This year, more than ever, we are thankful for our community and their support of Piedmont schools.
As we move forward together, we wanted to share some of their stories and why the Giving Campaign is important to them.
Meet Emma, Lanea’s guinea pig. Emma had to endure hours and hours of distance learning sessions with Lanea in 2020. While Emma enjoyed quality time with the kids, she is thrilled that Lanea is back in school and not at home – All. The. Time.
Last school year was challenging for our family, but this year it feels like we’re off to a better start. PUSD still has a lot to navigate with potential Covid exposures this winter, but hopefully, we can get through this phase together as a community.
— Anna and Jon Patty, parents of Lanea (Beach, 2nd), Rylan (PMS, 6th) and Aidan (PMS, 8th)
The community here is so welcoming to newcomers, and I’ve been so impressed with the cohesiveness of the community and the focus on supporting our schools. The whole ethos of ‘it takes a village’ is something I really feel here.
— Xenia and Nikolai Meyer and Nina (1st grade, Wildwood), Andrew (4th grade, Wildwood), and Sofia (6th grade PMS)
Distant memories of our SF lives with littles before the magic of Piedmont and its amazing schools. So grateful as a family to do our part each and every year with the Giving Campaign and support this community as it adapts and grows with strength and resiliency.
— Tonya Antonucci and Natasha Cupp, parents of Maddie (Beach, 4th) and Connor (Beach, 2nd)
After these last 18 months, people really realized how vital it is to have our kids in schools with the wonderful teachers, the
great facilities, and all the extras that we have here in Piedmont.
— Dana Lung, parent of Elena (PHS, 10th) and Olivia (PMS,6th)
We remember the first year when we were asked to contribute to the Giving Campaign and thinking, “Why are they asking for money? Isn’t public school supposed to be free? Aren’t our tax dollars already paying for public school?” Yes, our tax dollars do go towards our public schools but the amount is woefully inadequate in California. The Giving Campaign is one of the ways our community is stepping in to fill the gap between what our schools receive from state and local taxes and the actual cost of educating our children. Like smaller class sizes? Art and music classes? Our beautiful Beach library? The Giving Campaign helps make these happen!
– JinAh Lee and Ken Kim, parents of Phoebe (Beach, 4th) and Jonah (PMS, 8th)
After Prop 13 passed in 1979, the future for the Piedmont Schools looked gloomy. New Superintendent of Schools, Walt Hale, was challenged to find a way to keep the educational opportunities, support services, and enrichment programs at a level expected by the community, although state funding was greatly reduced. There was a way! Piedmont Educational Foundation existed! With visionary leaders within the community and school district, the first major fundraising efforts to protect educational programs in Piedmont began. This community/school district partnership continues and is now in its 36th year. Each year I choose to honor this partnership with a donation to help ensure the continuation of excellence in the Piedmont Schools. Please join me. Every donation, small or large, matters.
— Nancy McHugh
“It took moving out of state for six months this year to help us realize how special Piedmont truly is. Even when members of this community disagree on specific issues, it’s clear that we are united by a shared belief in the importance of education, and in working together to make our schools the best they can be for our children.”— Laura Maestrelli and Dustin Frazier, Dylan (Havens 3rd) and Madeleine (Havens Kindergarten)
My name is Austin Lambe. I work as the Behavior Analyst for the district. As such, I get to travel to all the school sites, conducting behavioral observations and assessments in order to generate plans and interventions to support our students and their teachers. Getting to sit in so many classrooms over the past six years affords me a somewhat unique view and perspective of our school district. Sitting in these classrooms, I am struck by how many times I have had the thought; I wish I had this teacher as my high school English teacher, or my middle school Science teacher, my 4th-grade teacher, my Kindergarten teacher, etc., etc. and so on. The teaching here is fantastic and it is delivered with such care and commitment.
My wife and I are happy to support The Giving Campaign every year, we believe in public education and will be contributing again this year.
— Austin Lambe, Behavior Analyst, PUSD
Hello, my name is Michael Kalin, and I’m a 5th grade teacher at Havens! I’ve been a teacher for 13 years, and have taught at a number of other schools in other districts during my career. When I landed at Piedmont last year, I immediately noticed a unique feeling of community — and I’m truly grateful for the strong connections we have between parents, teachers and administrators. We have parents who are engaged in student learning and supportive of classroom efforts. We have teachers who collaborate, problem-solve and support one another. And our administrators support the staff and help us all keep connected with our students’ families. In my experience, all of this, together, is a rarity.
— Michael Kalin, Havens 5th Grade
The schools are the heart of the Piedmont Community, and when teachers and students and parents are all feeling safe and supported, the community is stronger. We work best when we are united in creating small learning communities that strengthen each child in their mind, body and spirit. Your contribution to the giving campaign helps in so many ways to make all of that happen. Also, specifically as the theater teacher at Piedmont High School, I am so proud to work in a community that truly supports the Arts.
— Kim Taylor, PHS Theater
Why am I still teaching in Piedmont Middle School after 20 years? I am supported in so many ways to take risks, to reach, to innovate, to humanize and personalize the institutional experience for tweens and teens, and to manifest singular and particular learning opportunities for my students every year.
— John White, French, Green Team, Film/Animation at PMS
From my childhood days in Iowa, I was fascinated by the bird-calling contestants on late night shows coming from a school that would be capable of such an extraordinary student experience. The pursuit of academic excellence, in the context of a positive learning environment, is a heritage I am proud to believe that I now am contributing towards in this generation. Go Highlanders! Achieve the Honorable!
— Flint Christensen, PHS Computer Science