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Sand P

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Sand Pine Elementary PTA Ginny Yanson, Principal Todd Cluff, Assistant Principal 29040 County Line Rd. Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Phone: (813) 794-1900 Sick Line: (813) 794-1911

WHAT’S COMING May 2010 31 Memorial Day/No School

June 2010 4 Fifth Grade Disney Quest 9 Fifth Grade Clapout & Last Day of School!

Summer Vacation! July 2010 26-29 Kindergarten Camp

August 2010 11 Orientation (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) 16 First day of school

District School Board of Pasco County 7227 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard Land O’ Lakes, Florida 34638 Heather Fiorentino, Superintendent Allen Altman Joanne Hurley Cathi Martin Kathryn Starkey Frank Parker

District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5

PTAPipeline Sand Pine Elementary

Volume 12 • Issue 6 • May-June, 2010

What a Year it’s Been!

Dear Parents,


t’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is almost here! I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your participation in our events this year and for your support of PTA. I would especially like to thank my incredible PTA board. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented group of people, who are so dedicated to helping enrich the educational and social experiences of the children at our school. You have each done an outstanding job—words can not express my most sincere gratitude.

I would also like to welcome our new 20102011 PTA board! It has been an honor serving as your PTA President, and I am looking forward to serving again next year. I am pleased to say that while many of our seasoned veterans will be returning to the board next year, we also have many new parents who have decided to join us! There are still several positions available, so don’t be shy! Being part of the PTA board is a fun and rewarding experience and I encourage you to join us. Many people think PTA is just a lot of volunteering but I can assure you that we have a lot of fun along the way. And just look at those smiling faces on our web site as the kids enjoy the events we plan! If you would like to be a part of planning next year’s events, please contact me to discuss filling one of the positions that are sill available. I am happy to report that our April Walk-AThon was a great success! This was one of the most successful fundraisers we have held at Sand Pine and it was lots of fun for the students! In fact, it was so much fun and so successful that we are considering doing it again next year. During the next two weeks the students will be receiving some very cool prizes and taking part in some fun activities to celebrate their success in the walk-a-thon. Thanks again to all of the families who participated! We were thrilled to see so many families at our last BINGO/General Assembly meeting. If you smiled for the camera, please be sure to check out the pictures that are posted on our web site.

Our first PTA Spaghetti Dinner was a huge success with the cafeteria full of families enjoying some good old fashioned Italian food and music—That’s Amore! With summer break right around the corner, we have already begun planning for our “Meet Your Teacher Day” event which will be held on August 11. We will have t-shirts, school supplies and PTA memberships on sale for the new school year. If you would like to help plan this back-to-school event, or to simply help pick the t-shirt design for this coming year, please contact me to discuss joining the board. Please keep our PTA web site www.sandpinepta. org listed as one of your favorites. We will be updating the site with important school information throughout the summer so be sure to check it often. Finally, on behalf of the PTA board I would like to congratulate Mrs. Yanson on her upcoming retirement. Mrs. Yanson’s unending support of PTA, during the years that I have been here at Sand Pine, has truly been appreciated. It has always amazed me how, even after all of these years, her eyes would still light up and she would seem almost as excited as the children were to hear all about our plans for fun events and programs! To say that she has been supportive of PTA is an understatement! I will never forget the year that Mrs. Yanson dressed up as a clown for our PTA Carnival. The kids absolutely loved it! Mrs. Yanson, it has truly been an honor to know you and to work closely with you as part of the PTA. My children have had a wonderful experience thus far here at Sand Pine and that has so much to do with you, your leadership, your love of children and your support of PTA. Best wishes as you “graduate” from Sand Pine! I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer break! See you all in August! —Peggy D’Alessandro May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 1

2009-2010 PTA Board Members President

Peggy D’Alessandro


Kim Clarke


Darlene Basi

1st VP

Christine Simonelli

Vol Coordinator


Dawn Khalil


Carlos Vera


Dawn Khalil


Lisa Weinstein


Mary Burstiner

Public Relations

Nicole Auman


Mari Blank


Nicole LaRocca


Katalin Rutherford


Deb Rottum

Dad’s Club

Valerie Ryan-Lanza

Sports Totes

Darlene Basi


Mari Blank

2nd VP

Jenn Metz


Colleen Moore


Jenn Metz

Community Donations Chrissy Hymiak Spirit/T-Shirts

Jenn Metz

Team Party

Tiffany Ragsdale

Health & Safety

Kem Baker


Christine Simonelli



Val Ryan-Lanza


Darlene Basi

Staff App

Catherine McLain

School Vol. Co

Ms. Westbrook

The PTA Pipeline is published six times a year, and can be found online at the PTA site: Principal

Ginny Yanson

Assist Principal Todd Cluff PTA President

Peggy D’Alessandro

Principal a note from the

Dear Parents,

This letter is difficult for me to write. I kept putting off writing it because I know that it is to be my last letter featured in the PTA newsletter. Most of you know that I am retiring at the end of this school year. I do so happily in the sense that I have had a rewarding career and now am ready to begin a new phase of my life. However, on the other hand, I am leaving a career that I have loved and that has been my life for over 40 years! I never fathomed that I would become a school principal. As I look back now, I think it was always somewhere suppressed in my mind. As a child growing up, I played school with my dolls and with my younger siblings and the neighborhood kids. As a teenager, I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. As far as a student myself, I was always one of those little girls who just loved school! Some form of “school” has always been a part of my life. I remember my first day as a teacher. I could hardly wait to go home and tell my family that I had the best job ever. It was like I was getting paid to “play” all day. That was exactly what it felt like to me. I had found my passion! I must admit that feeling has been with me for 40 years as I have continued to work in the education field. When you are fortunate to find a life’s work that you love, work is not work! My first day as an elementary principal was equally exciting. I had an opportunity to play a bigger role in molding a school into what my vision of an elementary school should be. That being, as corny as it may sound, “simply, a place where children want to come to each day.” My biggest challenge and responsibility came when I was named principal at Sand Pine Elementary. I was honored but somewhat apprehensive by such a huge responsibility. Sand Pine Elementary has been my most rewarding assignment as a principal. I have enjoyed watching our students excel and move on to middle school and high school with continued success. Many compliments are given to our students from the middle and high school administrators and teachers regarding their academic performance, behavior, etc. Our faculty and staff have always been committed to do what is best for students and provide a nurturing learning environment. I feel blessed to have a parent base that is cooperative and supportive. We could never have the “school” that Sand Pine Elementary is known to be without dedicated families who take a “keen” interest in what happens here. Thank you for letting me serve as your principal and entrusting your children to me. I will continually need to remind myself of the words I say to teachers and staff when they leave us, “You never really leave a place you love. You just take part of it with you, and leave a part of you behind.” Sincerely and with cherished memories,

Editor/Designer Dawn Khalil

Ginny Yanson, Principal 2 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

Mrs. Yanson’s Retirement Party was held May 14th. For more pictures, visit the pta website at www.

mr. cluff’s corner

A Principal’s Legacy

A Fond Farewell to Mrs. Yanson!

I’ve never been one to get too sentimental about the past. I moved around a lot as a kid (I changed schools thirteen times in my K-12 experience), and I think I learned to simply accept that change was an inevitable part of life. I actually grew to thrive on change and saw it as an opportunity rather than a negative thing. In many ways this helped me be a very resilient, positive person through all of life’s unexpected twists and turns.

Unfortunately, though, when I finally was in college and living on my own, I decided to throw away most of the mementos from my childhood. I am not sure what I was thinking, but I guess at that time I didn’t see the need for keeping them. So out went the photos, the certificates, the newspaper clippings, etc. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that it occurred to me what I had lost. I have come to regret the decision to simply delete my past. And now, here we are in May 2010, approaching the finishing line for another year at Sand Pine. Although in many ways this ending is very much like those of previous years, this one is actually completely different. This one marks a change that Sand Pine has never experienced. Since this school was built and opened, there has been a one thing the students, staff, and community have been able to rely upon…at the helm of our ship has been someone steadfast, our principal, Ginny Yanson. Over the years as faculty members changed, portable classrooms came and went, roads and sidewalks were built, accountability requirements were added, and our car lines simply got longer and longer, there has been one constancy that has provided both comfort and stability to a very dynamic school. Ms. Yanson’s leadership has been a driving force in making Sand Pine the school of which we all have been proud to call our own. Although we celebrate and appreciate the recognitions and awards we have received from those outside our school, we celebrate and beam with pride that we get to call Sand Pine “our” school. When Ms. Yanson packs up her things from her office later this summer, she will undoubtedly uncover a multitude of mementos scattered throughout. There will be all the things that have fallen behind her credenza, slid to the back of the drawers, and stored in a variety of books and files. There will be photos of former students, unrecognizable drawings sketched by well-meaning, small, unsteady hands, cards and letters full of compliments and complaints, and a wealth of other trinkets from years of celebrations. As Ms. Yanson celebrates her retirement, I hope these small memories bring her smiles and a sense of satisfaction of a life that has made a difference to others. I’m sure she won’t make the same mistake I made years ago in deleting the past. Her past is a reminder of the difference she has made in the countless lives that she has touched as our leader. We won’t delete our past either. Although she may not be steering the ship, Sand Pine will continue to make her proud. In the future we’ll be the legacy that Ms. Yanson can point to and proudly call her own.

May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 3


Media Technology News

—Mrs. Pope, Media Specialist Mrs. Simmons, Technology Specialist, and Mrs. Chitty, Media/Technology Assistant Mrs. Westbrook, Reading Specialist

Thank you to the PTA for donating the money to buy 7 more ELMO document cameras. They will be given to each team to use in their classrooms! We will be collecting box tops over the summer! Please help our school out by filling out a summer Box Top collection sheet. They will be sent home with your students and will also be on the website for downloading. They will be due September 1st. There is a box in the Media that they can return them to, or they can give them to their new teachers! We are looking for a new Boxtop Coordinator for next year. This is a great opportunity for someone that can volunteer time from home. If you are looking for a chance to help the school but can not make it to SPES this is for you! You would count the boxtops and box them to send to the company. You also help by putting out the signs and coordinating new fun ways to encourage students and families to save boxtops! If you are interested please contact Mrs. Simmons at We have done some wonderful collaborative lessons this quarter in the computer lab with all grade levels! With second and third grade, we have been creating Comic Life documents using research about famous scientists and inventors.

In 4th and 5th grade we have been making Keynote presentations about career choices. We are also creating movies with the 5th graders in the Gator pod that will be interviewing famous inventors! Their teachers have been working with Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Pope to plan and research about the inventors. Once the research is completed they will go through the process of making a movie by scripting the movie, making props, designing costumes, and filming the movie. They will learn how to edit the movie using iMovie and share them on the morning news show! We are participating in a great recycling program here at SPES by recycling Capri Sun Juice Pouches. We all know how much the kids LOVE to drink these over the summer! Wouldn’t it be great to help the Earth, raise money for SPES, and not have to buy anything extra for the fundraiser? Here is your opportunity. When your family drinks Capri Sun this summer, flatten the pouches and remove the straw. Store them off in a box or bag, and return them to SPES when school starts! We can send them in to be recycled and earn two cents a pouch. Although it may not seem like much, when everyone turns them in it will add up! We would love to buy some new technology and books for the media with this money!

Summer Reading Please encourage your children to continue their reading over the summer! Barnes & Noble at Wiregrass is launching the 2010 Passport to Summer Reading! Visit http://www. summerreading/index.asp for more information. Here’s how it works: 1. Kids read any eight (8) books of their choosing. 2. Kids use the Passport to Summer Reading to document the places visited in each book. A parent/ guardian signs the Passport when it’s complete. 3. Kids bring their completed Passport to any B&N store between May 25 and September 7, 2010. B&N will give them a coupon for a FREE BOOK, to be chosen from a list of exceptional paperback titles. You should also visit your Pasco County Public Library for summer reading information and events!

Book Battle 2010 The Book Battle is a friendly competition between area schools using questions from the 15 Sunshine State books. Students who read all 15 Sunshine State books may attend meetings and practice sessions. Only six students may be on the Book Battle Team. Students meet with Mrs. Pope and Mrs. Chitty to practice the many book questions. The book battle team is open to third through fifth graders. Our Book Battle Team finished third with only 2 points between first and third place. It was great fun and our team showed great sportsmanship. The students also enjoyed touring JLMS. Congrats to Lauren, Elizabeth, Emily, Viviana, Madi and Isabella.

4 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

Reading Assignment Inspires Giving!

Tropicana Speeches

Mrs. Lopez’s class was inspired by the book Beatrice’s Goat about a family in Uganda receiving a gift of a goat, and how it changed their lives. After finishing the book, the class took it upon themselves to raise enough money to help a family in Haiti with their own gift of a goat from Heifer International. This inspirational story was portrayed in the Tampa Tribune on May 21st. A link can be found on showing pictures of the class taken by the Tribune. Thank you Mrs. Lopez for proving that no matter how old, we all really can make a difference to those in need!

Sand Pine Volunteers Log 8,338 hours! Thanks to our dedicated school volunteers, we once again received the “Golden School Award” from the Department of Education for having an outstanding volunteer program which includes, among other criteria, Volunteers having twice the number of volunteer hours as the number of students enrolled in the school. We far surpassed that requirement with approximately 4 times the number of hours. On Monday, May 10th we honored all of our volunteers at our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. The students wrote thank you notes to the volunteers that cheerfully decorated the tables! We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our volunteers! We couldn’t do it without you! Volunteers with more than 25 hours received a certificate and a pin. Our top volunteers also received a bag of goodies.

A PTA Moment PTA Membership PTA Membership for the 2009-2010 school year was 506. Thank you Sand Pine parents, teachers, staff, grandparents, and business partners for making a difference for our children! Awards Sand Pine PTA received 3 membership awards from the Florida PTA this year including: Golden Early Bird Award (we increased membership over last year’s numbers before October 15, 2009); 100% Faculty Membership Award; and Community Membership Award (we have at least 25 Business/Community Memberships).

On April 19th our fourth and fifth grade finalists from each pod participated in a school-wide competition. We had a wide variety of topics and all of our finalists did an excellent job! 1st Place: Rachel F. – The Time I Was Almost Killed By an Alligator! 2nd Place: Stephanie B. – Wonderful World of Skiing 3rd Place: Natasha A. – My Secret Butterfly Rachel competed at the District Competition on May 5th.

Thank You Volunteers! There were many volunteer opportunities available this year as the PTA hosted events such as the Fall Festival, Bingo Nights, Family Dance, Spaghetti Dinner, etc. We were fortunate to have help from parents, teachers, staff, and even teenagers working toward earning volunteer hours for grades or future college scholarship requirements. To those of you who volunteered with the PTA by giving your time, your efforts, and/or your donations, we sincerely THANK YOU! You are all special people, and the PTA could not have accomplished its goals without your help. Have a safe and enjoyable summer with your families!

May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 5

A look at the PTA’s active year!

August 2009 Orientation Teacher Welcome Back Breakfast

September 2009 Brusters Night

PTA Gen. Assembly/Bingo

Your PTA has accomplished so many wonderful things this past year. In particular, we provided some magnificent programs for our students and parents along with providing fun family time at the Fall Festival, Sweetheart Dance, 2 Bingo Nights, Magician Assembly, and our Spaghetti Dinner. We also donated sufficient funds to purchase:

November 2009 Ident-A-Kid PTA Food Drive Reflections/General Assembly Fire Safety House BMX Show

December 2009

October 2009 PTA Magician Assembly Dad’s Club Lunch PTA Movie Night Red Ribbon Week Fall Festival

February 2010

PTA Holiday Shop Candy Cane Run

PTA Sweetheart Dance

April 2010

May 2010

Access for all to BrainPop 22 Netbooks 4 Laptop computers 7 Elmo document cameras All these things were possible thanks to all the parents who participated in our fundraising activities and also the many volunteers who kindly gave their valuable time to our PTA. The many PTA activities bring a strong sense of community to our school.

6 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

March 2010 MOSI Night Bruster’s Night Relay Hat Parade

Walk-A-Thon Field Day Relay for Life Hat parade Relay for Life

PTA Gen. Assembly/Bingo Teacher Appreciation week Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast PTA Spaghetti Night


Student Council Last day of school & the 5th grade clap-out

May 28th is AR Point cut-off.

is June 9th!

Our 2009-2010 Student Council Officers: Jaime Valenta (President), Kristi Bimonti (Secretary), Ethan Williams (Treasurer), Danny Khalil (Vice President)

Wiregrass High School

l has 3 sessions of Basketbal Camp this Summer! Contact

May 26

Coach Calzone or Coach e Finkel at 346-6000 for mor

All Media Center Books Due!


WANTED: backpacks

A Message from Our President

This year in student council we earned lots of money from the social. We are going to

donate all of it. The Pasco Humane Society

will be getting a $200 donation. We will also

be donating $300 to the SPES ABC fund. We have gotten all of this money because of our GREAT social we had.

Being President of student council was

The girl scouts will be collecting donations of gently-used backpacks at the end of the school year to donate to the homeless in Wesley Chapel. Look

for a blue labeled bin at the car drop off in the morning the last three days of school.

awesome. I loved planning the social and

There are still a few spirit shirts available, but act fast before they’re all gone! Contact Jenn Metz at

deciding with my peers what games and

activities to do at the social. I also

enjoyed planning where we were going to donate the money we earned. Being the President of

student council felt like a TERRIFIC fifthgrade achievement. I loved every second I was President. This was the best and last year of mine at Sand Pine Elementary. —Jamie Valenta,

Student Council President, 2009-2010

Congratulations to our Wesley Chapel Pride Winners

Goodbye Mrs . Yanson, w e will miss your fun spir t here at Sand Pine, but you will not be forg otten!

The Pride Awards Breakfast is an award ceremony that recognizes children in the Wesley Chapel area as honored for their hard work throughout the current school year. Each school chooses one child from each team who excelled all year as a recipient of this award. Congratulations to our winners: Victoria Alba, Crystal Faddoul, Eric Fox, Sean Glassman, Jushua Nault, Garan Peralta, Christina Varisco, as well as our Sand Pine Partner Volunteer, Dawn Khalil.

May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 7

Sand Pine Students Enjoy Field Day April 14th

After being postponed due to rain, Field Day was finally welcomed by all. Thanks go to the many volunteers that made this year’s Field Day so much fun for our students!

8 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

Sand Pine Relay Team Did It Again!

April 16th’s Relay for Life was an unforgettable event remembering those lost to cancer and celebrating those who have survived. Led by Mari Blank, our Sand Team raised over $8,700 to help find a cure. Sand Pine’s Hat Parade in April raised several hundred dollars. Visit for more pictues!

PTA Bingo Night

At our last PTA General Assembly of the year, we had a wonderful turnout with lots of family fun! The 2009-2010 PTA Board was thanked and the incoming 2010-2011 Board was introduced. There was no shortage of lucky winners as the night progressed. Thank you to the PTA, teachers, parents, and the all the volunteers and sponsors (First Watch, Barnes & Noble, Massage Envy, Big Cat Rescue, MOSI, and Connection Fundraising Corporation) who helped make this event a success! Visit for more pictues!

Bravo to Toys-R-Alive!

Under the direction of Mrs. Bidgood, along with Mrs. Badalamente, Ms. Cozier, and Mrs. Alba the students of Sand Pine put on an incredible show! The months of before- and after-school rehearsals really showed in the three performances! The production revealed the enormous talent of our Sand Pine students. Many thanks go to the teachers, parents and students who helped with the production, including making the sets and costumes. Visit www. for more pictues!

May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 9

That’s Amore! The PTA held the first ever Family Spaghetti Dinner on Friday, May 21st and what a success it was! The cafeteria buzzed with spaghetti & meatball diners while several kids serenaded us all with That’s Amore that they learned in their music classes! The italian ices and pastries were a special treat that didn’t go to waste. Many thanks to Sam’s Club, Cosi and Grillsmith for some yummy donations! Special thanks go to Becky Schaffer, our Food & Nutrition Manager, as well as all our wonderful volunteers!

For more pictures, visit

10 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

3 Thank You 4

Sand Pine PTA Business Partners

The Sand Pine PTA would like to thank the businesses listed on these pages for their generous support. When you visit these businesses, please thank them for their support.

PTA Platinum Superstars

To our 5th Graders: Congratulations! Good luck at JLMS We will miss you!

PTA Gold Superstars

If you’d like to see your business listed here and on our website next year, contact superstars@ May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline | 11

PTA Gold Superstars

Come and celebrate the joy of movement with us! NOW ENROLLING for 2009-10 Season and Summer Camps! Children: Classical Ballet | Jazz | Hip-Hop | Modern Tap | Acrobatics | Musical Theater Adults: Dance | Pilates | Ballroom | Fitness 5330 Primrose Lake Circle | Tampa, FL 33647 |

813.979.2222 |

Silver Superstars

33 Mcllwain Family Dentistry 33 Life Source Chiropractic

12 | May-June 2010 PTA Pipeline

PTA Pipeline 2010-05  

Sand Pine Elementary PTA newsletter for May & June of 2010. Wesley Chapel, FL

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