Eagle's Nest Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter to the Aurora Elementary Family
Welcome to an Exciting New Year!
My name is Margaret Jones and I am honored to have been selected as Aurora Elementary’s principal. I am excited to be coming back to the military community to help serve those who serve our country.
I have been in education a little shy of 25 years and I began my career as a volunteer teaching assistant in a remote village in the Bristol Bay area. I soon realized that I found a love for teaching and for engaging students and I began taking coursework through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I worked through college as a substitute teacher in the village where I lived and one of my first positions as a teacher was creating and providing content for an online delivery program for high school students in Alaska. I went back into the classroom and I have taught in the Anchorage School District since 2006 in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades. I later became an Instructional Coach and was encouraged to go into Educational Leadership. I became the Assistant Principal at Clark Middle School and truly enjoyed my time there.
As with anything in life, change happens. When JBER principals were invited into a meeting to discuss the relocation of Ursa Major Elementary, our first and most important goal was to keep all students enrolled at Ursa Major on JBER. I was not surprised by the resolve that Aurora’s staff had in creating a welcoming environment for Major’s students and teachers. Aurora staff knew, and understood all too well, how devastating this news would be to our teachers and families. As teachers at Major packed up their classrooms, Aurora staff rallied together to move their classrooms to create grade level teams and space within our building for new staff and students. Some of our staff had to double up to make room for our larger student population and we also added the 3-year-old preschool program to our school.
This year is already looking like a year where we will have exciting challenges. I am looking forward to what this year will bring and am excited to be a part of this new Family.
Principal, Aurora Elementary
First Day of School for 1st - 6th grade is August 18th
First Bell rings at 9:05 and Tardy Bell is at 9:15. Our school day begins at 9:15 and ends at 3:45.
The first day of Kindergarten is August 25th.
Meet our Family
Administrative Assistant - Kimberly Buskirk
Secretary - Allie Paskin
Nurse - Amy Hollon
3 Year Old SpEd Preschool
Paras - Jen Dittbrender & Dolly Pequit
Kindergarten Paras - Rachel DeVore, Katricia Moody, & TBA
1st Grade - Jessica Wright, Julianna Booth, & Allison Weinzirl, Marna Johnston
2nd Grade - Renee' Wade, Christina Howard, & Jennifer Haupt
4th Grade - Liz Larson & Kelsi Hagen
5th Grade - Cord Lindquist & Megan Poulisse
6th Grade - Robert Ritchey & Carey Newsome
PE - Eric Dahl & Andy Bydlon
Music - Kyle Drake
STEM - Ann-Marie Foust
Art - Margaret Hannah
Band - David Hagen
Orchestra - Kyle Lindsey
Special Education Services
SpEd Paras - Ruth Hansen-Peters, Gloriann Mcleary, Svetlana Kolodii
District Chair - Lauri Sinnott
School Support and Related Services
ELL - Chrislyn Hall
MFLC - TBA
Speech - Judy Dyrenforth
OT - Kailah Happ
PT - Beata Grochowski
Psychologist - TBD
Back to School Night / Open House
Family Connection Meetings: During the delayed start week, kindergarten teachers meet with families and students to welcome them to school and talk about each child’s strengths and needs.
Kindergarten Academy. Each school hosts two to three opportunities for kindergarten students to come to school and learn in the classroom for an abbreviated class session during the delayed start week. These sessions allow children and families to practice school routines and responsibilities like pick-up/drop off, packing for school, and saying goodbye before the full-day kindergarten program begins.
During our Back to School Night, you will have the opportunity to meet your child's kindergarten teacher, sign up for a Family Connection Meeting, and sign up for one of our Kindergarten Academies held on August 22nd from 2:00 - 3:30 or August 23 from 9:30 - 11:00.
Meal Service at Aurora Elementary
If you know of anyone that would be a good candidate for Cafeteria Manager, please encourage them to apply. You can find more information about this position on ASD's Website.
Transportation to Aurora Elementary
I will be holding an Aurora Town Hall Meeting on Monday, August 15th @ 4:30 PM to give updated information and answer questions about bussing to Aurora via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 979 7181 7079
ASD Transportation Department currently has a hiring incentive for those interested in becoming a bus driver. ASD will also pay your salary while you go through the training program. To find out more information, check out ASD's Website.