From the Principal
April 30, 2019
Dear Abbott families:
It has been a busy and eventful spring at Abbott, and in this edition of the Principal’s Newsletter, you will find highlights of some of the fun, community-building events that have happened recently at Abbott.
In March, Abbott hosted its first ever STEAM Fest night, which was a celebration of math, science, coding, art making, robotics, trivia competitions and more. The highlight of the evening was the raucous student/parent vs. staff trivia competition that stretched into the later hours of the evening. STEAM Fest was a joint project of the Abbott PTA, the Abbott Site Council, and the Abbott staff, and the event captured the spirit of celebrating learning and discovery in a community-oriented event. Thank you to the many parent and staff volunteers who made this event possible, and especially to PTA President, Laura Duncan, who coordinated much of the event. I hope that this event (or something like it) will become a tradition at Abbott in the years to come.
Also in March, our students twice challenged our staff in two epic games of kickball during lunchtime. The staff team won the first game played in early March, but for the rematch at the end of March, the students had organized and trained for the game (cue the theme from Rocky). The student team, aka the Flying Pink Unicorns, had customized pink jerseys and headbands and some players even donned paper unicorn horns for the game. The staff team, not to be outdone, sported customized green jerseys with matching personalized headbands. Hundreds of students lined the hillsides along 36th & Alameda to watch the game and cheer on their classmates and teachers. It was a fun, community-building event, and many thanks to the game’s organizers, including Mr. Koukoutsakis, Mr. Clement, and Mr. Keating.
In March, our PTA recognized several members of the Abbott community for their outstanding contributions to Abbott. This year’s honorees include Laura Duncan, Catherine Ertl, Angel Yan, Jenna Carson, Thaine Sugden, Kathy Anderson, and Fernando Figueroa. Each of them has contributed to Abbott in unique and amazing ways: Ms. Duncan for serving Abbott in a variety of roles, including as our PTA president; Ms. Ertl for her 10+ years of running the daily Chess Club; Ms. Yan for the many hours she spends coordinating Outdoor Education and other field trips for our students; Ms. Carson for all she does to support Abbott athletics; Mr. Sugden for the amazing work he has done directing Abbott’s musicals for the past two years; Ms. Anderson for the campus beautification efforts that she and her students have completed on our campus, and Mr. Figueroa for stepping in to provide stability for our Spanish Immersion program. Each of these honorees has volunteered countless hours providing enrichment opportunities for our students, and the Abbott community is very grateful for their contributions.
The other major ongoing event at Abbott recently has been the beginning of construction on a new gym, locker rooms, and classrooms at Abbott. Much of the grading work is finished, and you can already see the foundation footprint where the gym will be and where the new locker rooms and classrooms will be. Losing some of our blacktop space has made for a more congested campus, but overall students have been very flexible in adjusting to our space limitations. We will be sending out periodic updates on construction, so please continue to check SchoolLoop for those communications.
In the coming month, there are a number of fun, enrichment events planned for our students. In mid-May, our 7th and 8th graders will attend a musical performance and anti-bullying assembly hosted by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Also in mid-May, we will have our spring Band and Orchestra concerts. In June, Abbott’s drama club will perform the musical Into the Woods at Hillsdale High’s Little Theater. In the final week of the school year, each grade level will go on their year-end PPP trips, and our 8th graders will have a week full of culminating activities, including the 8th grade trip, barbecue, breakfast, and dance.
We are looking forward to an eventful and positive final seven weeks of the school year. Please remind your student to maintain academic focus and appropriate behavior over these remaining weeks of the year. Also, please encourage your student to make a solid effort on the year-end state assessments that begin on May 20th.
Joe Hadley, Abbott Principal