Lietz HSC May Newsletter


The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. -Peggy O’Mara


Dear Lietz families,

We have made it through another transition this school year! Many of our children are back on campus and we are waking up a little earlier than we were a week or so ago. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling cautiously optimistic about moving toward a new norm. It feels so good to see so many children waiting for their school day to begin – wearing their masks, socially distanced, with hundreds of zoom hours under their little belts! We have all learned so many new, unexpected lessons over the past 14 months.

Thank you for helping us celebrate Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week. As you know, it coincided with our extended school hours, so I think the timing was perfect to show some extra gratitude! This month, we are so excited to celebrate our fabulous fifth grade team, Mary Caddell, Jenna Garcia, and Leslie Long, as well as one of our stellar SDC teachers, Michael Gates, Jr. Please scroll down to our Teacher Spotlight to get to know them better.

We are still looking for parents to complete our incoming HSC Executive Board for the fall. There are three positions open: President, Vice President, and Co-Treasurer. I truly hope that some are quietly considering. We really do need your leadership in order to continue offering the many programs and events that our community has come to love, like Art Vistas, Project Cornerstone, Create With Clay, Music, Drama, and so many others. If you have even an inkling of interest, please reach out to me at I will be waiting to hear from you!

I do believe that the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice, so be kind, especially when you aren’t feeling it. Give yourself time to take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before you speak. Be kind to each other, and be kind to yourself.

Hope to see you at our final HSC General Meeting of the year on Wednesday, May 19 at 7pm.

With friendship,



A Staff Appreciation Initiative

After a long year of many challenges and hurdles, our teachers have persisted, to create a safe, welcoming environment so that our children could return to school. Our fifth grade team even found ways to bring the spirit of Science Camp at Walden West to their students! We are so grateful for your continued creativity and positivity! This month, we get to know our fifth grade team, as well as a teacher new to our SDC team. Welcome, Mr. Gates!

Kelli Martines | Staff Appreciation Lead   


Fifth Grade Teacher

As a teacher, what are your greatest joys?

Some of my greatest joys as a teacher are making personal connections with my students and watching my students grow into themselves.  5th-grade is a special year where students are on the cusp of being pre-teens and moving on to middle school and I just love the age. I love 5th- grade so much, I’ve been teaching at this grade-level for 30 years! I’ve also enjoyed being part of the Lietz community for so long because I’ve been able to see many generations of students complete high school, college, and move into their adult lives.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

In my free time, I love to be with family and friends. I have some great girlfriend groups to hang out with and take girls’ trips with. My husband and I enjoy hiking and taking our dog, Dani, for long walks. We also have season tickets to the SJ Sharks, so during hockey season we are either at or watching every game. I love going to the beach to relax, or to visit my mom at Pine Mountain Lake for some time away from the every-day hustle and bustle.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

This last year on lock-down I’ve done a lot of shopping on Amazon, but for in-person shopping you can’t beat Target! I also love candles, so I am a regular at Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle.


Fifth Grade Teacher

Tell us a little about yourself…

I love teaching because I get to see kids take risks and learn things they did not think they could.  The look on a student’ face when they overcome a problem is the best!

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

I love the outdoors and the ocean.   Before my daughter was born, my ideal weekend would be kayaking in Monterey or scuba diving.  I am a rescue scuba diver.  These days you will find me going for walks with my husband and daughter who just turned 11 months.  I am loving my time home with her but miss the kids so much!


Fifth Grade Teacher

Tell us a little about yourself…

I love teaching and have thought about being a teacher since I was in fifth grade. I found out as an adult that I am a fourth generation teacher.  I hope that I give my students something that they take with them into the future – that I have given them tools so that they can have a happy, productive future.  I love to see them gain confidence in their abilities and strengths.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

On the weekends I am boring – gardening and playing with my cats. If things were normal, I would be going to antique shows, estate sales and jewelry shows.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love gifts, but I think I have everything I need. The best gift was a gift card for massages.



Tell us a little about yourself…

Born and raised in San Jose although I spent some time in the Sacramento/ Folsom area for a little just to come home and graduate from Oak Grove High School. Working with kiddos has always been there for me, in high-school I started coaching tackle football with the Oak Grove Youth Football organization. This sparked my passion and insight that you can teach the same thing in multiple avenues/ ways (If we grade a fish’s ability to climb a tree it will always fail). I’m a lifelong learner, spent a long time at the JC (Evergreen/ San Jose City) trying to figure out my path but teaching was always incorporated. I started off wanting to be a PE coach/ teacher, from there I thought woah, I like history so maybe I can teach that or maybe math/ science. To this day I am always learning, whether it's learning different teaching styles or sociological perspectives or the microbiology in soil I love to learn.

What would we find you doing on your ideal weekend?

My ideal weekend would consist of hanging with the family and gardening. I love playing with soil, some would say I am a soil geek lol. If not with family I like to hang out with friends and go exploring, bike riding, skateboarding or just relaxing.

As a teacher, what are your greatest joys?

As a teacher, my greatest joys would have to come from the success of my students no matter the size of their success. The light that shines in them pushes me to be the best for them. And also hearing the kiddos stories, they’re so passionate about the little things that as adults we tend to lose sight of that.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

My favorite places to shop at are Target, Amazon, Walmart, Lidz, Lowes, Home Depot, and Barnes and Noble.


We have three Executive Board openings for the 2021-23 term: President, Vice-President and Co-Treasurer. Please complete the form 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!!


HSC Newsletter (and the website) can be read in multiple languages. You can look for a drop down menu near the top left corner. Please choose the language option. If you find that your language is missing, please let us know by adding a comment to the newsletter or emailing us at We will add it!



Far Apart, Yet Close at Heart

 April 25th – May 1st 

You made it through our Walkathon Week! Stay tuned for a fun video of all your pictures and artwork that you submitted. We are working to calculate the fundraising numbers and will let you know soon what our total amount fundraised was. What we do know is WOW you KNOW how to MOVE!!!!
You moved an amazing 69,464 minutes!!! That is mindblowing. Keep it up. Thanks for participating in our walkathon this year. Even though we were far apart, we are always close at heart!
Jen Kubisz | Walkathon Co-Lead
Jasmin Canty | Walkathon Co-Lead


The deadline has passed to order your yearbook and have it arrive before school is out. However we ordered a few extras and they are available on a first come first serve basis. Please email to reserve yours. They are $20 cash or check (made out to Lietz HSC).
Yearbooks are always available for purchase on the TreeRing website, however there is an additional charge for shipping. If you would like to order through the website, please see the attached flyers for instructions on creating an account and ordering. 
Believe me… this yearbook is adorable. You don’t want to miss out! 
A BIG thank you to Kelli Martines and Nicole Buchwald. Without their creativity and help, the yearbook would not have come together. 

Jennifer Kubisz | Yearbook Lead


Join us on May 11 at 5:00pm to continue our discussions on diversity and inclusion. We will put the final touches on our mission statement and discuss next steps/action items. We would love for your voice to be represented.
Contact me at
Loren Romley LAc


  This Month Project Cornerstone read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In this lesson we taught the students to observe negative thoughts that keep them stuck and labeled them “muddy thoughts.” The thoughts that help us engage in meaningful activities are called “clear thoughts. When we are able to focus on clear thoughts,we are more able to engage in a growth mindset and this opens the door to finding our passions or “spark.” To highlight how the students have found their own spark, Project Cornerstone created a school wide project where they can draw a picture representing the things that they are passionate about. These include activities, people or causes. The students uploaded these pictures onto a drive and Project Cornerstone will be sharing a slide show of our students in the coming weeks. Keep a lookout for that in the Lions Roar Newsletter! We are so grateful that our students have such meaningful and diverse sparks and look forward to seeing the wonderful things they will accomplish!


This month the kindergarten readers had the option of reading, The Dot or Be Polite and KInd by Cheri G Meiners. Children who were read, Be Polite and Kind talked about good manners and the importance they play in getting along with others. We also talked about being kind and that it is important to treat one another with respect. We called these acts of kindness and made a list of ways to be kind to one another. Look for ways you can do acts of kindness together as a family. If you make a meal for someone, involve your child in the cooking, have them make a card and help with the delivery. Children who were read, The Dot talked about “muddy thoughts vs clear thoughts” and finding their passions or “spark.”  Whichever story your child heard the message was still the same; stay positive, be kind to others, and help your child to focus on the good in themselves and how they can help others. 

Happy Reading!

Sarah Rizvi at

Lisa Valera at

Hey Lietz Lions!
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Clip or scan your Box Tops labels today,
So our fabulous teachers/staff can play!
Each Box Tops label = $0.10 for our school. All funds raised will go towards our teachers/staff.
AND, turn in at least 2 unexpired labels by May 31st to enter a drawing for a “Mystery Gift Card” too!!
BIG CONGRATS to Leah S., 3rd grade, for winning our April drawing!
SoYun Kim | Box Tops for Education Lead

Do you ever wonder what your child is learning in Art Vistas? Every year our curriculum teaches age-appropriate themes about the elements and principles of art. Art Elements include things like line, shape, color, texture, and value. Principles of Art are more complex ideas about how artwork is composed, and include things like balance, rhythm, contrast, perspective, emphasis, and harmony. If you want to learn more, you can check out the full list of lessons and projects on this page of the Art Vistas website!
Art Vistas Lead Docents
Rebekah Frederickson (K-1)
Caitlin Samenfeld-Specht (2-3)
Priya Vartak (4-5)
Contact us at


One of the last Chef’s Nights Out for this school year will be on Wednesday, May 12th, from 5-9pm.  When you order from the location next to Whole Foods (1110 Blossom Hill Road), Lietz Home and School Club receives 33% of your purchase.  If you are ordering online, please use the code C2LHJL3, and don’t forget to click “apply”.  Directions to order online can be found in the attachment.  Ordering delivery is not included in the fundraiser.  If you are ordering for takeout, make sure to show the flyer attached. Thank you for supporting the Home and School Club!



Jessica Iwamoto Steed | Chef’s Night Out Lead


Singing, clapping, tapping and learning about music is in full swing. 
Lietz music classes have been back in session this school year since November. Some classes are meeting regularly on  Zoom for a virtual  face to face 30 minute class with Mrs. Malloy and/or accessing their grade level Google Music Classroom for assignments .  3rd, 4th & 5th graders are also invited to join a Zoom individually for instruction on recorder, ukulele, voice or help with other at home instruments per student request. If parents have any questions they are encouraged to reach out to their teacher or contact Mrs. Malloy at 


“Lietz Drama Club’s first ever virtual production has wrapped up rehearsals! The priceless Schoolhouse Rock Jr. recordings our cast members made are now safely in the hands of our talented video editor, Joe Holeman.  We now await the final product and can’t wait to share with our Lietz community! We are so grateful for the constant support of the parents, Lietz HSC and Sandya Lopez throughout these past months. Stay tuned for details on how to view the show as well as the announcement for next year’s production!  
As they say in theatre, the show must go on!     
Nancy Grochowski and Sue Malloy | Lietz Drama Club Co-Directors

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.”

You can visit our 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


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 | Farm Fresh to You Lead



Are you thinking of starting a new program that would benefit the Lietz community , may be in the next school year ? 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


May 11, Tuesday, Diversity and Inclusion

May 12, Wednesday, Chef’s Night Out at Chipotle

May 19, Wednesday, 7pm, HSC General Meeting

June 4,  Friday, Last Day of School

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.