Lietz HSC December Newsletter


Dear Lietz families,

While we end the year with much uncertainty, it feels especially important that we begin 2021 with hope and gratitude for all that we have. Fittingly, we have launched our Give Thanks initiative, in hopes of supplementing our staff appreciation budget this year. As our teachers and staff invest so much extra time and effort to teach and care for our children, we are looking forward to giving back. Each month, we will celebrate our teachers, one grade level at a time. Distance learning can make it difficult to get to know these very special people, so we hope that our monthly Teacher Spotlights help us feel more connected. This month, we spotlight our kindergarten team: Michelle Douglas, Lisa Gustafson, Christina Le, Courtney Roberts, and Stacy Smith. As you get to know them, both professionally and personally, you cannot help but feel grateful that we can call them ours.

At our November HSC General Meeting, USD Superintendent Denise Coleman and USD Board of Trustees President Thomas Rossmeissl joined us to thank our parent community for its ongoing involvement and support during our school reopening process. Lietz parents have used their voices to express a wide spectrum of opinions regarding when and how our children return to campus, and that makes me hopeful. Thank you so much to those who have attended Mrs. Lopez’s weekly office hours, joined our HSC General Meetings, and advocated for your children and families with Ms. Coleman and at our District Board Meetings.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve on the HSC Board again this year. One of the things that I love most about it is getting to know our community. Though we cannot gather and get to know each other in person, please feel free to reach out via email at I would love to hear from you, whether you have a question, concern, idea, or just to introduce yourself!

Wishing you and your families a holiday full of quiet celebration and good health, and time to reflect on the many gifts that we so often take for granted. Take care and I hope to see you at our next HSC General Meeting on January 20.

With gratitude for our community and great hope for the new year,



A Staff Appreciation Initiative

Teaching is always hard. 

During this pandemic, we are asking more of our teachers and school staff than ever before.  

This year, Lietz Home & School Club would like to offer additional support to our classroom teachers, as they continue to pave a new path to educate our children and prepare for new challenges with safely reopening our classrooms. We would like to invite our community to join us in this season of thanksgiving to show our gratitude. Your support will also help us recognize the tremendous efforts of our custodial and office staff, as well as support staff who are helping to bridge distance learning gaps and address the social-emotional needs of our children during this critical time. 

Every month, beginning in December, we will celebrate our teachers by grade level. Please share your contribution by December 18 so that we may budget accordingly.

In this season of thanksgiving, we are grateful for our entire community. Thank you for joining us in expressing our gratitude to our Lietz teachers and staff. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.

Please visit the page below to contribute by December 18:


Kelli Martines, Staff Appreciation Lead

Getting to know our KINDERGARTEN teachers

A Staff Appreciation Initiative

One of the things that many of our children miss most about being at school is our teachers. They are missing their visits to past years’ teachers and we are all looking forward to the day that they can sit in their classroom, getting to know their current teacher beyond the screen of their chrome books.

We asked our teachers to share a bit about themselves – some of their favorite things, what they love and, maybe find challenging, about teaching, how they like to spend their free time, where they like to shop for themselves – in hopes of growing the connection between home and school.

We are so excited to launch our monthly Teacher Spotlight, by getting to know those who welcome our youngest students to Lietz, our Kindergarten team.


Tell us a little about yourself…

I’ve been a teacher for 33 years. Most of that time has been here at Lietz. I LOVE ???? teaching Kindergarten!

My Favorite things about Kinder are:

  1. Working with the littles. They are so joyful and Love everything. 
  2. I love their energy and that they say exactly what they think.  
  3. Reading to my class. I love BOOKS and reading.
  4. Being creative. I love ART and creating/making things.
  5. Working with such a supportive Kinder team. We enjoy working together and hanging out.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

My idea of a great weekend is to relax, read, hike, bike or go shopping with a friend.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

My favorite places to shop are: Marshalls/TJ MAXX, Nordstrom, GAP or Amazon


Tell us a little about yourself…

This is my 25th year teaching! My husband and I have been married for 31 years.  We have one daughter, a college senior! 

As a teacher, my greatest joy is connecting with students and their families.  Greatest challenge right now is not having students in the classroom physically, but I am thankful that Kindergarteners have learned to Zoom and I can see them everyday.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

My perfect day would include a long hike on the LG creek trail, afterwards going to The Purple Onion and having their blueberry lemon scone or a drive to Santa Cruz and walking along West Cliff Drive. 

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Favorite places to shop: Trader Joes, Target, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack


Tell us a little about yourself…

I was once a contestant on The Price Is Right. I did the JET Program for 2 years and met my husband in Japan. I lived and taught at an international school for 5 years and had my first child in Tokyo.

I love working with kids and seeing them grow. The biggest challenge has been teaching our new Kinders via distance learning, but I love my class and seeing their smiles!

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

If I could do anything, I’d be attending a music festival or concert. I love live music and dancing. 

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Trader Joe’s and Amazon



Tell us a little about yourself…

This is my second year at Lietz, and I love being a Lietz Lion! I teach the SDC Intensive TK-1st grade class. I received my Master’s degree and teaching credential from San Jose State. I went to Chico State for my bachelors degree.  

My greatest joy in teaching is watching my students become more independent and celebrating their successes no matter how small.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

On an ideal weekend, I would go for a walk on the beach in Santa Cruz with my family and my dog. I have a fraternal twin sister, who has disabilities. She is one of my inspirations for becoming a special education teacher. I also have a younger brother and an English Bulldog named Lilly.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

My favorite stores are Amazon or Target.


Tell us a little about yourself…

This is my 22nd year teaching kindergarten at Lietz. I love working with my kinder team. I love teaching kindergarten.

Why I love kindergarten…… The littles love EVERYTHING!  I especially love teaching them science and reading them stories.  I love their energy and the fact that they say what they think (no filter????).  I love their endless stories.  They make me laugh every day.

I have the best job in the world.☺

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

My ideal weekend is going for a hike or a bike ride with my husband/friends, reading a good book and relaxing. 

Where are your favorite places to shop?

My favorite places to shop are Amazon, Nordstrom, and Marshalls/TJMaxx


The HSC Board is completing some modifications to our Bylaws, most of which were originally proposed last spring. Along with a few grammar and spelling corrections, there are updates in the sections on officer voting/offices and finance. These changes have primarily been made to more accurately reflect our current practices. Notable changes include: 

(1) Our bylaws previously stated that voting for officers would be done by ballot at the Spring Open House. Lietz HSC typically discusses officer elections during our General Meetings, so the wording of this section has been changed to say that officer elections may be done at either venue.

(2) An allowance has been added to officer terms. In the (unlikely) event that no new officers have stepped forward to fill a vacant position on the HSC Board by the third General Meeting of a new school year, any officer(s) who were ineligible for the position due to term limits may become eligible to fill the role if they wish to do so.

(3) Clarification around timing and information of budget-related voting has been added. Information regarding such a vote, including details of the expenditure and instructions on how to cast votes, must be sent to all members at least five days in advance of the vote.

For a complete review of the proposed changes, please refer to this link on HSC website. Changes are marked with bold italics and will be available for all members to review until January, when a vote for approval will be held at our next General Meeting January 20, 2021. Please contact us with any questions or comments at

It has been a joy for us to be in the virtual classrooms this last month. While the learning curve for virtual classrooms is steep, our volunteers are starting to get the hang of it! We have been coordinating with teachers to set up Flip Grids and Jamboards to help students facilitate the connection with each other and with volunteers. For grades 1-5 we read “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andrae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Ross.  The students had excellent discussions regarding Personal Power and Positive Self-Talk. We created positivity posters and scripts to help students empower themselves in challenging situations. Many of them wrote in their Project Cornerstone journals and shared their special talents with their classmates. 

This month, our Kindergarten volunteers read the book Talk and Work It Out by Cheri J. Meiners. What’s the best way to solve problems between people? By talking them over and working them out. It’s never too soon for children to learn the process of peaceful conflict resolution. This book distills it into clear, simple language and supporting illustrations. Students are also taught to accept and respect one another’s position, keep an open mind by being a good listener, and identify their feelings and the feelings of others. Thank you to our kindergarten readers, we are very grateful for you!

The Project Cornerstone team is an excellent group of volunteers dedicated to promoting the personal development and growth of Lietz Elementary students. We are recruiting more volunteers for grades 3 and 5 and if you are interested, please contact


Sarah Rizvi and Lisa Valera, Project Cornerstone Leads

We are on to Set B for Art Vistas! Most grades received project materials at the October 30th pick-up. Feel free to supplement or substitute these with things you have at home! If you have any questions about projects or curriculum, please get in touch at


*Note: This fundraiser is for the Art Vistas Organization, which provides the curriculum, training, and support for all of the elementary and middle schools in the Union School District. It is not directly for Art Vistas at Lietz, but it makes our program possible!

Our operating cost is covered by program fees and fundraising efforts throughout the year. This year, we’ve come up with a fundraising effort that has a dual-approach: to help Art Vistas, while supporting our local artists by enabling them to selling their handcrafted art on our website. With Art Vistas for Good, a percentage of the proceeds will be given back to local artist to support their work, and the rest will be donated to Art Vistas so we can continue to support our little artists. If you are interested in donating your handcrafted art pieces or know local artists that would like to participate, please go to 


Lietz Art Vistas Head Docents:

Rebekah Frederickson (K-1)

Caitlin Samenfeld-Specht (2-3)

Priya Vartak (4-5)


Tis the season to GIVE!
Buy Box Tops grocery products and donate them to your local food banks! 
Scan your receipt on the Box Tops app OR turn in the labels to the office for free money for our school! 
Each unexpired Box Top label equals $0.10 for Lietz!
All funds raised thru Box Tops program will go towards our wonderful teachers/staff!
BUT WAIT, there’s more…Scan or submit 2 unexpired Box Tops labels and enter a drawing to win a “Mystery Gift Card!” One student and teacher/staff will win! Drawing ends January 29th.
Click here for all eligible Box Tops products:
Enter to win the Baking Schools Better Sweepstakes!
Scan your receipt on the Box Tops app for a chance to win 10,000 Bonus Box Tops for Lietz and a Betty Crocker Cookies Cookbook for you. 5 schools will win. Sweepstakes starts today.
For more info, go to:



SoYun Kim, Box Tops for Education Lead


Volunteering opportunities

Current Volunteer Sign-up Sheets

Title Start Date End Date Open Spots
Movie and Pizza night September 22, 2023 September 22, 2023 0
Walkathon 2023 October 27, 2023 October 27, 2023 71

Please login to view and edit your volunteer sign ups.


Are you thinking of starting a new program that would benefit the Lietz community? If so, please head to our website to complete and submit a simple Program Proposal Form.

We will work with you to make it a reality!



If your company is giving you money to give it to your favorite organization, please consider giving it to HSC either for General Donation or for Staff Appreciation. Or if you are planning to donate money, please check if your company matches the contribution.

Please visit the Donate! page for making donation


To find all the HSC events, go to the Events page here.

Dec 7, Monday, 7 – 8 pm,  Project Cornerstone Training  

No HSC General Meeting in December

To have always up-to-date HSC events directly on your phone, tablet or computer, just Subscribe to the calendar feed.


Contact US

Please use this link to find information to contact your HSC board.

Please note that starting this month the HSC newsletter is only delivered digitally on the HSC website.