Sunday, May 31, 2015


One of the traditions at Oak Hill is an end of the year trip for the 5th grade. For more than 15 years, that trip has been to Reunion Ranch. RR is a privately owned park north of Leander. Since we reserve the entire park, the students can explore in a carefree manner the entire day. After almost 9 months of working hard in the classroom, it is a wonderful opportunity to just be a kid. At RR, the students, parents and even teachers can do a multitude of activities. The most popular is the paddle boats, followed by the zip line. There is also a fort, climbing wall, maze, tepees, volleyball, basketball, badminton, miniature golf and baseball field. Reunion Ranch also provides All You Can Drink sodas, sports drinks and water all day long. For lunch they provide hotdogs, beans and chips. At the end of the day, the exhausted students are overheard saying, "This is the best field trip EVER!" Thanks to all of the parents who help to make this trip possible! We could not do it without you as drivers and paddle boat helpers and simply adult supervision in all areas of the park. We are proud of our Eagles and wish them the very best in the future! We will miss them. #EaglesRock #4thgradeparents,5/26/16nextyear!

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Wow!!! After a year of hard work and learning, our 2nd graders have ended with some fun! This week alone we have had our 22nd annual talent show where we saw some incredible talent. We had everything from card tricks to karate to singing and dancing and painting. We are so proud of all our students who participated. 

We ended it with all students performing their fairy tale dance just one more time since it was the highlight of their year. 

First graders-- be thinking about your special talent you want to share in 2nd grade. 

Then yesterday, we started our day out playing basketball against the silent auction winners! With the Harlem Globetrotters music playing - the game was ON!!  They were a GREAT bunch of basketball players! The teachers were very tired after this competition! The competitiveness comes out in some of us more than others. Ha! Needless to say the "Ballers" beat the teachers! Great game guys!!! You may have seen the 2nd grade teachers around school yesterday, they were moving a little slower than usual. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


As I walk down the hall, the anticipation of summer is in the air. Actually, when the bell rings on Monday, we have 3,360 minutes until summer. Sound like a long time? How many hours is that? My classroom is the last class, at the end of the hall, so I get the privilege of seeing and hearing the awesome, creative teaching taking place, even as the year winds down.The end of school brings wonderful experiences and long awaited endings for our OHE students.

Several OHE students' journey came to a successful end. Proudly, Ms. Ashorn and Mrs. Moody hosted the Take Flight Graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 20th. We were surprised by a visit from our former principal, Dr. Cathryn Mitchell. Each student gave a moving speech thanking the people who helped them along the way. These students have acquired a love of reading, and we are so happy to share in their triumph! 

My class had some special instructors on Friday. A+ Federal Credit Union conducted an interactive, financial literacy lesson. Students' learned the value of saving, the difference between a bank and a credit union, and how to make spending decisions. The lesson ended with a group activity, allowing students to make budget choices involving necessities, savings, and fun. A+ will be back next year with the Green Apple Club. Thank you A+ for supporting learning at OHE!  

Monday, May 25, 2015


Crazy weather patterns this weekend. A perfect time to share a recent visitor we had on our campus.
Third graders in Mrs. Nowakowski-Grimm’s class were excited when intern Ms. Parker brought her fiance Andrew Mahre to class.  He came to share an exciting project he’s working on at this time. He attends Oklahoma University and is studying to be a Meteorologist.  His project involves some pretty exciting and scary work, like chasing storms! He is the driver of the truck that tows a large piece of equipment that costs about $1 million dollars.  The equipment helps to gather information about nearby storms.  He shared pictures of the different clouds, and storms approaching. It was very interesting to actually talk to a storm chaser, thank you Ms. Parker, we really enjoyed learning from Andrew! Congratulations to you on your graduation and may you two have a fabulous wedding day! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Editorial Note - Our new principal, Mrs. Komassa, will officially begin her journey with OHE after this school year ends. We are fortunate to have her as a "guest author" now of what will ultimately hopefully become her own blog" in the future. We hope to continue with more guest blog posts (rumor is that there are many in the works and are just being polished ;)) from our wonderful faculty and staff until our school years officially ends. 



Dear Oak Hill Families-

I am honored to have been appointed the Principal of Oak Hill Elementary. I had the pleasure of meeting with the teachers on Tuesday afternoon, with many families on Tuesday evening, and with the students on Friday morning at the assembly. I received the warmest welcome from everyone. I already feel like a part of the Oak Hill family.  

I want to share a little bit about myself with you so that you can get to know me better. My husband Kris and I have twin boys, Jack and Sam, who are twelve. They are just finishing up their first year of middle school at Kealing and Fulmore Middle Schools. We enjoy traveling and going to the movies together. Sam loves to draw and Jack plays select baseball. We are a busy family!

During my 19 years in education, I have worked with diverse groups of learners. I have experience with Dual Language and the Social Emotional Learning program, both important programs at Oak Hill. I have been a teacher, Reading Specialist, Instructional Coach, Mentor Teacher, Administrative Intern, and Assistant Principal. In each of these positions, I have found that working collaboratively creates a school environment that provides instruction to meet the needs of all students is an exemplary quality of an effective school. I intend to facilitate and nurture a collaborative culture at Oak Hill Elementary. 

Seeing the students in their classrooms inquiring about why things are the way they are, working together to solve problems, and making connections to the real world reminds me daily of why I chose to be an educator.  I enjoy watching the teachers challenge their students and provide them with the necessary knowledge and tools that help prepare the students for their future educational journey. I truly love what I do each and every day!

I look forward to getting to know you and working together in an effort to provide the best possible educational program for our students. 

Lori Komassa

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Ms. Jodi's Storytime

I have to admit, there’s nothing more enjoyable than hearing children laughing while listening to a story being read aloud to them.  As you walk through the halls of OHE, you’ll often hear a theatrical voice echoing through the open rooms followed by chants of laughter.  This is the sound of Ms. Jodi Picardat reading to our beloved OHE students.  Jodi is one of our many volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to Oak Hill.  It’s definitely a literary treat for our students, and you’re sure to fall in love each story she reads!  She brings her characters to life with her unique voices and infectious energy.  I remember the first time she came to read to my class, and I thought to myself, “Yes! A bit of free time to grade some papers!”  Little did I know that I would spend the whole time listening to the story, just as engaged as my students; smiling and laughing along with them!  I can’t imagine the endless amount of students who have grown to love reading, simply because of Ms. Jodi’s impact!  She has introduced our students to a variety of genres, authors, and characters.  Therefore, students are even more excited to venture to the library to get the next book in the sequel or read another story by the same author.

Thus, on behalf of OHE, I would like to take a moment to say “Thank You Ms. Jodi” for sharing your love for reading with our students throughout the years.  Our students will forever remember the way you made books come alive!

Friday, May 8, 2015


Greetings from the annex! 

What a wonderful time of year it is to be in the annex! Spring is here and our 4, 5, and 6 year olds have been learning lots about life and the living world around us! We have been studying life cycles, growing plants in our very own gardens, trying all the wonderful produce they worked so hard to grow, and studying insects too! We have had many opportunities  to ask questions, make predictions, and find out answers to many of life's burning questions. With this, we as teachers have enjoyed the many expected and unexpected teachable moments. We love exploring and learning together!

This month we have had lots of special guests in our rooms to help us understand and explore life cycles and nature. Pre-K has had success hatching/taking care of baby chicks and kindergarten has watched the life-cycles of ladybugs and butterfly as they go from eggs to maturity.  



This year we have some new additions to OHE! My kindergarten class has watched eggs for 28 days and successfully hatched baby quail chicks! We are excited to share pictures and this new adventure with the OHE family! Hopefully we will have a successful quail coop full of quail in the coming years at Oak Hill. 

Mrs. Baxter received a grant for the quail start up, and as a school we will help her to raise quail that can be released into the wild in Bastrop. With the devastating fires that depleted their population a few years ago we are hopeful that we can help to revive their numbers in the coming years. 

With the kindness and hard work of local Boy Scouts, our new baby chicks have a beautiful coop located next to our wonderful chicken coop! Displaying our school colors, it is sure to be a great home for our quail. Our new chicks will not be ready to live outdoors until they are 5 weeks old. (around summer break) If you are around this summer, please volunteer to help out with care of our quail and chickens and don't forget to come by to check it out! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

We started May out with a FIESTA!  Our wonderful librarian opened our “Under the Sea” themed book fair. Thank you to all of those that volunteered and made this event run smoothly. Thank you Ms. Underwood for organizing it.  

OHE’s very own Ballet Folklorico performed several performances in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  All the kids’ hard work and practice really paid off and showed in their stellar performances.  Their success was made possible by the following teachers: Mrs. Portillo, Ms. De La Rosa and Ms. Garza (I couldn’t have done it without them).

Have you heard of our new babies on campus? If not, here is a sneak “BEAK”. 

This week is Teacher Appreciation week.  We are so lucky to have such fabulous Oak Hill families. Thank you for the overflowing appreciative gifts, snacks and treats. You are awesome!

We have summer on the brain with 19 days and counting until summer break. Who hoo! I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week, upcoming weekend and a Happy Mother’s Day! 

Friday, May 1, 2015


STAAR date: Zero five, zero one, one five; T plus five days past test week.

Hey y’all! It’s Mr. Cumings sitting in for the principal’s blog. I heard there were guest authors so I volunteered to step in and take a swing at it.

Speaking of volunteers, today was a great day for recognizing our fantastic army of volunteers. The stage steps were full from stage right to stage left with our incredible volunteers. So much that happens here at OHE is due to volunteers and It’s hard to imagine what it would be like around here without seeing them. The first grade honored them with an astounding acrostic poem spelling out everything a volunteer means to them. Way to go first grade! I even heard some goof ball teacher sang a song about the volunteers, to a tune that is way out of season. Which he was reminded in class was not a Christmas song and shouldn’t have been used for this time of year. Oh well, the syllables matched up and Ms. Brown knew the music, it was a win/win. Thanks again volunteers, we really couldn’t do it without you and we hope  you enjoyed your breakfast.

It’s been a week without Dr. Mitchell and things seem to be flowing okay. Hopefully we will know about the new principal soon. I saw that the School board approved a bunch of new principals at the last board meeting and I bet our candidate will be up for approval at the next one. The school board meets the fourth Monday of the month and this month that looks like Memorial day. Sooooo…. maybe they won’t be meeting that day. I’m sure someone more important than me knows when we’ll find out. Until then, let the suspense increase.

Book fair starts next week on Monday, Star Wars day (may the fourth be with you). Kids can start shopping before class with permission from their teacher and folks are welcome after school until 3:30, but students must be with a parent or guardian. This spring’s theme is Under the Sea, so drop by and “shell” out some “clams” and support the library. If you cannot make those daytime hours, family night is Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 o’clock.  There will be a performance of OHE’s very own outstanding Ballet Folklorico at 6 o’clock in the cafeteria. The spring book fair is a quickie though, so get your purchases early. The fair rolls up its towel and heads inside after the last lunch on Thursday. So, head on down to the book fair this week! Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Well, I guess I have rambled on enough (I was only supposed to write a paragraph).  I’ve enjoyed writing this principal’s blog, I hope you have enjoyed reading it. 

Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see ya’ in the halls.

Mr. Cumings


This week has been a pack-filled week with many activities. On Monday and Tuesday, second graders worked very hard taking  End-of-Year Benchmarks in Reading and Math. Fifth graders have started chess tournaments, a great way to learn strategical thinking! First graders and  PK shared what "RESPECT" means as part of our Friday Morning Assembly today. We were quite entertained and also reminded of how important it is to show respect and caring to those around us. Volunteers were also thanked at our assembly for all they do for us. Mr. Cumings serenaded them with a song while they were gathered on stage. They were also given a breakfast afterwards that was prepared by the faculty. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers! No wonder we have the best school anyone could ask for!

PS Stay tuned to a future blog about possible "babies" about to be born at Oak Hill: baby bob-white quails.