Lietz HSC March Newsletter


Happy March, Lietz families!

Can you believe that just a year ago, most of us had never heard of Zoom?! Now, many of us, including our children, are on it daily. Time has changed so much for all of us. This month, though, some of our children are returning to campus and vaccines are becoming more available. It finally feels like we are moving toward coming back together, toward being able to gather in community with one another. I am so looking forward to that day!

Thank you so much to those who have joined us for our virtual HSC meetings every month. At our February meeting, we were excited to launch our new online store. Congratulations to Marilenis on winning a youth mask in our spinning wheel giveaway; we hope that your son loves showing his Lietz Lions pride! We also shared Executive Board openings for the 2021-23 term: President and Co-Treasurer. Serving on the Board is really such a wonderful way to get to know our students, staff, and community, as well as the HSC programs and events that support them. We hope to confirm the new cabinet at our May 19 General Meeting. A brief response form is being created for those who are interested; we look forward to hearing from you!

We hope that you are enjoying our monthly Teacher Spotlight, getting to know some of our amazing teachers and staff. This month, we celebrate our third grade team, Jeannine Burriss, Danielle Damato, Monica Lerma, and Dianna Talley. We are so grateful for each of you and thank you for the extra time and energy you are investing in our children, planning for many of our third graders to return to in-person learning on March 8, while continuing to provide distance learning. You are treasured gifts to our community!

As we welcome spring and its promise for new beginnings, I wish you and your families time for renewal and reconnection and relaxation, all of the great re- words! We have just three HSC meetings left in this school year and would love to see you at our next one on March 17 at 7pm. We will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together!

So grateful for this community,



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 chromebooks. 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 – helping to build the connection between home and school. This month, we are so excited to introduce our Third Grade team!

Kelli Martines | Staff Appreciation Lead   


Tell us a little about yourself…

I grew up in a small beach town (Pismo Beach, CA) and attended college nearby at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

As a teacher, what are your greatest joys? Challenges?

Just focusing on the joys 🙂  Oh my, thinking of my greatest joys as a teacher brings a smile to my face automatically! I value the community and the positive relationships with teaching.  I see myself as a mentor and a coach to my students and I get so excited and overjoyed when students persevere and prove to themselves that they can do it!  I love to see the smiles on their faces when they are learning and enjoying it.  I love hearing the giggles, laughter, words of support, encouragement towards one another, and witnessing the genuine kindness in children.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

My ideal weekend is going back and visiting family, friends, hiking, having beach days, and eating at local restaurants.  I would also say my ideal weekend is watching my boys play sports while hanging out with friends.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

My favorite places to shop are Lululemon, Nordstroms, Marshalls, TJMaxx, Target, and Amazon.



Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Danielle Damato and I have been teaching 3rd grade at Lietz for 4 years. I am a mother to two very active kids and they are my world!  I love being apart of the Lietz community and I am so excited to now have my son attending Lietz with me and I am looking forward to having my daughter join us next year for Kindergarten.  As a teacher, my greatest joy is building relationships with students and watching students take on new challenges to accomplish their goals. I am so impressed with the resiliency that students have shown throughout distance learning and I look forward to the day when we can all return to school together.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

When I’m not teaching, I love to go to on hikes, camp, and have movie nights out on the trampoline with my family.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Favorite places to shop: Amazon, Target, and Jamba Juice


  Tell us a little about yourself…

I love teaching third grade at Lietz Elementary School. It is a privilege to get to know each new group of third graders and to keep in contact with children I have taught at Lietz the past 11 years!

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

On my ideal weekend, I would be with my family (my husband and three children) in Pacific Grove on a beach reading:-)


Tell us a little about yourself…

This is my 14th year teaching. I started my teaching career at Guadalupe Elementary teaching Kindergarten for four years, moved to first grade for an additional five years, and was just about to finish my 2nd year teaching third grade when I became the STEAM teacher in the Makerspace for two years. Last year I got the chance to work at Lietz in their Makerspace and then transitioned to teaching 2nd grade just before everything shut down. I was thrilled to be asked to stay as a third grade teacher at Lietz.  One of my favorite parts of teaching is just hearing from my students. I love hearing corny jokes, silly stories, and just watching their faces light up as they share exciting news. Of course I would really like everything to go back to normal and return to school in person, but I do feel the silver lining in this is that I have been able to learn so much more about my students this way.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend? My husband and I live just out of town and enjoy spending time with our three adorable, yet crazy cats. I know my third graders have certainly been enjoying their company on our Zoom calls and they have even been featured in our weekly instructional videos.

Where are your favorite places to shop? Amazon and Target

Executive Board Openings for the Year 2021-2023

We have two Executive Board openings for the 2021-23 term: President and Co-Treasurer.

Please complete the form below or email if you are interested or if you just want to start a discussion around it. Candidates will be confirmed at HSC General Meeting on May 19, 2021.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!

    I am interested in learning more about the following position(s):

    Dear Lietz community,

    We hope all of our roomers and zoomers are enjoying the Spring weather. Because it’s not practical to send home clay, I’ve been looking at how our students can practice the sculpting skills that they would learn in the classroom, adapted to using air dry and oven baked clays and simple tools at home.

    The goals for kindergarteners and first graders include making simple pinch pots by hand and learning how to roll out a flat, even slab of clay using a roller and raised slats. Pinch pots are a staple of hand-built ceramics. They can become many other things like flowerpots, pumpkins, snowmen, monsters, and other hollow figures. A smooth, regular slab of clay becomes a base for handprints, signs, trivets, buildings, vases and more. Check out the photos for pinch pot and slab projects made by Lietz students.

    In the upper grades, students learn how to attach pieces to their pots and slabs, how to make coil pots, and how to use more advanced designing and decorating techniques. They use their imaginations to personalize their project to reflect their interests. They might make a monster that lives on another planet or a character from a favorite book. They also make models of places and objects connected to their history lessons.

    During the next few weeks, check the Lietz Create With Clay webpages for project ideas and instructions, recipes for salt dough you can make at home, and suggestions for diy sculpting tools decorating ideas. I hope that you will email me photos of the projects you make so that we can include them in our gallery!

    Aaryn Church, Create with Clay Lead

    February has been a hectic month as we all prepare for students returning to campus.This month’s book was “How Do I Stand In Your Shoes?” by Susan DeBell. This book focuses on empathy and demonstrates how to take the perspective of others. The timing of the book is apt as we are all going through significant change with the school re-opening. Whether you have a “Roomer” or a “Zoomer,” you will be dealing with significant change during the transition. Having empathy and patience for ourselves and each other is very important in helping ease the transition.


    Regardless of which decision your family made about returning to school, the situation is not ideal and we are all experiencing grief, frustration and sadness. To help your children cope with these emotions, Project Cornerstone has put together a list of talking points to facilitate conversation. The document is called “How to Manage Big Feelings Around School Re-Opening.”  (also inlined below). The document helps coach parents and guardians to empathize and validate their child’s feelings and also guide their children to have empathy for other families who made different decisions. 

    During the first several days of the new schedule, it is important to check-in a bit more often. Finally, we can show compassion for our students and teachers by being flexible in our expectations and allowing more space for the children to express frustration, sadness and grief. It is in times of pain and struggle that lessons of kindness and compassion are most important. 

    This month, in kindergarten we read the story, Understand and Care by Cheri J. Meiners. Understand and Care focuses on explaining empathy to children. Empathy denotes a deep emotional understanding of another’s feelings or problems. This lesson taught students to identify emotions and to understand how another person feels. Learning to walk in someone else’s shoes promotes respect and caring for others. At this time of transition, it is important to help your child recognize and express their emotions, as well as think about how others might be feeling. “In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

    Sarah Rizvi at

    Lisa Valera at


    How to Manage “Big Feelings” Around School Re-Opening

    By Lietz Elementary Project Cornerstone Team

    The air feels thick with anticipation as we approach the re-opening of school campuses. No matter what choice your family made about returning to campus, we have confidence that you made the best choice for your family given your situation, your knowledge and your values. Transitions are often stressful and this document was created by the Project Cornerstone team to serve as a general guide to making space for “the Big Feelings” students might be dealing with in the coming weeks.
    Situation Talking Points Validating Feelings & Meeting Needs
    Your child is remote learning, but their friends are going back to campus. OR Your child is back on campus, but their friends are staying remote.
    • How does your child feel about it?
    • What does your child understand about your decision to return to campus/stay remote?
    • “I understand you are feeling sad, lonely, left out.”
    • ” Every family had to choose what was best for them.”
    • Explore other ways to facilitate friendships
    Wearing a mask for the entire duration at school.
    • Do they understand why they need to be wearing a mask?
    • Masks help keep everyone safe.
    • Focus on the positives of being in-person.
    • ” I understand that wearing a mask is hard.”
    • Identify when they can take it off and take breaks.
    • Practice wearing masks and building physical tolerance for them.
    Child afraid of getting COVID or getting someone else sick. Child is concerned about physical contact with others.
    • Review school’s safety protocols and make sure you both understand them.
    • Identify where child has control (i.e., obeying protocols, being responsible, limiting contact)
    • Discuss how scientists and doctors are helping create these protocols.
    • “The virus is scary, and things are uncertain.”
    • “There are many things we can do to help keep everyone safe”
    • ”The school is taking every precaution”
    • ”We can show we care for others with ‘air hugs.’”
    • “This will end eventually.”
    Your child has to switch teachers.
    • Discuss what is “grief”
    • Discuss why they think this is happening.
    • Identify the challenges the school faced in placing everyone.
    • ”It is so sad to not be with your teacher.”
    • ”Your teacher will miss you too.”
    • “The teachers prioritized keeping their students and the change was not personal.”


    Happy MARCH!
    Ya’ll feeling LUCKY? Help our school through Box Tops!
    Each unexpired label submitted equals $0.10 for Lietz.
    Just clip OR scan away!
    For more info, please go to
    We HEART Lietz!
    SoYun Kim | Box Tops for Education Lead


    Get ready for the Virtual Book Fair, March 8-21!
    This spring Lietz will be hosting our Book Fair fundraiser online! It’s a safe and convenient way for families to stock up on great new books and help the school. Simply log on to our school’s virtual fair site and choose your favorites from Scholastic’s huge variety of books options. A portion of all purchases will go towards the Lietz HSC, and book-only orders over $25 will ship to your home for free! Be sure to also check out the Teacher Wishlists and share the gift of reading with your child’s classroom!
    Want a preview? Check out this video from Scholastic to see how the online fair will work, and click here to get a sneak peek at some of the new books that are available this spring!

    Jennifer Torres and Caitlin Samenfeld-Specht, Leads Book Fair

    Chef’s Night Out

    Chef Vectors by VecteezyThank you for your support for Eriks’ Deli on Feb 25th. We are delighted to present two upcoming Chef’s Night (Day) Out!

    Mountain Mike’s Pizza (Los Gatos)

    March 10, Wednesday, 11am – 9pm

    14080 Blossom Hill Road,  408-212-7800

    20% Goes to Lietz HSC (Not applicable for online orders). We ask that you RSVP here: (even if you’re not completely sure) so Mountain Mike’s Pizza knows roughly how many orders to expect & so you have access to all the event details.  




    Kirk’s Steakburgers (Campbell)

    2388 S Bascom Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

    April 6th, Tuesday



    Jessica Steed | Chef’s Night Out Lead  



    We have partnered with Farm Fresh To You, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce and artisanal farm products delivery service. You can subscribe and receive fresh, organic produce conveniently delivered right to your home or office while earning 10% for Lietz HSC! Please use code “LIETZHSC”. If you an existing member you can add the code to your account. New members can add it when they purchase the subscription.

    Mathieu Olivari | Lead, Farm Fresh to You


    There has been a change in accounting firm which HSC uses to file taxes and maintain non profit status. This was done in order to reduce the cost from $3,000 to $500 for the accountant firm. The new firm is Maier-Richmond Accountancy Corp, CPA in San Jose.  It is the same firm used by another local HSC.

    HSC now announces its online store. You can now visit Lietz shop to place your order. Our amazing volunteer will deliver them to you. As of now, we have adult and youth Lietz HSC masks in the shop.

    More to come!!

    Kelli Martines | Spiritwear Lead


    The LietzHSC website as well as this newsletter can be read in multiple languages including Spanish, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, etc. Please use the Google translate on left top corner of the newsletter. Tip: You will need to scroll up to the top of the page in order to see it.


    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


    March 17, Wednesday, 7pm, HSC General Meeting

    April 5, Monday, 7pm, Project Cornerstone 

    To find all the HSC events, go to the Events page here. 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 now HSC newsletter is only delivered digitally on the HSC website.