The 2012-2013 school year

Dear Birney Bees,

Wow! The 2012-2013 school year was extraordinary. It’s time we reflect on the people and events that make our school exceptional. First and foremost, Ms. Amanda is one heck of a leader. Her ten years at Birney have produced such amazing results. Her commitment to her staff is demonstrated every day as she protects them from budget cutting and other bureaucratic nonsense. Test scores are way, way up; our student population grew from 250 students to 572, and we became an International Baccalaureate (IB) certified World School (3 years ago). There is now a waiting list for families who wish to attend Birney. This year’s awesome happenings include recertification of our IB status; thanks to impressive preparation by staff, students, parents, and Ms. Amanda. Running Club’s Wednesday timed mile participation demonstrates how important physical fitness is to Birney Bees; Coach Lord took a 28-student team to the Chelsea King Invitational in June! And, Ms. Mindy and Mr. Mickey’s Dig Down Deep organization began to spread the seeds of Birney’s unique garden program throughout the county and California. The Birney auditorium and cafeteria will be completed at the end of this school year. We look forward to starting the new school year with the new remodeled facilities.

Sadly, every year we lose some of our most influential families to Roosevelt. This year, we will lose the incredibly talented Michelle Livermore, who designed and maintained our Birney Buzz, Bee logo, and just about every other graphic poster, email, and banner you see at Birney. When you see her, please stop, give her a hug and say thank you (bring tissues!) We also want to thank ALL the 5th grade parents who will be leaving us; they came for the promise of what Birney could become, and helped make this school what it is today.

We faced the toughest funding realities at Birney this year, since the District removed a majority of our magnet funding. We could have lost our Spanish teacher, our librarian, our art, music, and garden programs, field trips, classroom supplies, reading materials, assemblies, Mad Science, attendance recognition, Passport to Adventure AND our IB membership and recertification. Through YOUR donations of time and money during our fundraisers such as Big Give, Run for the Green, monthly donations, social events and auctions, Pride parking, Dinner Nights-Out, Fresh & Easy, Box Tops for Education, Concessions, and T-shirt Sales., as well as generous community and business donations we saved each of these programs! Pulling together we helped the PTA raise $40,000 and the Foundation raise $84,000! Thank you to the entire Birney community for your support!

Some of our most active Birney families are stepping back from key leadership positions, and they deserve recognition for their years of service to Birney. Samantha Boice has been President of the PTA this year and an integral leader for all six years of her tenure at Birney. Fortunately Samantha will remain on the School Site Council and continue to share her institutional memory. Laura Dadmun is stepping down from her leadership role on the Friends of Alice Birney Foundation (FOAB). Laura, along with Risa Baron, Julia Cline, Rebecca Jones, Katrina Petersen, and Kai Lombard formed our foundation only three short years ago. We are profoundly grateful for their dedication and determination.

We must also thank these people for their integral support that got us through this year with success: John Amat, Brenda Anderson, Jaime Anghel, Elizabeth Austin, Carrie Binder, Debbie Brinker, John Budlong, Betsy Carter, Beth Deig, Dennis Gage, Shane Hackworth, Yvonne Hill, Andy Loy, Beth Lunde, Dawn Martin, Sarah McLure, Molly McJohn, Mindy Swanson and Susie Villareal.

Every year, we say farewell to one generation of Birney families and look forward to welcoming the next. This year Kim Schultz (four years at Birney) was elected as PTA President and Jennifer Ayala (three years at Birney) was elected President of the FOAB. Please stop and say “hello!” and let us know how you can contribute to the success of the 2013-2014 school year.

Stay tuned for exciting events at Birney, such as a Birney Family Meet and Greet in September. Our goals for next year are:

  1. Support Ms. Amanda and her staff with volunteers and funding for critical IB and Specials programs.
  2. Create more opportunities for family involvement and fun on campus.

Thank you for the honor to help lead the Birney Bees into the 2013-2014 school year. We are sure it will be an even better year as we expect both our recertification as an IB school and increased educational funding.

Go Team!
Kim Schultz, incoming PTA President
Jennifer Ayala, incoming FOAB President