The Walkie Talkie

Joaquin Miller Elementary Newsletter, December 2015

Principal's Message

I hope this message finds you rejuvenated and relaxed after a wonderful Thanksgiving vacation with your families. I was able to visit my sister and her family in Southern California and actually take a few days off! As we enter the holiday season, my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation for all of the love and support I have received from our Joaquin Miller community as I have transitioned into this new administrative role. I am honored to be a part of such a warm and giving community of parents, students, teachers, and staff that share a common desire to make our school the best it can be.

I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the incredibly dedicated teachers and staff of Joaquin Miller. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such a talented, collaborative, and supportive group of professionals who are devoted to providing a well-rounded educational experience for ALL of our students.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of the parent volunteers who support our students and teachers on a regular basis. Whether you drive on a field trip, organize events, read with students, help out in the office, or help on the playground, your assistance is invaluable. THANK YOU!

A very special shout-out goes to the chair of this year’s auction, Suzette Mohun. Suzette devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy into making the auction the incredible success it was! Thanks to her efforts and the efforts of ALL of the auction volunteers, Joaquin Miller students and teachers will have continued access to high-quality programs, teacher’s aides, academic tutors, living history events, and so much more!

Last, but certainly not least, I must appreciate our AMAZING students! Every single day I come to work I observe students exhibiting the Wolverine Way, demonstrating kindness and empathy toward others, collaborating with peers, and striving for academic success. Keep up the AWESOME work!

With love and gratitude,

Mrs. Green

December Dates to Know

  • December 7-11: Parent/teacher conferences, min day schedule
  • December 10: Info night for prospective parents
  • December 18: Spirit Day - wear your PJs to school!
  • December 21-January 3: Winter Recess, NO SCHOOL

JM Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Fest

Mark your calendars for the annual JM Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Fest to be held Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 10:15 am in the MPR. This district-wide event is open to all students, K-5. Students may write and present an original piece or select a poem, speech, or essay written by someone else. The recited piece should reflect the values of Martin Luther King, Jr. including: social justice, equality, non-violence, peace, service to others, leadership, faith in oneself, courage, hope and love, taking a stand, making a difference. The speech does not have to be about Dr. King, but it can be, and it must be memorized. Students may perform solo, with a partner, or a group. The JM Library has many books of poetry and speeches as well as a growing binder of inspirational material. Registration forms will go home in homework folders soon. Rehearsals begin right after Winter Break. Contact Cindy Gullikson, JM Librarian and 2016 JM Oratorical Fest Coordinator for more information at

2016-17 Prospective Student Info Night & Tour

If you know any prospective parents who may be interested in JM, encourage them to attend the open house on 12/10 @ 7pm in the MPR to learn more about our school.

We also have space on the 1/6 10:30am school tour. Email to reserve a spot!

Holiday Thank you Gifts for JM Staff

Each year the parent community at JM shows appreciation for those who work behind the scenes keeping our children safe, healthy, and cared for throughout their days at JM with a holiday gift. Please consider donating any amount you can towards gifts for our custodians, librarian, computer teacher, front office staff, occupational and speech therapists, lunch supervisors, and many more. To donate, drop funds in the envelope in the main office in Holly Kambeitz's box labeled "Hospitality". Watch for communications from your classroom parent regarding teacher gifts.

Kids Club Update

Registration for Enrichment (online): December 13th @ 10am

Kids Club Fall Enrichment Fair: December 15th, 5:30-7pm. Don't miss the pizza potluck, booths of student work, vendors, and performances by the Ninja Circus, Strings class, and "Choices" play written by Kids Club students.

School's Out Programming: December 21st-23rd, & 28th-30th. Kids Club winter recess childcare is open to all JM Students as well as other Oakland Elementary school students. Contact Abbie at for details.

Dad's Club Update

Dad's Club Movie Minimum Day is Dec 8th and there is still space available! Cost is $25 and the movie is from 1-4 pm. Contact Shane Dezilwa via Konstella for info.
Dad's Club Take Home Dinners will be distributed on Dec 17th! Choice of chicken, portobello mushroom, or tri-tip dinners for family of 4. Look for info via flyers in kids' backpacks and on Konstella. Contact Cody Strub or Eric Runge via Konstella for info.

JM Auction Results & Thank Yous

We’re excited to announce that this year’s auction exceeded our goals and raised over $198k!!!

On top of being a financial success, it was a lovely evening. Thanks to all who volunteered, sponsored or bid and to those who donated wine. We raised more funds in this year’s wine auction than in any previous year! Special thanks to Back Room Wines in Napa, which made it easy to order auction wines online and provided a discount.

Oakland Girls Softball League

The Oakland Girls Softball League registration is now open! Practices begin in February, teams practice once/week and play a game every Saturday. Games run from March - June. For more info go to: or contact Cindy Murphy at

Clothing Donations Needed!

The JM office needs donations of new kids underwear and clean, used boys and girls (little kids) jeans and socks for the spare box. When kids have an accident, they don't always have a change in their backpacks. Please bring all donations to Ms. Simms in the office. Thank you!

Contribute to the Walkie Talkie

The next newsletter will be out in early January! Email with any content or contact Caitlin Murphy through Konstella. Thanks!