Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 24, Issue 23, February 17, 2017

Principal's Letter

Dear Thornhill Families,

I hope you are all enjoying the break from the rain. But most likely by the time you read this, it might be raining again. Our students sure needed a break from the wet weather after being indoors for rainy day recess for so many days. See picture below of our Lunch Monitors making an impromptu skit to entertain a second grade class during lunch indoors.

Highlights of the Week (Pictures are below)

For Black History Month, our teachers went to see the Black Panther Party Exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. This is an important part of American history and it happened right here in Oakland. Our staff was excited to be there and we highly recommend you see this exhibit.

You can find out more about the exhibit by visiting the following link:

And Mr. Thompson's Kindergarten class did a surprise attack Happy Birthday song for Mrs. Sherry Kaetzle our amazing secretary.

Amazing Writing by our 5th Graders- If you have not had a chance to read any of the great writing by our students, displayed throughout the school, then you should when you can. Take some time to enjoy our Thunderbirds' hard work.

Lastly, we have an extra day off this weekend for President's Day. Enjoy your Monday off and I will see you on Tuesday.

Take good care,

Mr. Daubenspeck

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These 5th graders have done a tremendous job on writing about Martin Luther King.

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Auction Update--Only Three Weeks To Go!

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the auction, which will help us raise money for our school, maintain our wonderful staff of aides, and supplement essential programs like music, art, computers and physical education.

Join us on Sat. March 11, from 6-11 p.m., at the Ascension Cathedral Community Center, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, for “A Spring Evening In a Blue Garden”. Hang out with your friends -- and make new ones. Enjoy a night with other school parents, and with the your child's teacher. This is a great opportunity to meet them outside the classroom.

Let’s bring our whole Thornhill community together and celebrate what we already have accomplished and all we will achieve in the future.

Tickets are on sale at:

Volunteers needed!

We will post a volunteer sign up sheet in the lobby. Please consider helping at the day of the event and sign up for a spot. You can sign up to volunteer at this link...

Wine Donations!

We need your wine! We're starting to collect donated bottles of wine for the auction. If you have a great bottle you'd like to donate, or you're visiting a winery soon, or if you just want to go to BevMo and get a bottle for yourself and one for the school for 5 cents, we'd love to have it!

Please feel free to message me or email to arrange drop off or pickup.


Solvig Raethke

PFC Board Meeting--Feb. 21

The next meeting of the Thornhill PFC board will be on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in the school library. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will run about 1-1.5 hours. If you would like to attend, childcare is provided for current Thornhill students. Please let us know in advance so we an plan accordingly.

Shanyn Lloyd and Shauna Fithian

PFC Co-Presidents

African American Literature Read-In

A big, hearty thank you to all of the volunteers who read to our children during the African American Literature Read-In last week:

Simon Simpson, Paul Yeager, Debbie Weissman, Becky Urbano, Shauna Fithian, Christa Pennacchio, Sonia Ramirez, Mark Lecker, Tracy Belock.

And of course, thank you to Maura Hennessy and Lea Stafford for helping me coordinate this wonderful event! By all accounts the children really enjoyed the readings and our parent volunteers were so impressed by our students’ engagement, curiosity, and compassion. So proud of our children and of our parent community. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Rachel Estrella

Diversity Chair

Some of our readers in action

Presidents' Day Reminder

Just a reminder that there will be no school on Mon., February 20, in honor of the Presidents' Day holiday. There was once a time when we used to have both George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays as holidays. I grew up in awe of Washington, and nearly worshipping Lincoln.

With the political situation today, it can be difficult to maintain a positive sense about where our country is headed. At this time, and with it being Presidents' Day weekend, it may be possible to find some inspiration in the words of Lincoln, who faced the worst situation this country has ever seen, and somehow maintained a faith that we would eventually emerge as a better people than before.

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Rex Crum

Newsletter Editor

About the PFC Newsletter

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

Email submissions to our Newsletter Chair, Rex Crum, at by 3 p.m. Wednesday for approval, including Word or Text files with links and no formatting and 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 is not accepted.

THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Mavis Scanlon, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).