News from the Principal and the PTA
NOVEMBER 18,  2016
                        VISIT OUR SCHOOL WEBSITE            VISIT OUR PTA WEBSITE 
CLICK HERE for our full calendar of events  

Nov 22
Pierce Aspinall was the winner and wants students and teachers to dress in CAMO next Tuesday for Dress the School Day!  
Nov 23-25
Thanksgiving Holidays
Nov 30
5th Grade to the Symphony
Dec 1 3:20 pm Campus Improvement Team Meeting
Dec 2 6:30 am-5:15ish pm 3rd Grade to Galveston to Square Dance at the TAPHERD Conference and visit Moody Gardens
Dec 2
Hands on Science - Lights
Dec 5 9:30-10:30
Parent Education Series: understanding  The 5 Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell.  

Mrs. Chvatal will give an overview of this enlightening book about how to effectively love your children in their own language.  
Dec 7
Dec 8 8:30 HCE Spelling Bee in the Cafe
Dec 9
FUN RUN with Woodview Elementary - see article below for details
Dec 9 4:30 pm Fiddlers Holiday Concert @ Memorial Drive Elem
Dec 13
First Grade White Out Day
Dec 14
PTA Planning Proposals due to Ms. Snyder
Dec 15  9:30 
3rd grade author visit - Bruce Colville
4th grade author visit - Bruce Colville
Dec 16
Holiday Parties - Schedule coming soon
Report Cards Go Home
Jan 3
Staff Development Day
Jan 4
Students return to school 

Winner:  Pierce Aspinall

WHEN?   Tuesday, November 22


(very, very minimal face paint is a spot on each cheek)

This time of year I always pause to reflect on the many blessings in my life. I am happy to say that leading at Hunters Creek Elementary is very close to the top of my list.

I am thankful for so many things in my life - my faith, my family and my health but feel especially blessed to know that every morning when I go to work I'm going to a job that allows me to affect the lives of 650 children every day. 

I say that but, really, I just support those who truly affect and change lives daily. Those are our teachers.  I believe the faculty at Hunters Creek Elementary is one of the strongest I've worked with in my 37 years in elementary schools. They are committed, competent, compassionate and courageous. 

They spend hours before and after school and on the weekends preparing lessons, grading student work, organizing their classrooms, planning and setting up work stations, preparing and hanging student work, changing bulletin boards, creating anchor charts, choosing just the right leveled text for 5 different reading groups, choosing the right set of word study words for 5 different spelling groups, planning to work with students who need a challenge and students who need more support, learning all the TEKS and how to use materials most effectively, answering email, conferencing with parents, attending professional trainings, coming early to tutor students and so much more.  Remember all of that happens before 8:00 am and after 3:00 pm.  

And some will say, yes, but they get the whole summer off!  Wrong - summer allows them more time to reflect and refine their practice, learn and prepare for the next group of children. They analyze trailing data and the data of their students coming in, attend trainings, participate in book studies, meet as teams to beginning long term planning get the idea.  

So - please join me in being thankful for the teacher who has your child in her hands for 7 hours 5 days a week.  Show her your thankfulness by trusting her judgment, respecting her professional expertise, letting her know what she does well and continuing to support as you do in so many ways.  

THANK YOU for all you do to make our teachers 'feel the love'!  


HCE 5th graders have been privileged to work with Memorial Villages Police Officer Miller, the 2013 Texas DARE Officer of the Year. He has been with the MVPD 13 years and has been teaching DARE to 5th graders for 9 years. 
Our children have spent the last 10 weeks learning from Officer Miller. They have learned they must concentrate on making the right choices to have productive lives, including listening to their parents and teachers and deciding who they should and shouldn't associate with.  They have learned that to lead a safe and healthy life they must know the facts about drugs, be responsible-decision makers, avoid peer pressure, and to be upstanders to prevent bullying.

Today we celebrated their graduation from the DARE Program. It was a great celebration with essays read by: 
Avery Moore from Mrs. Jazairy's class, Isabella Manicucci Guzman from Mrs. Menard's class, Catherine Gordon from Miss Wilhelm's class and Oliver Oldham from Mrs. Murphy's (formerly Wright) class. 

The ceremony was followed by a grilling extravaganza by officers from the MVPD for our 5th graders.  


HCE is opening a school store! With help from some 4th grade shopkeepers, we will open once or twice a month to sell to 4th and 5th grade students as a beginning.  If the store does well, we will expand!  

Everything in the store will sell for $1, $2 or more so we don't have to make change.  For some items you will able to get several for the $ amount.  We will start by selling pencils, pencil sharpeners, fun erasers, backpack ornaments, pencil grips, and supply zipper bags. We are starting small to see what sells and to see what other things the student might need to buy - notebook paper?  spiral notebooks? 

Here are the school store dates: 
Nov 22, Dec 6 and 13, Jan 17 and 31, Feb 21
If it's working, we will add more dates to finish the year.  

If you have suggestions for things you'd like the 4th and 5th grade students to be able to purchase, email

Please remember to follow the route to line up for afternoon parent drive. No left turn into the parent drive is allowed.  You should go to the END OF THE LINE by following this route when you come to line up.  


Thanks to Carrye Krouse and Kristi Oldham for a great Science Fair Project display and a chance for families to view the projects.  

It's always fun to see what the kids do - their trials, errors and success.  THANKS to all! 


Friday, Dec. 9th, 2016 at Woodview Elementary

Raising money for a new SPARK Park at Woodview Elementary!

HCE 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students ride school buses to WVE.
The HCE K - 2nd graders will have their Fun Run at HCE.  

Fun Run Schedule
Pick up HCE-8:05
5th- 8:20-8:55 (WVE & HCE)

Pick up HCE-9:05
4th 9:15-9:55 (WVE & HCE)

Pick up HCE-10:10
3rd 10:20-11:05 (WVE & HCE)
Here are some ways for students to raise $1 or more to contribute: 
  • Ask parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc. to sponsor you in the FUN RUN by donating a dollar or two. (we will not count laps)
  • Earn money by doing extra chores - walk the dog, wash the car, bathe the dog, sweep the sidewalks, take out the recycling, pair socks, pull weeds, rake leaves, etc.
  • Open your own piggy bank or wallet and contribute a dollar, two or even five.
Please send contributions in an  envelope marked "Fun Run" , with cash or checks made payable to SBEF (Spring Branch Education Foundation)
with "HCE/WVE" in the memo line.

THANK YOU to Hunters Creek Elementary for helping Woodview Elementary work their way to a SPARK Park for the school as it is one of the only places for them to play! All the students and staff are appreciative to everyone for their donations.
Counselor's Corner
By Andrea Chvatal

Every year before summer break I conduct guidance lessons on stranger danger.  I show pictures of ordinary people, such as an older woman, a smiling man in his forties, and a young person with a dog.  The students  and I define a stranger as someone whom we don't know, and who we may or may not know their name.  Even if the person says they know the child's parents, if the child doesn't know the person, we consider him/her a stranger.  

Please watch a couple of videos of a social experiment conducted by "Joey".  He asks parents in a public setting if he can talk to their child and he wants to see if the child will walk off with him - a complete stranger.  The parents usually tell Joey that their child will not go with him; they expect their child to come running to the parent.  More often than not, the child will hold Joey's hand as they walk away from the parent, with the promise of seeing puppies or getting a treat.  

(Note - I do not show these videos to students)

An interesting observation I made when I began working in schools is that many children have their names on their backpacks or lunch kits.  All I have to do is read the name and I can begin talking to the child as if I know him/her.  If your child walks alone to/from school, or takes their backpack to any public place, please be reminded that knowing their name gives a stranger a huge advantage to begin a conversation.  If the child stays to listen, the person can come up with all kinds of stories that may convince your child he/she knows their family ( "I work with your dad and there has been an emergency, Sally.  I need to take you to the hospital to see your dad.  Jump in !")

I tell children that parents/guardians will not send a stranger to pick them up and take them somewhere.  The parents will send someone the child already knows.  There are also "tricky adults" who ask children for help, such as finding a lost dog.  Tricky adults ask children, not other adults.  Usually, if a trusted adult has a problem, they will ask another adult to help, not a child.  The tricky adult concept should be a red flag to your child if he/she gets asked to help a stranger. 

This post is not to alarm, only to inform and to help you begin or continue the conversation with your child about stranger danger.  I want parents to feel comfortable talking about this year-round; it's too important of a topic to only be addressed once a year in school.
PARENT EDUCATION WITH MRS. CHVATAL, Monday, Dec 5, 9:30-10:30am 

Next in the Parent Education Series: understanding The 5 Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell.  

Mrs. Chvatal will give an overview of this enlightening book about how to effectively love your children in their own language.  We all have a unique way we give and receive love - do you know your child's love language and how to communicate love to them in that language?  This is a book for parents, teachers, caretakers, grandparents.

This is not a book study but an overview of the topic. All are welcome to participate in this one hour session.  Join us Monday, December 5th from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. in Rm 7 at HCE. 
Please consider donating non - perishable food items to support our sister-school. We are creating 50 bags of groceries to help families in need at Woodview. 
There is a bin at the front of the office to place items. We're looking for things like Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna, Canned meats, cereal, pasta, canned fruits and vegetables and snacks. 
Thank you so much for your help!!!

PTA President's Perspective
Wow! Our Rock On HCE auction was awesome!!!  I hope everyone that went had a great time!  Thank you to  Ashley Landers, Kendle Dardis, Jamie Ratliff, Kathy Deffebach, Jan Ingersoll and Kelly Adams for putting on a rockin fun night and raising money for HCE!   There were so many volunteers that helped make our auction a success and I thank each and every one of them. Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated!!  A BIG thank you also goes to everyone who wrote checks, donated items, placed bids, signed up for parties and purchased ads, trips, basket and raffle tickets!  You support of our great school is very much appreciated!
Another shout out goes to Carrye Krouse and Katrina Hudson for hosting another yummy Staff Appreciation luncheon last Friday.  The teachers really enjoy these special lunches the PTA provides. 
The 4th and 5th Grade Science Fair was Tuesday night and the science projects were amazing!  Good job to all the kids that participated.  Thank you to Carrye Krouse and Kristi Oldham for chairing science fair!   The science fair would not be possible without you and all the teachers who helped.   
Thanksgiving break is next week.  I am so thankful for our wonderful school, for our fabulous teachers and faculty, and for our many dedicated volunteers!  I wish you all a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 
Katrina Stephenson
HCE PTA President
Artwork Winner: Hannah Le
HCE, have you heard the BUZZZZZZ??? 

School Bee - Thursday, December 8th @ 8:30 am

Classroom Winners:   

  Scott-                               Duncan -               
Violet Smith                      Sarah Lamnaii        
Jack Robertson                 Kiano Romero
Rozzell-                           Jackson-                         
Miles Tucker                     Nathan Vuu                      
Jake Campbell                 Cohen Pham                    
Ford-                                Badrak-
Shreyas Saboo                 Ashley Le
Yaser Fadel                      James (Orman) Key
FOURTH GRADE                                                    
Wallis-                             Knight-              
Rylan Fink                         Natalie Jones                   
Georgia Sperandio            Zakir Hussain                   
Lopez-                             Martin-
Anna Zamastsyanina        Blake Dardis
Jacob Witte                       Dade Dooley
Warren Dooley
Noah Le
Menard-                           Wilhelm-
Hannah Moore                  Hannah Le
Kylee Pham                      Dylan Deffebach
Jazairy-                            Wright-
Isabella Allon                    Brooke Miers
Avery Moore                     Tanush Paradeshi
Contact persons for further information or questions:
Jenny Robertson at
Meg Bissinger at
Denise Campbell at

Are bedtimes and vegetables a struggle in your household?  How about getting homework completed peacefully?  Discover tools and techniques for effectively dealing with these issues and more...

Join us Thursday mornings for a nine-week book study of  Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  
All meetings are 8:05-8:55 in room 7 at Hunters Creek. 
Mark your calendars for these remaining dates. No need to have attended from the beginning:

December 1st & 7th

You may purchase a copy of the book at:  OR  OR through your local bookshop
For more information, contact Andrea Chvatal, M.Ed., Counselor, Hunters Creek Elementary or Sarah Eixmann


The Collins Family
Dr. Salimah Cumber & Aziz Hussain Foundation
The Nini Family
Reina Ramos & Reagan Ramos
The Turner Family
HCE Family - Anonymous
The Badar Family 
Kim & Joe Dang
The Kimmel Family
Elliott & Wells Wagner
Laura & Ryan Zehl
HCE Family - Anonymous
HCE Family - Anonymous
The Adams Family
The Campbell Family
The Carlson Family
The D'Agostino Family
The Daik Family
The Daly Family
The Kelley Family
The Krouse Family
The Oldham Family
Amanda & Trevor Parsons
The Sparks Family

The Annino Family
The Armitage Family
The Chaffin Family
The Chenoweth Family
David & Brianna Cisarik
Meaghan & Charles Conrad
The Cyrus family
 The Donnelly Family
Andrea and John Ferruzzo
The Goforth Family
The Green Family
The Gross Family
The Hudson Family
The Ingersoll Boys
The Jackson Family 
The Le Family
The Moss Family
The Ratliff Family
Lexington Smith & Family
The Staley Family
The Steeg Family
The Stephenson Family
The Thibaut Family
The Weekley Family
The Wolcott Family
The Zarr Family
HCE Family - Anonymous

Ashley & CL Baskin
Alonso I. Benavides
The Ben-Yaacov Family
Tim & Nicole Blaine
Patricia Daly
The Gores
The Kinsel Family
The Loeffler Family
The Lowy Family
Robert J. Magner
Matthew & Shelley McCain
Jill and Chris Oliver
The Parkan Family
Addison Rappold
Fred Ghabriel & Phoebe Rourke-Ghabriel
Watler Family
The Werme Family
The S. Yang Family
Friends of HCE

The Bissinger Family
The Deffebach Girls
The Eixmann Family
The French Family
The Hausmann Family
The Hilgert Family
Mindy and Chris Jones
The Lanier Family
The Lunsford Family
The Mendez Family
The Mousoudakis Family
The Robertson Family
The Rush Family
The Siblik Family
Thalie & Alexia Simeonidis
Twinkie Snyder
The Witte Family
The Zarich Family
Cougar Fans
HCE Family - Anonymous

Brian & Cherish Bradshaw
The Castellanos Family
Camila Gracia
The Giudici Family
Kathie Grabstald
Huy & Julie Nguyen
The Peeples Family

Azael De la Cruz/Sherry Salomon
Amanda Janicek
The Masunaga-Bonzelet Family
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 201 6 -201 7  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!
Please CLICK HERE to download a registration form  
Hunters Creek Elementary | School & PTA | 713-251-6000| Email | Website

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