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AUGUST 27 2015

Dear Dragon Families,
Welcome back to school and I hope you all had an amazing summer!! I cannot wait to see our Dragon community on Wednesday and I look forward to an amazing school year!!  I wanted to take a minute to share some exciting news and information for the upcoming year!
New Faces at PK!!
Please join me in welcoming two new staff to Pennekamp! First, I want to introduce you to Mrs. Lauren Walsh, joining our second grade team in room 17. Mrs. Walsh, a South Bay native, is returning to Manhattan Beach after completing her undergrad at George Washington University, her Master's at Columbia University New York, as well as starting her teaching career. We are fortunate to welcome Mrs. Walsh to Pennekamp as she comes with a wealth of experience and is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is dynamic and interactive to support student achievement. As an avid reader she is excited to share her love for literacy and looking forward to continuing strong pedagogical practices to help instill the desire for all students to become life long learners. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Walsh to the Dragon family!!
This year brought changes in third grade as well and I am excited to welcome Mrs. Amanda Vavao to third grade after 10 years in Kindergarten!! With veteran experience in early literacy reading skills, Mrs. Vavao is now taking her passion for growing as a learner to a new team and grade level. While she is not new to PK, please join me as we welcome her to the other side of campus!!
Also joining the third grade team at Pennekamp is Mrs. Sara Bauer. Mrs. Bauer is originally from the Bay area and attended Boston College before moving to sunny Southern California. Sara has been teaching locally at a private school for the last four years and she is excited to embark on her new journey at Pennekamp with our third grade team. Mrs. Bauer comes to us with extensive background and experience in Reader's and Writer's workshop will be a perfect fit to our team. Her hope is to instill a love of learning in all children that will only promote student success. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Bauer to the Dragon family!!
As a whole the teachers at PK have spent time this summer; examining best practices for instruction, ensuring all students have a viable and guaranteed curriculum, and implementing the Common Core Standards across all content areas. In addition, MindUP curriculum will be a presence in every classroom as well as part of the PK culture.  Look for new programming and information to come soon!! This was a summer of refining and reexamining our craft to give students the best possible environment for both academic and social progress. With that said, I look forward to our year ahead and will see you Wednesday morning!!
Welcome Back Dragon Family!
Dr. Brown