Cooks Chronicle

May 2016

Principal's Chat

What a fun month April was! We finished our ISTEP testing and.... had an AMAZING week of Jar Wars, fun super hero activities and a Skate Night to raise a very impressive $2,373 for the Riley Foundation!! It was great to see everyone each morning strategically placing their coins into the classroom buckets! Way to rally for a great cause! This event, like many others throughout the year, couldn't be possible without our hardworking, dedicated PTO. I, and all of the teachers, want to thank you for all of the special things you do to recognize the staff, and the special events, assemblies, field trips etc. that you do for all of the children at Cooks.

As I reflect on the past nine months, I am flooded with so many wonderful experiences and memories that have been made during a very special first year for me as the principal of Cooks Corners. When we began the year I was embarking on the Dream of a lifetime. Learning and working with the wonderful children, teachers, and parents that fill our hallways and classrooms every day, was better than I ever imagined. We quickly got to work to create our Cooks TEAM, which helped us to stay focused on being respectful, responsible and safe at school. I am amazed and so very proud of growth that we have seen with all of our students this year, not only academically, but the development of the whole child. There is not a day that goes by that I don't see or hear one student helping another, using kind words to cheer someone up, encouraging others to keep trying, lending a helping hand when someone has fallen, or saying a heartfelt sorry. Our mission is that we will prepare all children to function effectively in a world of new ideas. We believe that all students should be empowered to:
  • grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially with enthusiasm for life-long learning
  • achieve high academic and performance standards
  • function responsibly as productive citizens.

With that said, I want to celebrate the success of achieving our mission this year!


Dream. Learn. Acheive!

Music Notes

A big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Cory Webster and to Mr. Chad Clifford.

If your child is in 4th or 5th grade, they might have told you we had an exciting time in music the last week of April. Mr. Webster's family purchased 24 guitars for our school. Chad Clifford, the owner of Front Porch Music, spent two mornings with the music classes teaching the students the basics of the guitar.The students learned several notes on the guitar as well as learning to play a chord. Two students will now be chosen to receive 12 weeks of guitar lessons at Front Porch Music.

Mr. and Mrs. Webster are hoping to make this an annual event at Cooks Corners for our 4th and 5th graders in memory of Mr. Gary Webster.I am very grateful to the Webster family and to Mr. Clifford for enriching our students.

You can read more about the program and see pictures by visiting the website below.

Mrs. Zappia

Dates to Remember

5/6: We are having an awesome FIELD DAY!

5/11: 4th Grade Field Trip to Porter County Expo Center

5/11: Variety Show Try-Out 3:30-4:30pm

5/13: No School

5/16: Student Council Meeting @ 7:45am

5/17: Choir @ 8am

5/18: Variety Show Rehearsal 3:30-4:30pm

5/23: Team Lead Meeting @ 7:45am

5/24: 5th Grade Visits TJMS & BFMS @ 12:45pm-2:00pm

5/25: Variety Show Rehearsal 3:30-4:30pm

5/26: 1st Grade Field Trip to Sunset Hill Farm

5/26: Board Meeting – Memorial Elementary @ 5:00pm

5/26: 5th Grade Recognition Ceremony - BFMS @ 6:30pm

5:30: No School

6/1: 2nd Grade Field Trip to Sunset Hill Farm

6/1: 4th Grade Field Trip to Dunes

6/1: Variety School Dress Rehearsal – BFMS @ 3:30-5:15pm (bus transportation provided)

6/2: Variety Show – BFMS @ 6pm

6/3: Last day of school for students

AR Star and Principal Club Winners for 2015-2016


Aleman, Allison*Aleman, Kayla*Allen, Kayla*Alsman, Devon*Anderson, Anika*Arnold, Jack*Bartlett, Jacob*Benefiel, Kate*Bogner, McKenna*Bowman, Aiden*Brown, Caylee*Brown, Connor*Buczek, Isabella*Burress, Ava*Carlson, Nick*Cavanaugh, Ashley*Chapman, Alexia*Cheuk, Emily*Coleman, Sophia*Connors, Sloane*Coolman, Kyla*Costa, Olivia*Coulopoulos, Angela*Csmereka, Emily*Csmereka, Sam*Danger, Ingrid*Dutz, Amelia*Dutz, Ian*Evans, Tristan*Fisher, Chris*Fisher, Marisa*Flick, Brayden*Flick, Corrin*Fraley, Lucas*Fraley, Vincent*Gerber, Abby*Glickauf, Dylan*Golding, Emily*Gundrum, Blake*Hanson, Ryan*Harris, Henry*Harris, Rachel*Hernandez, Chantel*Hofer, Matt*Howlett, Malia*Isley, Madeline*Johnson, Evan*Johnson, Grant*Jones, Mackenzie*Kennedy, Cade*Kennedy, Ian*Klumpe, Jon*Koschal, Nicholas*Kreppein, Jordan*Krieger, Addison* rischke, Coe*Krueger, Thomas*Kwiatkowski, Elizabeth*Lai, Andy*Laterzo, Giancarlo*Le, Van*Leckrone, Mason* Lenz, Liam*Letnich, Vinny*Madden, Colin*Madden, McKayla*McFarden, Bennett*McFarden, Grant*McGowan, Thomas*Melendez, Aaron*Milenkoff, Matthew*Mulcahy, Emma*Mulligan, Mia*Nagel, Addison* Nelson, Megan*Norrod, Kate*Norrod, Sophie*Osborne, Addie*Osborne, Samantha*Petrouski, Anna*Piechocki, Peter*Prashanth, Neha*Ralston, Charlie*Ray, Jacob*Reeder, Sophia*Rodgers, Sam*Rosas, Emmanuel* Sarver, Analisa*Sarver, Hayden*Satterblom, Noah*Shideler, Katie*Siewin, Isaac*Smith, Audrey*Smith, Jackson* Smith, Jacob*Snider, Micah*Snider, Olivia*Steighner, Cayden*Stephens, Chloe*Stevens, Spencer*Stewart, Josh* Stoltzfus, Emily*Taskoff, Aidan*Teeple, Mark*Terhorst, Lucy*Terhorst, Susie*Thorgren, Sam*Torbeson, Aiden* Vohra, Amil*Vorkapich, Nick*Wang, Jennifer*Warren, Adam*Warren, Clara*Watson, Dallas*Weber, Kate* Wendorf, Gretchen*Wendorf, Heidi*Williams, Dayvon*Wittmer, Tyler*Yu, Amy


Aleman, Allison*Aleman, Kaelyn*Alsman, Devon*Anderson, Anika*Bartlett, Jacob*Bogner, McKenna*Bowman, Aiden*Brown, Caylee*Brown, Connor*Cheuk, Emily*Coleman, Sophia*Connors, Sloane*Coolman, Kyla*Couloupolos, Angela*Dutz, Ian*Fisher, Chris*Flick, Corrin*Golding, Emily*Gundrum, Blake* Hernandez, Chantel*Howlett, Malia*Johnson, Evan*Kennedy, Ian*Krieger, Addison*Kwiatkowski, Elizabeth*Le, Van*McFarden, Grant*Norrod, Kate*Norrod, Sophie*Osborne, Samantha*Piechocki, Peter*Ralston, Charlie* Ray, Jacob*Rosas, Emmanuel*Smith, Jacob*Stephens, Chloe*Taskoff, Aidan*Teeple, Mark*Terhorst, Susie* Torbeson, Aiden*Vohra, Amil*Warren, Clara*Watson, Dallas*Weber, Kate*Wendorf, Gretchen*Wendorf, Heidi* Williams, Dayvon*Yu, Amy

Spring into the @rts

Spring into the Arts is under way! Be sure to check out all of the fabulous artwork around Valpo! Organized as a month-long festival, Spring Into the Arts will showcase the intersections of art, technology, education, history, and feature local businesses. Artists of all ages and artist styles will be provided with a platform to showcase how art has transformed them and their community.

Congratulations to the following Cooks Corners students for having their artwork chosen for Spring Into the Arts. Their art will be on display until the end of the month in various downtown locations. Make sure to use the QR code that is attached to each piece of art to view a short video that includes almost all of our students during an art class.

Our final closing event Saturday May 28, will feature a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Valparaiso along with other fun activities. Please visit for more information.

Public Library

Kindergarten: Dashaya Cain, Jacob Hoard, Jude Tipton, Adam Warren, Charlotte Natzke

City Hall

!st grade: Owen Cheuk, Coe Krischke, Lilybell Puls, Colin O'Brien, Maggie Pikula

Memorial Opera House

2nd grade: Addie Osborne, Mckenna Bogner, Ingrid Danger, Emily Golding, Sam Thorgren

Porter County Administration Building

3rd grade: Dimitrios Holloway, Kim Mackenzie, Allison Aleman, Kyla Coolman, Emmanuel Rosas

Porter County Museum, old jail

4th grade: Dulce Palma, Aidan Taskoff, Caylee Brown, Matthew Hofer, Sam Osborne

Urschel Pavilion

5th grade: Mackenzie Jones, Susie Terhost, Gretchen Wendorf, Olivia Costa


There are a few extra yearbooks for sale - first come first serve. Anyone interested, please contact Jessica Warren ( They are $14, check made out to Cooks Corners PTO.

Art Appreciation Thank You

Thanks to all the parents that have volunteered with our PTO Art Appreciation program. I really appreciate all the creativity and time you all dedicate to this program. Thanks for a great year! The students and our teachers really appreciate you!
Jill Isley, Art Appreciation Chair

Student Council

Our Student Council is up for the "Honor Council" Award. Mrs. Kennedy has submitted the Student Council binder for judging in Indianapolis, We should hear soon if we are one of the states "Honor Councils". There were several requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the award. Our activities we host are under the categories of social, leadership, community service, charity, and cooperative. We also must do Riley Children's Hospital fundraising and have a unique project judged. All activities must take place between May of last year to May of this year.

Intent to Return

It is hard to believe that it is already time for us to plan for next year's class sizes and staffing needs. In order to do that, we need to gather as much accurate information as possible regarding our probable enrollments for the 2016-2017 school year. If you haven't already turned your Intent to Return form into the school office, please do so as soon as possible.

Thank you!

To all the fabulous PTO parents that helped me put on a fantastic Teacher Appreciation Week and Staff appreciation events all year!! I am thankful for their time, treats , and donations!!! Thanks!!
Kim Anderson

PTO News

The PTO organized a special finance committee meeting earlier this year to discuss how to best use the funds that we currently have available. We want to be able to do what is best to support the students and staff as we are very fortunate to have such great families and friends who do a lot to support our school and PTO. The committee brought their decision to the March meeting, which was voted on in April. The vote agreed upon was to reserve $5,000 of the total balance for normal operating funds and then allocate the remaining balance at the end of the school year. The remaining balance would be applied as 60% for the next school year’s operating funds and the other 40% to be placed into an investment fund. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact Rosie Rafalski, PTO Treasurer, at

News from Nurse Wendahl

Please provide documentation to Mrs. Wendahl if your student has received any immunizations this school year and you haven't already done so. That way your health records will be kept up to date!

I will be sending reminders near the end of the month for medication pick-up. As a reminder, meds cannot be kept in the clinic over the summer. If not picked up they must be disposed of. Along with those will be the medication / care plan forms for next school year. They must be dated after June 3, 2016 to be accepted for 2016 - 2017!

So much to think about! Have a healthy & safe summer!

Birthday Book Club

We did it! We have our 100th member in the Birthday Book Club! It is Kindergartner Torri Murray! And thanks to Torri joining and having us reach our goal of 100 members t his year, prizes were awarded to one Birthday Book Club member from each classroom. Our winners are: Torri Murray, Charlotte Natzke, Ethan Gundrum, Coe Krischke, Brooklyn Schlink, Blake Gundrum, Rachel Harris, Avery Krischke, Chris Fisher, Mark Teeple, Megan Nelson and Jimmy Dillabaugh! Congratulations to all of our winners, they each received a book to keep and other goodies in their prize bags! Ms. Cox would like to thank the Cooks Corners Families and the PTO for their fantastic support of this wonderful program!

Apraxia Awareness

Each May, Apraxia, the neurological speech disorder that impacts a child’s ability to correctly produce syllables and words, is recognized on May 14 throughout the country and here in Indiana. Apraxia affects 1-2 kids per 1,000 and is a disability that that is not well-known. Children with apraxia have problems planning how to move their lips, mouth, and tongue to make words sound correctly. So, while they understand language, they have to really work on how to get words out so that they make sense. Children with apraxia are often misunderstood by not only their peers, educators, or even stranger but by their families. Imagine how frustrating it would be to live in a world where you’re not understood, able to give an opinion or share a thought or special moment. Let’s help raise the awareness of this language disability to help give our kids the voice they deserve.

While Apraxia Awareness is on May 14 every year, we would like to extend the celebration to recognize the people who help kids find their voices, the quality Speech Pathologists and Special Education teachers in our school system.

Please join us on Friday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Cooks Corners Elementary School to recognize the speech pathologists and special educators in our community that help our kids along their journeys.

Additionally, we have developed an apraxia parent support group. So please feel free to share my contact information with family members and friends who are interested in being part of the group. My email is, my phone number is (573)355-7855 or you can find us on Facebook - Apraxia Indiana.

The Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities (MACD) promotes the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities within the Valparaiso Community. For more information, visit

With Warm Regards,

Joanne Tedesco

Member of MACD and Mom of a Daughter with Apraxia

Library Year End Reminders

Last day for student check outs will be Friday, May 13th, with all library books due by Friday, May 20th. Books that are not returned by May 20th will marked as “lost” and invoices will be sent out to help cover the cost of replacing the missing books. Please make every effort to find and return any lost books as some books may be out of print and irreplaceable. Remember that checking out library books is a privilege and checking out and returning books on time helps teach students responsibility. We borrow books, take great care of them while they are in our possession, and we return them on time. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to teach your child this valuable lesson in Library etiquette.

Summer Camps

We have received several summer camp flyers. They are located in the office. Feel free to stop in and grab any that interest you!