Creating Foundations For Life

Issue: #219 05/09/2022
Dear Good Shepherd Families,
Volunteer hours!
We could not run our program without the constant support of parent volunteers. We rely on volunteers to buy the Friday ice cream, tally pizza receipts, hand out pizza at the middle school, supervise field trips, help at musical productions, work with children at centers in a classroom, plan class parties, and hold the stop sign at our busy crosswalk, just to name a few. All families K-8th are expected to volunteer 25 hours over a school year. If you are a preschool family, the volunteer hours are 7. If you are looking for additional hours, we are looking for extra help on the elementary playground at lunch recess from 12-12:45 or 1:00 -1:45, or both. If you are interested in helping supervise play during our K-2 lunch or our 3-5 lunch, let us know by emailing Mrs. Rubalcava in the office at We appreciate your assistance.

Testing next week!
Our 2nd-8th graders will be taking the SAT 10 tests during the weeks of May 16-27th. Please do not schedule any doctor or dentist appointments during this time; it is difficult to schedule make-ups. Also please be sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast on test days. 

8th Grade D.C.
The 8th grade DC trip was phenomenal. The students got to visit so many amazing places. My favorite was Arlington Cemetery. We participated in the laying of the wreath ceremony and witnessed the changing of the guard. Take a look at these pictures for the highlights. Our 8th grade group will be preparing a presentation for next year’s 8th grade families to share their experience. Keep an eye out for more information. 

As always please reach out with questions or concerns.

Kristin Lorenz, Lower School Director and
Laura Fitzpatrick, Upper School Director
8th Grade Spotlights Are Back!
Class of 2022!
Ashley Hjort

School Next Year:
St. Vincent's High School- Recipient of the Vincentian Scholars Award!

What teachers say about Ashley:

Ashley's consistency, persistence, and passion make her an outstanding student. Her creativity and knowledge is infectious.

You are amazing! We are so proud of who you are, and so impressed with how hard you work to accomplish your goals. We wish you joy in your years ahead!
Love, Mom and Dad
Kate Patterson

School Next Year:
Marin Catholic High School- With Honors

What teachers say about Kate:

Kate is incredibly talented in everything she attempts. She dives fully into everything she is learning, and finds ways to apply her learning to her own life. We are excited to see how much she thrives and flourishes in high school and beyond.

Watching you grow-up and achieve so much in your 9 years at Good Shepherd has been such a joy. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you accomplish at MC and beyond. You’re ready to soar to great heights.
We love you! Mom, Dad, Maddie, and Ben
Kaia Derenzy

School Next Year:
St. Vincent's High School

What teachers say about Kaia:

Kaia is a fun-loving, kind young lady who enjoys connecting with her peers and being a source of laughter. She will make any room light up.

We are so proud of you! You are smart, kind and you are such an amazing person! You truly love and care about your friends and family! You are able to make friends everywhere you go! You will do big things in this world! We all love you more than you can even imagine!
GSLS Student, Lucca Chao's writing spotlighted in Marin IJ's "Letter to the Editor"

Student’s story inspired by ‘Meadow in Starlight’

I am a seventh grader at Good Shepherd Middle School in Novato. Our class was assigned to write a narrative inspired by the “Meadow in Starlight” GIF published on the New York Times website. Here is what I wrote:

This was mom’s favorite place: Out in the meadow where no one could find us, at exactly 10 p.m. on Saturdays. We would bring our handmade blanket from Grandma and lay it out on the dewy lawn. Our backs were on the ground and our eyes gazed up at the sky of stars.

We would bring our dog, Louie, an adventurous white lab, who chased the fireflies until they all flew away.

“You can barely see the houses in the neighborhood from here,” I would say. “What if we get lost?” Mom would chuckle lightly and say, “We can never get lost. We have the stars.”

Now, when I look up at the sky, I don’t think of the stars. I think of Mom. I thought if I came to her favorite spot, she would be closer to me, like I could almost hear what she was saying. It has been 28 Sundays without her.

Every night I would think that I could hear her voice, telling me she loved me and missed me. I would look at Louie, who simply tilted his head in silence. Maybe it was just the howling wind. Maybe it was just the buzzing of the fireflies. Maybe it was just the chirping of the crickets. But I knew it was her, whispering through the wind, “I love you.”

— Lucca Chao, Novato
Parent Education Night with Ralinda Watts: Parenting With Identity in Mind
Date: May 19, 2022
Time: 7pm
Zoom Link:

Who: All are invited to converse in this ever-important parent education night.

With her warm and inclusive approach, Ralinda will introduce a DEIJ framework and empowering language to help families support their children in conversations around race, identity, and more. As our children navigate the complexities of a global world, through this workshop, we will learn strategies that cultivate curiosity where difference is affirmed, celebrated, and embraced. Through listening, learning, and leaning in, Ralinda invites us to think critically about how we as parents can work to cultivate an inclusive school community, beginning with our first step, engaging in an honest and open dialogue.

Ralinda Watts is a diversity expert, educational consultant, practitioner, and speaker, at the intersection of culture, race, identity, and justice.

A native of Los Angeles, Ralinda is a proven leader with demonstrated experience as a Diversity Director and Division Head, she has developed a K-12 identity and social justice curriculum, frameworks, and programs, including Sharing Our Stories and the 9th-grade seminar course, Intersections of Identity. Ralinda is a founder of the Los Angeles Diversity Directors' Consortium and has consulted in education, media, and entertainment.

Ralinda earned her M.Ed. from Columbia University, where her research focused on the recruitment and retention of faculty of color and the Black@ social media movement. She is a writer and thought leader, contributing to numerous publications such as PopSugar, CBS Media, Medium, Yahoo Lifestyle, and a quoted expert for the Los Angeles Times.

Ralinda founded RalindaSpeaks, a DEIJ consulting platform, and brand that produces the podcast, RalindaSpeaks, inviting conversation on what matters most, authenticity.

We hope to see everyone on zoom on Thursday May 19th at 7:00 pm. We are stronger together.
You're invited to our Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour to celebrate all parent volunteers. Please join us!

Monday, June 6th at 6:30pm
at Beso Bistro

We had a full year of wonderful community and school events: school dances, our spectacular gala, the first annual golf event, classroom parties, parent education nights, teacher appreciation week, bookfair, yearbook, etc. the list goes on! We know that none of this would be possible without all of you!

We will provide light appetizers. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. 

Special thanks to the Christian Family for sharing Beso with us this evening!
More This Week. Don't Forget to Sign Up!

Thank you to all who participated in the slime Pay-to-Play! It was a fun seeing the children create some fun and colorful slime! We thank all the parents who took their time to chaperone and clean up after the mayhem!

Pay-To-Plays Coming Up:

Four Square ROCKS! The kids will have some tournament play and enjoy pizza and snacks before ending the afternoon with an awards ceremony. 2 hours of after school fun! 
Party Hosts: van den Toorn-Dibble and Harstad Families
Thursday, May 12 - Evening of Beauty and Bubbles

Good Shepherd Mom, Melisa Kratky, hosts this fantastic party where you will experience at our local Beauty Heroes store on Grant Avenue in Novato. Enjoy bubbles and bites while shopping the store's curated selection of specialty beauty products. Each attendee will receive a gift bag ($100 value) with beauty items chosen by Beauty Heroes owner, Jeannie Jarnot. You don't want to miss this fabulous evening out!
Party Host: Melisa Kratky (Christian, pre-K)
Saturday, May 14 - BOCCE TOURNAMENT!

Sign up as a team or as a single. The Federation Pro will provide Bocce instructions to all and then we'll play some awesome Bocce. Following play, we will enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner. 
Party Hosts: Bryan & Stephanie Sander (Sydney, 3rd; JB, Kinder)
GSLC Family Chapels Continue!

Hello, Good Shepherd Families.
We have been thrilled by the response to our March Family Chapels series as each has been a beautiful coming together of our wonderful community. This week is the week of generosity. Being generous can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life. It can make you happier, healthier, and improve your relationships with others.
There are all kinds of ways to be generous, from donating to a cause you believe in to volunteering your time. Not only will it benefit others, but it could also benefit you.
We are looking forward to many more student performances, special themes, readings, songs, and sharing some special time together. Please join for any and all!
Warm regards:
Family Chapel Committee
Schedule and Classes Performing

·      May 11: Butterfly, Dragonfly, Middle School - Faithfulness
·      May 18: 4th & 5th grades- Control
·      May 25: 2nd & 3rd grades-
·      June 1: Kindergarten & 1st grades - Rescheduled due to OPEN CLASSROOM
You can now download the 2022-2023
"At-A-Glance-Calendar" HERE


  • Monday, May 16th - Friday, May 27th:  2nd-8th Standardized Testing: No Appointments Please
  • Thursday May 19th, 7 pm: Parent Ed Night with our DEIJ Consultant Ralinda Watts (PTC event):  Zoom Link
  • Thursday, May 26th: Middle School Blast Day - 5th Grade Visit: Details emailed to 5th grade soon!
  • Monday, May 30th: Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL/Offices Closed
  • Wednesday, June 1st, 5-7 pm: PS, & K-5th Open Classroom + Art & Music Night
  • Friday, June 3rd: Free Dress Day: Theme - Inside Out!
  • Monday, June 6th, 6:30 pm: Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour (PTC event): See EVITE For Details


1180 Lynwood Drive | Novato, CA | 94947
School: 415.897.2510 | Attendance Line: 415.209.9398 | Middle School: 415.897.8099 | Fax: 415-892-0663