Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 25, Issue 3, September 15, 2017

Principal's Note

Dear Thunderbird Families,

We hope you have been enjoying the cool weather this week. I must say this was interesting weather. With over 1,200 lightning strikes and a sprinkle of rain in the Bay Area, you had to ask yourself, "Is this September?" Here’s a link to some cool lightning strikes that were captured in the Bay Area.

DACA- Please be aware that Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland are in partnership as sanctuaries for our students and families that are at risk due to the current administration’s decision to revoke DACA. As a former bilingual teacher, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with many immigrant families from many countries. I have taught hundreds of students that would be affected by this. Many of my former students are in college or in their careers now. I have been lucky to have kept in touch with some and I know this is not easy for them.

If you are a family that needs my support with this, please come see me or Mrs. Sherry Ann Kaetzel. I am here for you!

DACA Resources Available:

As you may know, I grew up in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Without a doubt, the destruction that Hurricane Irma has left in the Caribbean and Florida has been stunning. And like many of you I am concerned.

Please see this story from former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan. Tim is from the Virgin Islands, and his article resonated so much with me that I had to send you this!

Rock Star Teacher Joins Thornhill Team! While I am happy to report that all of our teachers at Thornhill rock, one particular newcomer has a history of recognition.

Please welcome Nancy Steimle, who was has joined us this year in Kindergarten. She’s a consummate professional and I know I am probably embarrassing her with this attention. But really you should know a few things about her.

Mrs. Steimle was named Alameda County Teacher of the Year in 2004 and Outstanding Educator in 2005. She is a mentor teacher who loves promoting literacy. When asked what she loves about Thornhill, Mrs. Steimle said, "The staff is extremely supportive and lifts each other up through collaboration." Rock on, Mrs. Steimle! We are happy you are here.

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Welcome to Thornhill, Mrs. Steimle


Back To School Donation Drive Update

We are on our way!

Thank you so much to the families who have already donated to this year's Back-To-School fundraising drive! So far, we’ve raised over $57,000 and are 35 percent of the way toward our goal. That is a terrific start! Mr. Thompson’s class leads in highest participation rates, with Ms. Holman’s class close behind! Who will win the class participation prize for the first two weeks?

Also...Who needs more Thornhill swag? Why, everyone does! Turn in your donation by the end of the day today and you will get an awesome Thornhill stainless steel mug. Total participation is at 17 percent, and we could do so much good if everyone is willing to give what they can.

New this week: We’ve put an envelope at Adventure Time for you to drop off your check and donation form. You can still put your donation in the box in the school office, send it in the mail, or pay electronically by PayPal. All the information you need is on our website.


Coach Zach Johnson

P.E. is one of the important programs supported by the PFC, and we’re so fortunate to have Coach Zach Johnson on staff. Did you know that physical education in school:

- Reduces stress

- Supports learning in other subject areas by giving kids another forum to apply what they learn in math, science and social studies

- Strengthens peer relationships

P.E. is just one of the many programs that you support with the Back to School Donation Drive. Thank you in advance for your support!

Adrienne Selke & Rianna Stoll, BSDD Co-chairs


PFC Board Recruitment Continues….

The Thornhill Parent Faculty Club is looking for help from you, our Thornhill parents!

Do you have a special skill or talent that you think we could use? Are you handy with power tools or garden equipment?

Are you a BBQ master or a gourmet cook/chef? Are you a good note taker? Do you like to open mail? Do you like to read to kids?

Do you like to throw parties for children or adults? Do you have a favorite local business that you could ask to support Thornhill?

These are just a few of the many ways that your time and talents are needed. Please let us know how you can help!

The PFC is comprised of nearly 40 board members, and we currently have some openings. Now is the time to volunteer! Open board positions include:


Member at Large (3-5 grade)

VP Educational Support



· Auction Chair

· Popcorn Fundraising Chair

· Winter Bazaar

For a more detailed list (along with board position descriptions) see the Thornhill website. Please email with any questions.


Class Picture Update

We witnessed Picture Day yesterday and were very impressed! The staff was friendly, attentive to the kids and their flyaway hairs, and kept everything on time - Amazing. We wanted to share two updates:

* There will NOT be a Spring photo session. If you had April 12 on your calendar for this, you can remove it.

* We WILL be doing group class pictures! MyLegacyMatters will do these on Picture Make-Up Day, Thursday, November 2. These will be available to order via a separate form. We are unsure of the price at this time.


School Vegetable Garden Volunteers Needed

We're excited to get the Fall/Winter vegetable garden going at Thornhill. However, the garden needs some weeding and general clean up so the kids have a nice space to enjoy planting and nurturing their vegetables.

We had an abundant harvest of fava beans, peas, kale and carrots last school year, and are enjoying the tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint that blossomed over the summer. We're also watching our pumpkins grow--and hoping to have some ready for Halloween!

We hope you can join us to help prepare and beautify the garden! Please sign up to join us for weeding and cleaning the garden areas between the portables and the main building on Wednesday September 20, or Friday September 22 from 9:30-10:30 am.

You can sign up through Sign Up Genius at this link:

Please contact Alexis Lavine at with any questions.

Hope to see you in the garden!

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Come Out and Help Get Our Garden Into Shape!


Dads Club Social Meeting

Thornhill's Dads Club will have its monthly third Thursday meeting on September 21 at 7 pm at Monaghan's On The Hill, 2820 Mountain Blvd. All dads are welcome to have a beer or two and talk about the club's plans for upcoming events. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.


The OUSD School Year is Changing Next Year!

Join OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Director of Labor Jenine Lindsey and Deputy Chief of Student Services Sondra Aguilera, for a community meeting about future school year calendars.

Learn more about the changes and share your thoughts by taking the OUSD survey. Download the flyer here.

You can learn more at the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6 pm at Chabot Elementary, 6686 Chabot Rd.


Dates To Remember...

If you ever need to find out what's going on at Thornhill, you can always find information by visiting the calendar page of the school website.

In the meantime... Keep in mind these upcoming events in October:

Friday, October 6: Science Collaboration (minimum day)

Monday, October 9: PFC Meeting (6-7:30pm)

Friday, October 13: Staff Development Day (no school)

  • Saturday, October 28: Walkathon

  • Monday, October 30: Shoo the Flu! Be sure to download and sign the permission slips, and send those with your children on Oct. 30 if you want to participate.
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    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, VPs of Communications Erin Proudfoot and Pamela Schwartz, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).