Friday, January 25, 2013

This week began with our amazing Community Open House.  This has been in the planning stages for almost three years.  There was over 60 people in attendance including Representative Mark Strama, Representative Donna Howard, and a community liaison from Congressman Lamar Smith’s office.  There were a few local elected officials as well. The new school board member for the Oak Hill area, Amber Elenz , and from Constable Hernandez’ office, Chief Deputy AJ Johnson, were  also in attendance.  I must give special thanks to Casie Wenmohs for taking a seed of an idea and creating such an event.  I am totally amazed by the quality of programs put on by Oak Hill parents. Thank You!!
I think having Dr. Carstarphen as the keynote speaker really helped to promote the event!  
From this event, we already have a volunteer for one of our reading programs as well as Silent Auction items for the carnival.  Having said that, we are always looking for volunteers for our 1st and 2nd grade reading programs.  We can work around you.  You can sign-up online or send an email to

On a completely different note, the conversation about campus security continues.   Please know that safety is always a priority, and that I feel the campus is safe.  Could it be safer – of course.  One of the ideas that has been brought to my attention is the “WATCH D.O.G.S.”  Program.  This  is a father involvement initiative from the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security.  Basically, fathers and father figures are on campus daily walking the grounds, hallways and cafeteria.  They are just another set of eyes on the school.  Because this type of program is completely run by volunteers – you, I need to know if it is something that should happen at Oak Hill.  So I am asking parents to talk about this and let me know what you think.  If it is something OHE should have, then I would like to get our CAC’s support.  Please send me an email letting me know your thoughts.
Also along the lines of safety, the biggest thing we can do, starting immediately, is to change our own behavior - staff, students, and parents.  As you know when you enter the building, you must ring the buzzer.  This alerts the office.  However, when we let someone in behind us, the office doesn't know that person is on campus.  Please be cautious when you enter.  If someone comes in behind you,  make sure they follow you to the office.  OHE wants to be proactive and we need you help in this area. 
Tonight, Student Council hosted a movie night.  It was promoted by Ms. Grotrian’s class this morning as we did the "Sid Shuffle" during morning assembly.
 See Mrs. Mendrek in the back?  She was totally into the "Granny" move. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Last week’s Family Fun Run was very successful even with the rainy day. We ran about 269 miles that day!
As each lap was completed, dots were placed on our hands to track how many laps were run.
Yes, I even came out to particpate along with my husband and niece.
Obviously, most of the boys were faster than me.
Student Council also did a fantastic job cleaning up Patton Ranch Road.  You wouldn’t believe some of the tight places students crawled just to get a piece of trash. 
The dumpster was overflowing with trash!
I am pleased to announce that OHE has a new Teacher of the Year.  Ms. Brown, our music teacher, will do an outstanding job representing OHE.  She has over 20 years of teaching experience and has worked at every level.  Since being at OHE, she has had multiple opportunities to work with the students besides just in music class.  One way is by helping the different grade levels with their yearly musicals. Also through her guidance, our students have been selected to play their recorders with the Austin Symphony Orchestra; perform with the AISD All-City Choir Festival and with the Superintendent at the State of the District Address; and participate in the AISD Music Memory Contest.  However, what she considers her greatest professional highlight is working with the Soaring Eagle Singers.  Below is last year's Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Baxter, congratulating Ms. Brown.  CONGRATULATIONS MS. BROWN!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome Back!  As much as I look forward to winter break, I also enjoy returning to school.  I think it was a smooth transition back into the structure of school for both the students and teachers.  I have seen lots of writing assignments about New Year’s Resolutions.  I wonder how many here at OHE will follow through with them?  If exercising was one of your resolutions, one  way to start is attend our Family Fun Run tomorrow.  It starts at 10:00 on the playground.  If community service was part of your resolution, we also have something in that area.  The student council is working on their second community project, cleaning Patton Ranch Road.  They will be here tomorrow at 9:00 picking up trash. I know they would love some help. 
Today was also a Student Council Spirit Day and students came to school wearing costumes.  It was really fun in assembly. 
For those who haven't heard, Mrs. May a second grade teacher, resigned right before break.  She accepted a professor position at UT and will be greatly missed.  Luckily, we found a fabulous teacher to replace her, Ms. Irma Aguirre.  She too, is a UT alumni, but had been working in the valley.  Missing Austin, she applied and I hired her immediately.  If you see her around campus, please tell her hi!