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Voice: Finley school year remembered

June 28, 2002

As the 2001-2002 school year ends, it is time to look back at some of the more memorable moments. The first day was amazingly calm with all 700-plus students in their classrooms by 8:35 a.m.; truly remarkable.

Thanks go to all of the support staff including playground aides, custodians, secretaries and cafeteria aides for making that happen. The calm was broken by the events of Sept. 11. Bomb threats and evacuations frightened our students even more than media broadcasts. We are grateful to Pastor Deinert and the members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church for providing a cool, safe place for our students to wait for parents or to go back to class.

Open house in an auditorium filled with parents featured third-grade students singing "God Bless America" standing in front of a flag made from the hand prints of second-grade students.

October brought the annual Halloween carnival. For the first time in many years, it was again a teacher, parent, community event. Teachers gave their time to work in the booths, local 4-H clubs, churches and the high school participated. It was enjoyed by all and helped ensure a safe Halloween for our children.


November saw the first of four Accelerated Reader award ceremonies. Students received certificates and prizes for reaching their reading goals. Many of the prizes were donated by the Holtville Unified cafeteria staff and purchased from money raised at the carnival. The Accelerated Reader store opened thanks to Mrs. Huyler, Mrs. Wray, Ms. Guerra and donations from the Holtville Rotary Club. Parents gave their time to run the store as students used their reading points by "buy" merchandise.

The beautification committee, chaired by fifth-grade teachers, planted flowers and 23 new trees to be enjoyed by all. We are grateful to Verde 4-H and parents for their generous donations of time and money to help in this endeavor. Thank you to Mr. Tounzen and other members of the Society for Creative Anarchism for bringing a renaissance fair, complete with dragon, to our kindergarten classes. Mrs. Elisa Strahm led a pep rally for STAR testing. Mr. Joe Alvarado and Del Sol Market donated ice cream for over 550 root beer floats for students with perfect attendance during testing week. Mr. and Mrs. McClure of George's Pizza taught a group of kindergarten students how to make pizza during a field trip. Students performed at the flagpole during our spring open house. Parents were then able to participate in make-it take-it events with their children as well as visit classrooms. Science night saw many parents enjoying hands-on science activities, learning with their children.

Kalli Ries, Maria Preciado, Maria Reynas and Jonathan Ruiz were outstanding members of the new safety patrol at Finley this year. Fifth-grade students led by Sara Jane Abatti, Marlis Whalen and Marina Perry raised money to purchase a new flag for the school, raised proudly June 7.

Mrs. Kennedy is retiring after 32 years and will leave an empty spot. We say good-bye to some teachers who also will be greatly missed and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Charles Hartshorn was named teacher of the year. Thank you to the many teachers, parents, support staff and community members who have made this year one to remember for our children. We look forward to a rewarding, educational 2002-2003.



Finley Elementary School


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