Black Cat Bulletin

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

September 2018

From Our Principal...

Welcome back, and welcome new staff!

What a marvelous beginning to our school year. We have welcomed many new staff and have new faces in new positions this year, and we couldn't be more thrilled or proud of our Black Cat family! Look through our staff list below to see a quick listing of our new staff, and watch the newsletter for the opportunity for them to introduce themselves to you. This month, we begin with our new office staff--Mrs. Denise Strawn in the position of principal intern, and Ms. Johanna Druen in the position of counselor.

Your PTA board and mission

Our wonderful PTA has an all-new board, and board structure this year, too. We are sharing a theme of Building Bridges, so watch for all of the ways that we can come together to do just that: bridge the gap on learning, friendships, community involvement, social skills, and so much more. See a gap? Help us bridge it!! One way you can do that is to join PTA--even if you can't attend a meeting or work on a committee, the membership itself helps our PTA. Your dues help us do some of the work we do for children right here at WT, and also helps at the state level in advocacy for children. Look at the article below for the wonderful way that PTA funded a mural project for last year's 1st graders. They do SO much! Won't you help by sending in your membership?

School Improvement Plan

We are currently designing this year's School Improvement Plan that will help us address strategies to increase your children's skill, achievement, and growth. We are looking forward to seeing how we did with last year's goals (gathering evidence of student learning throughout a lesson, and using collaborative instructional practices to increase student engagement in content) and whether we were able to bridge the growth or achievement gap through the lens of our state testing (ISTEP+ last year--ILEARN this year). We also look at our NWEA scores as a measure of student achievement and growth, and of our effectiveness in the classroom. Students take NWEA three times a year, and the first testing window is well under way. Look for reports on how your child is doing throughout the year.

Last year's SIP and this year's benefit

In order to address last year's SIP, many teachers attended professional development (PD) over the summer to increase their skill in planning and implementation of structures, rigorous instruction, reading strategies, math skills and process, and other areas. Ask your child each day about the opportunities they had to work with other children, show what they knew, or process their learning. It's an amazing, eye-opening experience for the WT admin team to step into classrooms and watch your children's teachers increase their own skill and in so doing, expand their students' awareness and performance. It's going to be a fabulous year if these first weeks are any indication of our path to success.

Look for the Good campaign to begin soon--student leaders needed

Finally, we received a grant and private funding to implement the Look for the Good campaign (click the link to the left for a short video explaining the campaign and/or click here for a longer video). We will begin this soon, and look forward to watching all of the ways that gratitude makes a difference in the lives of our students, families and our staff. We will need a few student leaders and will be reaching out to some who have been recommended soon. If you think your child would like to be on this team, please reach out to Katie White.

What is it that makes YOU feel most grateful? I include your children, their hugs, smiles, and persistence to meet their goals among my favorite things for which I am grateful in my daily work. Having a loving and supportive family, specifically my husband and my children, and being inspired through their persistence and compassion are among the things for which I am most grateful in my personal life. I'll use these as motivations to keep aiming high for your children and for mine!

Aiming high and building strong bridges,

Katie White


From the Principal Intern

Dear West Terrace Family,

Welcome back to what is going to be a WONDERFUL 2018-2019 school year! I am thrilled to report that I am the new principal intern for West Terrace. Many of you know me from my position as a third grade teacher for 6 years here at WT. Or some of you may know me as a parent, as both my children, Connor (13) and Emma (16) are former Black Cats.

Last year I completed my 20th year of teaching, as I was also a middle school science teacher at Glenwood and 3rd grade teacher at Highland Elementary for several years.

I look forward to using my experience, expertise, and love for the WT community to collaborate with Mrs. White and provide a nurturing, safe, and challenging environment for your child.

Please know my door is open, and that I’m happy to help in any way possible.


Denise Strawn

Strawn's Self-Regulation

How Can We Help Kids with Self Regulation?

As parents, you have probably witnessed a tantrum or two, especially when your child was a toddler. However, as your child becomes school age and even into adolescence, you may notice that any child may need support with self-regulation.

What is self-regulation?

Self-regulation is:

  • the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes:

    • being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli,

    • to calm yourself down when you get upset,

    • to adjust to a change in expectations and to handle frustration without an outburst.

How do we teach self-regulation skills?

  • Approach self-regulation skills in the same way we approach other skills, academic or social: isolate that skill and provide practice

  • “When you think of it as a skill to be taught — rather than, say, just bad behavior — it changes the tone and content of the feedback you give kids. ”

  • Don’t avoid situations that are difficult for kids to handle. Instead coach kids through them and provide a supportive framework — clinicians call it “scaffolding” the behavior you want to encourage — until they can handle these challenges on their own.



  • Avoid hovering too much and risk taking over the regulation role.

  • Scaffold by helping the child with one problem, and then expecting him to try the rest.

  • If he feels frustrated, he might get up and get a drink.

  • He might use a timer to give himself periodic breaks. The parent would check in on him at intervals, and offer praise for his efforts.


  • Scaffolding by practicing transitioning away from the game. “You’d want to practice with a game in which he’s not overly invested — you don’t want to begin with high-stakes,”

  • Have him practice playing for two or three minutes and then handing you the game. He gets points towards something he wants every time he does it.”

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Counselor's Corner

Hello, West Terrace Families! My name is Johanna Druen, and I joined the school family on August 10th as the new counselor! I can’t tell you how excited I am to join the Black Cat team to work with your children. I want to tell you a little about myself and what’s already been happening in my office.

I grew up in Kentucky, but moved permanently to Evansville in 2007. My children went to Daniel Wertz Elementary, Perry Heights Middle School, Helfrich Park Middle School, and then, of course, Reitz High School, so I am familiar with the strong traditions of the West Side. I earned my bachelor’s degree at the University of Evansville in Secondary English Education and my master’s degree in guidance counseling from Western Kentucky University. I have taught English in grades 6-12 here in the EVSC as well as in Kentucky, as well as college composition and gender studies classes at USI. Most recently, I worked as a family counselor and a behavior clinician for Ireland Home Based Services prior to starting at West Terrace. I am thrilled to be able to use my many years of teaching and counseling students and families into practice here with your children.

As part of my counseling program, I have already spoken with several of your students about personal concerns, family issues, and classmate struggles. I initiated a Hot Pass for the teachers to use with students who feel the need to come to my office for a safe place to calm down when they become angry, overstimulated, or overwhelmed. This has already successfully averted several discipline problems and given kids a chance to talk it out and brainstorm ways to avoid boiling over the next time.

I have also met with the 5th grade to implement the EVSC’s new guidance curriculum with a focus on career exploration. We have also talked school wide about saying hello, taking deep breaths to calm down, and keeping our hands to ourselves. Ask your kids about the Hello Song from our morning meeting!

In September, I will begin sending home permission slips for students to participate in short-term small group sessions focused on impulse control, anxiety, depression, and dealing with divorce. As the school’s overall plan for success for each student, these groups will serve as a way to support students with specific strategies they can use to maneuver through some difficult topics so that they can better focus on learning in the classroom.

I will also begin presenting a monthly parent workshop based on your interests. Please help me meet your needs by completing THIS SURVEY. It is anonymous and will tell me what topics you are interested in.

The Backpack program sponsored by Tri-State Food Bank will start in September as soon as I can get volunteers to go pick up the bags of food and deliver them to the school. If you can help me out, please send me an email! You will need to have the standard background check for participating in school functions. The bags will need to be picked up on Thursday afternoons or Friday mornings and delivered to the school by Friday at noon.

If you need or want to talk to me, you can call or email. My extension is 88734, and my email is If you would like to meet in person, please contact me and we will set up a time. I look forward to working with you!

Fundraising: Paragon Promotions fundraiser closes September 4

Our Paragon Fundraiser is under way. This is our ONLY sales fundraiser and we ask you to consider purchasing one item or more, or donating without selling. If you choose to donate and not sell, your child will qualify for prizes just like those who sell.

  • Paragon has an amazing product selection--ask our teachers about the pizzas they provided to a recent staff meeting.
  • I can personally vouch for the cookie dough--I keep tubs of it in my freezer at all times and bake a batch when I have company or just for a treat for my own children. They love it, too!
  • The wrapping paper is nice quality and we use it every year, too. You might consider donating a roll of the wrapping paper to a local charity who helps purchase gifts at the holidays and wraps them for needy children.

If sales is not your preference, we will also be doing the 14 Days of Giving Campaign in February. This fundraiser is not a sales fundraiser. We invite families to do random acts of kindness, donate to the school, and our staff gives back in kind. These fundraisers helps us do all of the amazing things we've done and are going to be doing this year, help us provide training for teachers to improve their skill, funds the addition of playground materials, classroom materials, and support our teachers and our school.

Two major goals we have are to increase the number of security cameras in our hallways and on our playground, and to fund technology in our classrooms, especially our lower grades. We have a goal of providing each classroom a set of iPads or notebooks and your participation in these fundraisers can help us reach that goal quicker.

This year, we are using our Dance fundraiser profits and our Paragon/14 Days profit to purchase IXL for every student at WT. IXL brings an exciting opportunity to stretch our students' skill no matter where they are performing. Navigate to this link to investigate IXL.

Every little penny counts, and we thank you for your support of our school, our teachers, and our students!

Katie White

School Pictures

September 11th

Library Makeover--Please Help Us By Completing a Survey

First, beautiful murals. What's next? We're glad you asked!!

We have heard the call, and this year the PTA facilities committee would like to take on the job of updating the look and feel of our library. Many students, parents and teachers have asked to have more color, interest and new furniture in the library. We are listening and would like to extend an invitation for you to complete a survey for your chance to share your own ideas on how we can make this space more inviting and enjoyable for the students. The survey will close on 9-10-18. Please sit down with your child and answer the questions as a family. This is your opportunity to lend your voice and ideas to this project. Thank you so much for helping us continue to improve our children's school experience!

We need your ideas, your voice, and the voices of your children! How would you like to see the library grow and change? Please click here to take a survey with your children about how they'd (and you'd) like to see it changed.

Please complete the survey by Monday of next week, 9-10-18.

Our first art installation--first graders' gift to WT 2017-18

Your PTA dollars at work:

Last Spring our sweet first grade students painted these BEAUTIFUL murals with Snickerdoodle Art. These murals are displayed in the library now and add a perfect touch of positive messages and bright cheerful colors! Great job WT students and special thanks to Snickerdoodle and the creative PTA (parents and teachers!) team that made this happen! PTA funded this event through their fundraisers and your membership. Won't you join today so that we can continue this BEAUTIFUL work, building bridges of beauty in our school?

Celebrity Scoop Night

Come see Mrs. White, Mrs. Strawn, and other west side celebrities on September 13th from 4 – 4:30pm at Baskin Robbins 848 S. Green River Road.

The annual Celebrity Scoop Night will be so much fun! Bring your family, your neighbors, your friends. It's a community event to help out Hangers. Hangers helps children of all ages in Evansville area schools. They need our support to continue doing this great work and this is the fundraiser that brings us ALL together!

BUT...the Best in the West team has never out-raised the other school districts. Can you help us do that this year? You don't EVEN have to GO to the event--you can send your money to one of our schools to take in.

BUT...Mrs. Strawn and I WOULD love to take home that Golden Scoop award for the most can help WT earn that by sending us donations between now and then. We'll be at drop off with a bucket to collect your spare change during the week of the event, but if you're not there...just send it with your child to the office. We'll have a bucket there, too. happens to be Mrs. White's birthday that day, so she's going to donate her birthday gifts to Hangers this year.

What better way to give to our community than to put clothes and supplies in the hands of our most needy families? Those displaced by fires...whose families have experienced hardships or loss...who are in need of our help, support, and kindness. Hangers fills that gap in a physical way. Watch the videos. Listen to the stories. Or better yet? Volunteer to BE one of those staff people giving these children a fair start to their day by knowing they have socks, underwear, backpacks, and nice clothes just like all the other kids at school.
Take a minute. Watch the videos. Ask around and find out just how many people really value this gift to our community. And join us. Send your change, bills, or checks. We'll make sure it gets put in the hands of our community's children!

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Book Fair

Our Fall Scholastic Book Fair is quickly approaching! The students will be previewing the products and have an opportunity to make a wish list on September 20th and 21st. Watch for a packet to come home which will tell you the date their class will shop! Classes will be shopping the Book Fair the week of September 24th-28th. You are always welcome to come during your student's scheduled time to shop with them! We have two additional opportunities to shop this year. We will be open from 12:30-2:30pm on Saturday September 22nd during the 4K4KIDS Color Run, plus we will stay open until 7pm on Tuesday, September 25th! We encourage you to sign up to volunteer at our fair! Watch for sign ups on our Facebook page, or email Sherry Veeck at if you're interested in helping!

Thank you!

1st Grade Grandparents Day and Evening Program

First grade Grandparents Day on Thursday, October 25. at 9 AM. The evening performance for families is at 6:00 p.m.

EVSC Volunteer Application

If you haven't already filled out a volunteer application, please click on the link to complete and submit an application to volunteer in our school.


Click here for the flyer for this years fun and run!

12:30-2:30 fun including a Dunk Tank for WT staff, inflatables, food, and more

2:45 Color Bomb

3:00 Race begins

Don't miss this incredibly fun opportunity to get together and to support our PTA.

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Breakfast with Mummies October 19; Trunk or Treat October 20

Spooky Fun coming soon!

Get those Trunk or Treat ideas flowing--October is just around the corner! We have so much fun at this event, and it's open to the public. Invite your friends! Watch for the trunk registration to come home soon!!

Kick the weekend off right by joining your child for breakfast on the Friday before--our Breakfast with Mummies is being planned now!!

Don't miss these fun events!

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West Terrace needs substitute teachers!!!! If you are interested please go to and complete the application process, then send us an email and let us know your availability! You can specify that you'll only work at West Terrace, or that you only take pre-arranged jobs so YOU control how you're contacted! No early morning phone calls if you wish to avoid that. Other schools are in need, too, so if you'd consider working at any school, the opportunities are endless.

We need teacher subs, assistant subs, nurse subs, secretary subs.

This is an urgent need- please consider becoming a substitute teacher, assistant, secretary, or nurse!


The first week of school a lot of students were asking when the Paws On Parade Club was going to start. They are excited to finally get started toward their goals and earn their rewards. For our new families, it is a walking club for the students during their recess.

The following are the benefits of the club...

For students – it’s fun while building self-esteem, learning responsibility, mathematics, and record-keeping skills. They will also learn how to set goals, work to achieve them, and then evaluate their personal achievement.

For playground supervisors – it channels students’ energy

For teachers – it gets students ready to learn

For principals – it aids in children’s educational development

For parents – it’s getting their child physically fit

And, it will help develop fitness while building muscles, burn calories, reduce stress, and create good lifelong healthy habits.

It’s also good practice for the 4th and 5th graders to become track stars for middle school.

The club started August 23rd. Ask your child if he/she has joined the club.

Tammy Jewell

POP Coordinator

Recycling News

Please remember that you can recycle aluminum cans here at West Terrace!! The aluminum recycle cage is parked in the east parking lot right next to the recycle dumpster. We ask that you put only cans in the cage. Every penny we earn from the cans comes right back to our school!

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Little League World Series with the Challenger League

A few of our current and former West Terrace students participated in the Little League World Series game held in Williamsport, PA. If you see any of our Black Cats: Liam Funkhouser, Alex Funkhouser, Rylie Helmer, Allie Shanks, or Roman Masterson, please congratulate them on this exciting event! We are SO proud!
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Community Outreach

USI offers a Building Reading Skills course during the fall for children in grades K-5

Click here for more information

Building Reading Skills - Grades K-5

Your child's reading skills will be improved through individualized reading instruction provided by USI Diagnostic Teaching of Reading students under the supervision of a reading specialist instructor. Elementary Education undergraduate students who are earning a minor in reading, and graduate students who are working toward a reading endorsement, will work with one or two children each for 12 Tuesdays to provide reading instruction that matches your child's needs. Emphasis will be placed on informal assessments for instructional value and the components of reading on which Indiana children are tested. Enrollment is limited, and children must commit to attending all sessions.

Instructor: Briana Campbell
Date(s): September 4, 2018 - December 4, 2018 - The class does not meet September 11 or October 9.
Schedule: 12 session(s) - Tuesday
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Location: USI Education Center, 1101 - 8600 University Boulevard Evansville, IN 47712
Fee: $49.00

Registration opens August 6; Payment must be received to guarantee a space.

Vicious Cycle charity ride for EVSC

(Click here for more information)

We're Grin, a branding agency in Evansville and Chicago.

From September 28-October 1, our team at Grin will be biking 300 miles from our Evansville office to our Chicago office to raise awareness about a fund set up by the EVSC to address the basic needs of students: The Student Response Fund.

When an organization makes a contribution to the Student Response Fund, 100% of the funds contributed make it to student relief.

The Vicious Cycle We're Riding For:

In the last few years, the need for clothing in response to homelessness or immediate foster care moves is increasing. So is the number of families who fail to qualify for the free lunch program but who still struggle to pay for their children’s meals at school.

These issues, an annual cycle, are on the rise.

Part of the Student Response Fund’s mission is designed specifically to identify those students in immediate need, and direct funds where they can make the most difference in a student’s experience in school and at home.

How do we plan to put a dent in this vicious cycle?

Grin, along with the generous support of our sponsors (check them out below), plans to bike 300 miles to raise $50,000.

Our goal is to help a greater number of students, and their families, who are in need. We hope to do this by getting ahead of the increasing demand for funds within the EVSC Foundation Student Response Fund.

When a student’s most basic needs are met, there is a greater chance they will face the school day with the dignity and confidence that is vital to their well-being.

“A student who faces basic needs issues, through no fault of their own, deserves help from those who are able.”
Phil Mowrey, Senior Partner + Brand Builder at Grin

When is the ride?
September 28 - October 1

Where are we riding from and to?
We will be riding from our Evansville office to our Chicago office.

How many miles is that?
300 (316 to be exact...but who's counting? The cyclists are.)

Where does your money go?
We will donate the proceeds DIRECTLY to the EVSC Student Response Fund once we get back from sweating our faces off on the ride.
*A small percentage of proceeds are used to finance this convenient third-party pledge platform (RallyUp). All remaining funds go directly to the Student Response Fund.

How does a Pledge work?
You can make a one-time donation OR set up a pledge-per-mile.
*If you pledge per mile, you will be charged for every mile that the rider you select cycles. Your pledge will be collected at the end of the ride, after our cyclists enter their total miles on October 2, 2018.


President: Nora Walsh

Vice-President of Community & Service: Stephanie Yellig

Vice-President of Membership & Fundraising: Amanda Hooper

Secretary: Janell Pycior

Treasurer: April Weyer



Mrs. Katie White, Principal

Mrs. Denise Strawn, Principal Intern

Ms. Johanna Druen, Counselor

Mrs. Sheryl Moore, Secretary to Principal

Mrs. Nicole Smith, Secretary

Mrs. Christine Hamilton, Nurse


Mrs. Wendy Brunson (Asst: Mrs. Angie Cree)

Mrs. Jessica Mayer (Asst: Mrs. Julia Rust)

Mrs. Angela Hayes (Asst: Mrs. Brandi Dore)

Mrs. Tara Kolb (Asst: Mrs. Julie Bradley)

First Grade

Mrs. Brooke Corressell (Asst: Mrs. Lisa Duncan)

Mrs. Cindy Evans (Asst: Mrs. Shelly Kremer)

Miss Megan Murphy (Asst: Mrs. Tammy Jewell)

Ms. Amanda Woods (Asst: Mrs. Valerie Polage)

Ms. Patricia Frayer

Second Grade

Mrs. Cassie Curl

Mrs. Carie Kingery

Miss Amy Nau

Mrs. Trish Kavanaugh

Mrs. Lindsey Rolley

Third Grade

Mrs. Courtney Rueger

Mrs. Robin Bass

Mrs. Stephanie Scheu

Ms. Jennifer McSheehy

Mrs. Renee Schefer

Fourth Grade

Mrs. Kitten McClain

Miss Alexis Nelson

Mrs. Lindsey Stine (sub: Mrs. Emma Koester)

Mrs. Shelly Deweese (Mrs. Jean Butler)

Fifth Grade

Mrs. Simone Nance
Mrs. Amanda Kellen

Miss. Lauren Erk

Mr. Marty Dwyer

Specials/Rotation Teachers

Mrs. Peggy Davis

Mrs. Susan Kemper

Mrs. Nadine Risley

Mrs. Anne Woodruff

Special Education

Ms. Elizabeth Ray, SLP

Mrs. Shelley Patton

Mrs. Renae Jackson

Courtney Giesman

Dava Tenbarge

Holly Tyring

Support Staff

Mrs. Kristi Schuster, School Psychologist

Mrs. Gail Lashley, Cafe Manager

Mrs. Kim Sitzman, Media Specialist

Mr. Micheal Feagley, Flex Assistant

Mrs. Niki Lynn, Extended Day Coordinator

Fine Arts-Instrumental

Ms. Leslie Dubiel, SPARK

Mr. Cameron Vile, PH Band

Mr. Adam Clark, PH Orchestra


Mrs. Cindy Catt, Head Custodian

Mr. Marshall Thomas

Mr. Billy Bell

Reitz District Support

Mr. Todd Slagle Reitz Attendance Director of School Support

Mrs. Erin Diehl Achievement Coach

Mrs. Katie Ritter Data Coach

Mrs. Laurie Mullins Special Education Coordinator

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