warmest regards,

Melanie Beninga, Principal

Dr. Lancaster on Facebook Live 4 pm Thursday, April 23!

Dear Lake Travis ISD Staff, Parents and Guardians,

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brad Lancaster will take to Facebook Live once again where he will provide an overview on our school closure plans for the remainder of the year. He will also attempt to answer as many questions as possible during the allotted time. The event is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 23.

Please note, the video will be posted on the district's YouTube channel (ltisdschools) at the conclusion of the Facebook Live event; no account is required for viewing. As a reminder, LTISD has a dedicated webpage to keep staff, parents and the community informed on district operations and resources regarding COVID-19. Visit www.ltisdschools.org/covid19 to access latest news and information, online learning, parent tools, and community resources.


Marco Alvarado

Director of Communications, Media & Community Relations

A special message from the WCHE 1st Grade Teaching and Collaborative Team

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Mrs. Leslie Menikoff Named West Cypress Hills Mentor of the Year 2019-2020

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In the words of one of our students....

I love Mrs. Leslie. Mrs. Leslie makes up funny jokes and makes me feel comfortable to talk to her.

She always shows up on Wednesdays to play games with me, and if my feelings are hurt she will talk to me about it. She helps me think through my feelings and tough situations. She makes me feel really happy, and I like that she sees that I am fun.

When I leave her, I feel more confident. She tells me that it's OK to be me and that I am really funny and great.

I miss her a lot. I hope she finds me next year.

Mrs. Leslie Menikoff, West Cypress Hills Elementary Mentor of the Year 2019-2020

A mentor meets with a student once weekly for about 30 minutes. It may not seem like much time to the world, but to the student, these visits mean the world. Mrs. Menikoff was named by the West Cypress staff members as our campus Mentor of the Year for 2019-2020 because she had such a positive influence on our student.

She would arrive each week with new games, activities, and, occasionally, thoughtful surprises. She made our student feel welcomed, and they engaged in wonderful conversations.

Mrs. Menikoff is better known by Tigers as Mrs. Leslie. Mrs. Leslie's presence on our campus made our school a more positive place. She has a warm, positive demeanor, and impacts not only her student she mentors, but also her student's parents. The student's parents have been so touched that they have reached out to express their appreciation of Mrs. Leslie's time, compassion, and commitment to her student and the LTISD mentor program.

Thank you, Mrs. Leslie! Thank you for making West Cypress Hills a better place to be. And, congratulations on being named our Mentor of the Year. To borrow a comment from your student, we hope you find us next year!

Mrs. Amy Stine Named West Cypress Hills Volunteer of the Year 2019-2020

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The Amazing Amy

Mrs. Amy Stine has logged more volunteer hours at West Cypress Hills than any other volunteer. So far, she has logged 311 hours. Until the campus had to be closed, she was at the school building every week. She is invaluable to our school.

Mrs. Stine has organized and assisted with nearly every school-wide program we have had at West Cypress Hills Elementary. And, she has done so with compassion, humor, and commitment. Mrs. Stine serves as Secretary on the Executive Board of the West Cypress PTO, and she has frequently been referred to as the "Swiss army knife" of the PTO because she can do anything!

Mrs. Stine completely revamped the PTO website this year, a HUGE job that was time-consuming and long overdue. She is in charge of social media for the WCHE PTO, and because of her light-hearted contributions, our online community involvement has never been stronger. Amy is FUNNY, and her humor adds to our sense of community.

She assists with our APEX Fun Runs, serves as Co-Chair of the book fair every year, and organized our Mother/Son Goose Chase. She assisted with the Kindergarten Play Date, organized the Daddy/Daughter Dance, volunteered for Field Day, and spent an unbelievable amount of time planning for the Parent Mixer. She's helped with every Principal's Coffee and is an active member of our school's Campus Advisory Team.

Mrs. Stine volunteers in our school library where she helps students check in/check out library books, helps them to find that "perfect" book, and subs for other library volunteers. When our library purchased new shelving, she also helped to rearrange thousands of library books.

In her spare time, she also volunteers in our classrooms, helping teachers with decorations, classroom materials, and any other projects that need to be done. She dressed as a leprechaun to the delight of Kindergartners. She benefits our staff not only in her time contribution but in her presence. She is very patient and caring with our students even in busy situations. She is one of a kind.

Because of the difference Mrs. Amy Stine makes to our world, the staff of West Cypress Hills Elementary School named her the West Cypress Hills Elementary Volunteer of the Year. We thank you, Amy. We appreciate you and offer you our heartiest congratulations on being named Volunteer of the Year.

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PTO's Parent Mixer Auction Will Now Be an Online Auction May 15 - 21!

As you all know, we had to cancel our PTO Parent Mixer that was scheduled for the end of March. The PTO had already collected some AMAZING items from local businesses and beyond and were planning on an auction the night of the mixer. However, since we were unable to do that, our fabulous PTO is holding an online auction next month. Yay!

Proceeds from this auction will go toward the support of our students and teachers, both at WCHE and RHE.

We know this is a really weird time for all of you, but we hope to come together to raise money for a good cause. In addition, the local businesses especially need our patronage right now more than ever!

More details to come soon...

To Follow Principal Beninga on Twitter

Melanie Beninga provides info, photos, and updates via Twitter, too. If not already following Melanie Beninga in Twitter, you can follow her @principalwch and @mbeninga.