News from the Principal and the PTA
May 5, 2017
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CLICK HERE for our full calendar of events  


May 8 8:15-12:30ish 3rd and 4th Grade Math STAAR
5th Grade Math STAAR Retest
May 9 8:15-12:30ish 3rd and 4th Grade Reading STAAR
5th Grade Reading STAAR Retest
May 10 8:15-12:30ish 5th Grade Science STAAR
May 12
Decorate for Winds of Time
May 12
2nd grade to Minute Maid Park 
May 15
Leadership Council to Casa de Esperanza
May 16
Last SPIRAL day of the year
May 17
5th Grade Track Meet
Bear Blvd current PK visit HCE
Other PK students coming to Kinder at HCE next year will visit
May 18 8:30 am Last General PTA Meeting: New board is inducted, PTA Lifetime Memberships awarded - don't miss it! 
May 18 Save the Date GALLERY NIGHT (tentative Technology Showcase)
May 19
Bike to School Day (tentative Bike Rodeo)
Book Swap Day - choose a book for summer
4th & 5th Talent Show Dress Rehearsal 8:15
May 22 Times Coming Soon Pulishers' Picnic - make your lunch and come eat together as a family while your student shares their portfolio for the year
May 23
5th Grade Party after school
May 24
4th Grade Choir to SBISD Choir Festival
2nd & 3rd Grade Talent Show Dress Rehearsal
May 25 8:15/30ish  Chariot Races
May 25
4th grade to Museum of Fine Arts Houston
May 25 3:25 Last CIT meeting - For 16-17 members and 17-18 members
May 25 4:30-6:30 HCE Remembering Cougars Memorial Ceremony
May 29

May 30 8:15 Kinder and 1st Talent Show Dress Rehearsal
May 31 8:30
HCE Talent Show for K-1, 2-3 then 4-5
June 1 8:20ish  Clap Out followed by 5th Grade Graduation
June 1 Pizza Lunch thanks to PTA


End of Year General Meeting , May 15th at 7:30PM at The Houston Racquet Club-Meet and have a drink or two.  This year a number of board members are graduating out of Hunters Creek with their last child.  If you are interested in helping next year please let us know.

Rice vs. Texas State , Reckling Park May 16 th 6:30pm-Come watch the season home finale.  Tickets are on Concourse 2.  SBMSA seasons should all be over.

Winds of Time , May 26th at 7:30am-Volunteers to set up a table with a few coolers for free waters. 

5th Grade Graduation , June 1st at 7:30am-Set up caution tape around the school for the 5th grade Clap Out on June 1st.  If you are a father of a fifth grader you will probably already be at the event

Contact Warren Sloan with any questions and to sign up for all events.  713-417-1819 or by email at


Next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, one or more grade levels will be taking: 3rd & 4th Grade Math, 3rd & 4th Grade Reading and 5th Grade Science STAAR tests.  

We do our best to keep our building quiet and calm to allow for an optimal testing environment.  Parent or visitors should not to come to school to eat with students on those days to keep all 'commotion' to a minimum.  

We are also asking all parent volunteers, except Kindergarten and our one front office volunteer, to not come to school on these three days. We have small group testing in every available space including library, computer lab, discovery center...really everywhere but the front office!   

We must change the schedule that day to accommodate the 4 hour testing window. The schedule is pasted below. Every available certified staff member will be administering test or giving teachers a break so we don't have specials on Monday and Wednesday when 2 grade levels are testing.  


1:35 - 2:15 
  12:55 - 1:35
12:55 - 1:35                 
                                       2:15 - 2:55
2:15 - 2:45
1:35 - 2:15                   
2:15 - 2:55

The schedule this day remains the same except for 4th and 5th grades. 

11:05-11:25 10:30-11:00 11:30-12:20
            2:00 - 2:55

Gallery Night
Mark your calendars!
Thursday May 18 th
5 - 7pm
In the HCE Cafeteria
* Awards Ceremony at 6:00 pm for students that were in art competitions this year!*
Come enjoy a colorful and enriching evening brought to you by all the young artists of Hunters Creek Elementary.
You'll see art made by many little hands, grades K-5th
Want to know more than just what you can see?

Look through the pamphlet (available at Gallery Night) for more information and ask HCE students about what they created.
Bring the entire family!
Invite parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, next-door neighbors, and art lovers from all generations!
We look forward to seeing you at our 10th annual Gallery Night!
~ Mrs. Cummings and HCE students


I can't believe it is already May! This year has flown by and has been one of my best year's as a principal - ever!  It is such a gift to be able to 'work' at such a wonderful school with a fabulous staff, terrific students and supportive parents.  We are very busy closing out this school year and preparing for next school year.  In that regard, it's time to say goodbye to some of our Cougar Faculty. 

This is long and has TONS of information so grab a cup of coffee and - Happy Reading!

WE NEED YOU! 3 of our beloved staff members: Francie Moore, Mitzi Reese and Adele Herold will be retiring this year! We want to send these THREE lovely ladies off with appreciation and memories! Our Sunshine Committee is looking to recruit parent volunteers who know and love Francie, Mitzi and/or Adele to coordinate a retirement celebration to honor them and all they have done for Hunters Creek Elementary. If you are interested in volunteering to host please email Blaire Breaux at or Kirstyn Duncan at J

We are sad to see so many of our HCE Cougar Faculty go but know they are all on to new adventures, some with new babies, some moving to new places, some changing jobs and some just ready to hit the retirement road to adventure! 

In addition to our 3 retirees, Jenny Sheets, kindergarten, will not be returning.  In first grade, Mrs. Herrington will be staying home with baby Hank. Second grade teacher, Julie Boyd, will be moving to fill the .5 Primary Literacy Intervention teacher position made available as Caitlyn Luberger will be staying home with baby Oliver and his big brother.  In third grade, Rachel Scott is staying home with baby Landry and her big brother.  In fourth grade, Kylie Wallis is moving to Canyon Lake.  In 5th grade, Rhoda Jazairy will be leaving us to become an Instructional Specialist for Harmony Schools.  Finally, teaching assistants Janie Johnson and Adele Herold are both leaving us for new and exciting adventures!  And really finally - we have 2 teachers moving from their grade levels to new grade levels.  

Here are the goodbye letters AND the greetings from our new hires... so far.  We are still busy interviewing and searching for just the right fit for each position.  


Welcome Back to Peggy Railey! 
Hi, my name is Peggy Railey I am proud to say this is my 13th year working in SBISD, I started as an assistant in Pre-k for four years and moved up and taught kindergarten for two. I have taught second, third and fourth grade. I am excited to be teaching kindergarten this year at HCE.

I attended LeTourneau University and graduated with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies.  I have a wonderful daughter, Devon, a graduate of LSU ...Geaux Tigers!  I have an amazing son, Nicolas, who will be starting his senior year at UNT in Denton. I married my best friend last May,Tosh Railey. I now have 2 more sons, Zachary, an aspiring chef here in Houston and Gavin, a fifth grader in Conroe.

I look forward to teaching great things and am positive that my past teaching experiences will help your children be successful both this year and in years to come. The 2017 -2018 year promises to be full of unlimited learning experiences and fun times.

Welcome Meg Maguire! 
Hi Cougars! I am Meg Maguire.  I will be teaching Kindergarten at Hunters Creek Elementary next school year. I am looking forward to joining an excellent team of teachers and staff. It's going to be a wonderful year. This will be my 6
th year teaching elementary school. I taught 3
rd grade for five years. In my first three years, I taught in Spring Branch ISD, and I also taught two years at Harvard Elementary in HISD. For the last two years, I have been teaching at St. John Vianney's Mother's Day Out program in the 2 and 3 year old classes.

I grew up in San Antonio where I attended Alamo Heights High School. After graduating from Baylor University, I moved to Houston and met my husband Neil. We will have been married for 12 years this June.  

I have three boys that keep me on my toes! My oldest son Finn is 8 years old. He loves football and baseball. My middle son Cael is 6 years old. He loves climbing and all activities that involve getting dirty. My youngest son John is 4 years old. He is the comedian of our family. Finn and Cael have been at Nottingham Elementary in SBISD for the last few years, and will be joining the Hunters Creek family as well. Finn will be in third grade, and Cael will be in first grade. John will be in PreK at Wildcat Way

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and attending sporting events. I am looking forward to sharing my love of learning with our kindergarteners. I can't wait to show them the magic of reading and the excitement of grasping new ideas! 

Mrs. Cantu is moving to 2nd grade! See her message in 2nd grade section. 

Welcome our new first grade teacher: 
Hi! I am Jennifer Landa, a new first grade teacher for Hunters Creek Elementary. I am so excited to become a part of the wonderful Hunters Creek community! I will begin my fourth year teaching this August. I taught 1st grade my first three years at KIPP Explore Academy.
 Before I was a teacher, I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a consultant for two years. I decided to leave the business world and transition to teaching in 2014 because of my passion and love for kids and the teaching process!

I grew up in Hunters Creek Village, attending Memorial Drive Elementary and Duchesne Academy before attending college at Vanderbilt University. I graduated with my degree from the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt in 2012, where I studied Human and Organizational Development with a minor in Corporate Strategy. I feel so lucky to be able to return to the area where I was raised to continue developing the minds and characters of young children.

I am currently unmarried, and I have been dating a chocolatier named Dany for about three years. Dany runs a family owned chocolate and catering business! I am excited to share some of the most delicious and unique chocolates you have ever tasted with my new school community!

In my spare time, I love to cook fun new recipes, indulge in delicious Tex-Mex, read by the pool, and travel. I try to travel to at least one new place each year. My family also owns a farm in Schulenburg, TX where I love to go on weekends and relax. My absolute favorite part of teaching is the genuine joy and love that the students exude every single day. I am so excited to meet all of my new students, and families, in August, and get the 2017-2018 year off to an awesome start! 

Julie Boyd is moving to an intervention position at HCE. 
I feel so fortunate to have called Hunters Creek my home for the last 10 years. I can't wait to continue my journey on this campus as I take on the role of  Primary Literacy K-2 Interventionist. I truly love this community. The faculty, students, and parents of this incredible campus make it such a wonderful place to be!  As a 2nd grade teacher, it is very rewarding to watch each of my students grow both socially and academically. I can confidently say I look forward to coming to work each day.

Teaching children to read has always been my biggest passion as a teacher. I look forward to sharing my love of reading with teachers and students in other grade levels. I am excited to grow in this new role in a school that has a special place in my heart and I will continue to call home. 

Rosie Cantu making a move!
My name is Rosie Cantu-Vargas. I have enjoyed teaching in First Grade these past three years at HCE.  Next year I will be moving to 2
nd grade and joining an amazing team. 

I am so excited to challenge myself next year and fortunate to be a part of this great community of children, parents and staff. I am passionate about teaching and inspiring children to believe in themselves and to become the best they can possibly be. My students become a part of my heart and inspire me to constantly self-reflect and improve myself as an educator. I am looking forward to another great year.

Goodbye from Kylie Wallis: 
This past year at HCE has been an incredible experience. I loved getting to know the staff, students, and families here. I have decided to move closer to my family and continue my teaching career in Canyon Lake. My family and I are also excited for the opportunity to start a wedding venue in the Hill Country.
It has been such a blessing to work at Hunters Creek and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Goodbye from Mitzi Reese
Faculty, Staff, Parents and Students-
I met former HCE kindergarten teacher, Nancy Wiech, about 25 years ago in a neighborhood moms group.  She knew I was a teacher, and she always wanted me to come to work with her here at HCE. 
She said, "Come to HCE." 
I said, "I can't. I'm teaching in Katy ISD."
She repeated, "Come to HCE." 
I said, "I can't. I'm teaching at St. Francis Episcopal."
"Come to HCE," she said. 
"I can't. I'm a stay-at-home mom."
Then one day in the spring of 2005, I came to HCE as a substitute and I knocked on her classroom door and said, "I'm here."
She said, "Finally, you came!"
So, Hunters Creek Elementary has been my home for 12 years.  What a wonderful place to work! 
The students I have taught here are special to me.  I have had the privilege to watch many of you continue on through your years at Spring Branch Middle School and Memorial High School.  You make me proud.
The parents at HCE are supportive, loving and caring. I always knew that you would assist me in any way that you could. 
The faculty and staff is one-of-a-kind.  I have worked at several buildings in my career, and this one is unique and special.
As many of you know, I have four children.  My oldest son lives in Midland with his wife.  I will have two sons, a future daughter-in-law and my daughter attending Texas A&M this next academic year.  My daughter, Katherine, graduates at the end of the month from Memorial High School.  After 12 continuous years as an MHS mom, this is my last year.
I have decided to retire from teaching at the end of the month as I have accepted a job at a local law firm.  I am excited about this change in my life, and I look forward to the challenges and new experiences this opportunity will bring me. 
Good luck to all of you!  Hunters Creek will always have a special place in my heart.
Mitzi Reese
Gig 'Em!         

Introducing Katherine Lewis, 4th Language Arts/Social Studies
Hey there!  My name is Katherine Lewis and I am a new 4th grade ELA/SS teacher for Hunters Creek Elementary. What a joy it is to join the Cougar family! I started off teaching second grade in my hometown of Galveston, Texas (BOI), then moved to Austin where I taught 6th grade Humanities for two years. 
I have always enjoyed the gift of learning and I am blessed to be able to share that gift with the students I encounter. I received my Bachelors degree from Sam Houston State University in 2013, and I am currently working on my Masters from Concordia University. 
My teaching theory states students will grow and thrive through positive and productive interaction in the learning environment! I pride myself on fostering meaningful relationships with my students and building a class family that encourages and praises hard workers! Thank you for welcoming me and I look forward to working with you all! 

Introducing Meredith Lerner, 4th Math/Science 
Hi! I am Meredith Lerner, a new fourth grade math and science teacher for Hunters Creek Elementary. This coming school year will be my sixth year of teaching. I have previously taught both fifth and sixth grade math in Bastrop ISD.

I grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and graduated from Florida State University. I moved to Austin in 2011 and recently moved to Houston. In my free time, I enjoy running, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

I strive to create a safe learning environment that engages students and provides ample opportunities for success. I am so excited to be joining the Hunters Creek faculty. I'm looking forward to a great year!

Goodbye from Rhoda Jazairy
With a heavy heart, I am saying goodbye and starting a new position at Harmony School of Enrichment as a Reading Interventionist. I had a wonderful year and had the opportunity to work with and meet wonderful students and staff. I appreciate all the parents who have stepped in and worked hard to help and make me feel at home. Thank you to all! 

Adele Herold, ESL Teaching Assistant, is re-retiring!  
Maya Angelou said,
"I have learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but  people will never forget how you made them feel."
I will always have in my heart the wonderful feeling of acceptance, kindness, love and caring
that all of you have given me. I will miss you all so very much and remember with great
fondness our time together at HCE.
I am thrilled to have the time to play with my babies and watch them grow and thrive.
Of course I will always save time to continue traveling.
My best wishes to all of you and thank you for the 8 wonderful years we shared together at HCE.
Fondly Yours,  Adele
The 2017 Young Writers Reading Celebrating Writers in the Schools & MenilFest
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross
Saturday, May 6, 2017
11:00 a.m.

Writers in the Schools would like to congratulate the following young writer(s) from Hunters Creek Elementary for having their work selected for the 2017 Young Writers Reading. The winning authors were chosen out of thousands of students from schools and community centers across our city.
Lucia Kanazir, Zoe Lai

These girls are invited to read their writing at a ceremony this  Saturday, May 6th at the Menil Collection. The reading features the best students from our 250 school, community, and hospital classrooms across the Greater Houston area. 

This year, the Young Writers Reading is part of MenilFest, a free afternoon of art and entertainment that will extend across the Menil campus. The festival will include live music, film, readings, workshops, yoga, and children's activities. 

Invite your friends and family to spend the day at the Menil. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the reading, and have a picnic or enjoy food from local food trucks.

We are very proud of our students!
4:30-6:30 pm
Before the Memorial Day weekend, Hunters Creek has planned an event honoring the many memorials we have on campus.  On Thursday, May 25 th we invite you join us as we honor and learn more about the memorials and the people that they commemorate. 

These lost teachers and students have touched the lives of so many current and past HCE staff, students, and families.  Our Leadership Council, Mrs. Cummings and Mrs. Chvatal have planned a wonderful week of memories that will educate our current students and staff about the lives of these special, missed Cougars. We want all students and faculty to understand what each HCE memorial represents and why these people are so special to HCE.  We will end this sharing of memories with a special ceremony on May 25.  

We will honor the following people and their memorials on HCE campus:

Robin Woods, HCE teacher
Kelly Sewell, HCE teacher
Nancy Ray, HCE teacher
Alana Harris Greenshaw, HCE student
Sam Schubert, HCE student
Nicole Lee, HCE student

We will also have a dedication ceremony for a garden that has been on campus for 
several years that was started and maintained as a source of education by a retired teacher, Mrs. Jeanette Domaschk.  
After 43 years of teaching at HCE, she still loves to return to campus to work in the garden when she gets the chance. We will be honoring her service and commitment to HCE that evening as well.

Thursday May 25th
Gather in the front of the school and walk with us as we visit each space and hear from students who have educated our school about each memorial.

All registered voters within SBISD are reminded to vote in this year's School Board Elections. Election Day is TOMORROW - Saturday, May 6. Please visit for more information.

Election Day sites include:
The following seven Election Day voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. 

Voting locations are based on middle school attendance zones and home street address:
* Election Precinct No. 41 - Landrum Middle School, 2200 Ridgecrest, Houston, TX 77055
* Election Precinct No. 42 - Memorial Middle School, 12550 Vindon, Houston, TX 77024
* Election Precinct No. 43 - Spring Branch Middle School, 1000 Piney Point, Houston, TX
* Election Precinct No. 44 - Spring Woods Middle School, 9810 Neuens, Houston, TX 77080
* Election Precinct No. 45 - Spring Forest Middle School, 14240 Memorial, Houston, TX 77079
* Election Precinct No. 46 - Spring Oaks Middle School, 2150 Shadowdale, Houston, TX 77043
* Election Precinct No. 47 - Northbrook Middle School, 3030 Rosefield, Houston, TX 77080

Candidate Information:
  • Trustee Josef Klam is unopposed for Position 1.
  • Competing for the Trustee Position 2 are incumbent Chris Gonzalez and Mary Curry Mettenbrink, a non-profit executive.
All positions are for three-year terms.
If you need assistance on where to vote or for all other questions, please call 713-251-2217.
Counselor's Corner
By Andrea Chvatal

I ran across a newsletter from Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth about building assets in our children.  "Assets inoculate young people against a wide range of risk-taking behavior." - Peter L. Benson, Ph.D., president of Search Institute.  Researchers there have identified 40 assets that have a powerful, positive impact on young people.  Children and teenagers who have a lot of assets get involved in very few at-risk behaviors - the kinds of problems that might keep us awake at night.  There are different lists of assets based on age, from age 3 - 18. 

A few  that overlap are:
Family Support: Family life provides high levels of love and support
Positive Family Communication: Child feels comfortable seeking advice from parent(s)
Caring School Climate: Relationships with teachers and peers provide a caring, encouraging environment
Community Values Youth: Child feels valued and appreciated by adults in the community
Service to Others: Child has opportunities to help others in the community
Family Boundaries: Family has clear, consistent rules and consequences and monitors the child's whereabouts
Adult Role Models: Parent(s) and other adults in the child's family, as well as non-family adults, model positive, responsible behavior
Achievement Motivation: child is motivated and strives to do well in school
Homework: Child usually hands in homework on time
Reading for Pleasure: Child enjoys and engages in reading for fun most days of the week
Self-Esteem: Child likes and is proud to be the person that he or she is
If you'd like the list of assets for your child's age, click here to be taken to the Search Institute's site.  You will have to register in order to see their lists, but it takes about 20 seconds and it's free.

PTA President's Perspective
What a wonderful Teacher Appreciation week we had!  Thank you to all the
volunteers who brought breakfast, lunch and/or an afternoon treat for the teachers and to those who worked lunch duty!  Our school is a wonderful place because of all the amazing teachers, staff AND parents!
The Planning Committee held their final meeting of the school year this week.  A huge thank you to Kelly Siblik for her leadership in chairing the committee and to the committee members, Jennifer Daly, Niki D'Agostino, April Eschweiler, Michelle Kelley, Jeff Lanier, Deana Ratnala, Hilary Scarborough, Robye Snyder, Katrina Stephenson, Emily Voorhees and Tonia Whilden for their time and dedication serving in this important role.   
Another thank you goes to Carrye Krouse and Katrina Hudson for hosting another yummy staff appreciation luncheon.  We appreciate all the time and effort they have put into their chair positions this year! 
Happy Friday!

Katrina Stephenson
HCE PTA President

Thank you for all of those REBATES!!

Thanks to all the teachers/ students and their family for summiting the BOX TOP coupons for 2016-2017 


The following classrooms will be getting an Ice Cream Party!!

Mrs. Kerr  (life skills)
Mrs.Trout (Sheets) (kindergarten)
Miss Early (1st grade)
Mrs. Boyd (2nd grade)
Mrs. Ford (3rd grade)
Miss Wallis (4th grade)
Miss Wilhelm (5th grade
Leave a lasting legacy at HCE with an engraved brick with your family name, tribute to a loved one, or just something fun. 

Orders can be placed online through the HCE PTA Store or filling out a form and submitting it to the front office.  The deadline for orders is May 22nd, 2017 so hurry and get yours in TODAY!

Spring Cleaning 
"We need Books"

Please bring books for rising 
th graders and 1
rd graders
Book Swap

All students will visit the HCE library on Friday, May 19th to pick one book to read this summer and jumpstart their summer reading .  All HCE students will be able to choose a book regardless of whether or not they have donated a book.

Please donate ( Now until May 1st ) your gently used books to the HCE Summer
Reading Book Exchange.  All levels of reader from 1st to 6th grade acceptable.  Please no picture only books or crossword or activity books. 

All extra books collected will be donated to our sister school Woodview Elementary. 

There is a blue recycling bin for collections in the HCE front lobby

Go online to or drop off a check to front office,
send through your child's backpack or mail to:
Ketti Collins, 851 Country Ln, Houston, TX 77024
Don't forget to complete your ANNUAL VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION. 

You need to do 2 things to complete your annual volunteer registration. 
1.  Register with SBISD at
2.  View the HCE Volunteer Training video and sign the google form.  Or, attend a training at school the first day or first few weeks of school.  

Video of HCE Volunteer Training:
iKids U After-School Program

iKids U registration is going on now for the Summer(at Bunkerhill Elem) & 2017-2018  School Year!  

Turn in registrations at the HCE front office, visit iKids online at, or register by phone at 713-665-5200.  iKids U offers a variety of onsite after-school opportunities at HCE including Stay & Play, Enrichment classes, and One on One services.  Customize your child's after-school schedule with part-time and full-time options available!  iKids U starts on the first day of school and classes are filling-up fast so enroll today!
Hunters Creek Elementary | School & PTA | 713-251-6000| Email | Website

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