Week of the Child and Candiate Bios

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

From the Desk of Laura Glaab...​​​​

Kim, one of our ESL teachers, organized an amazing Week of the Child this week! Her theme was Book Love and, I’m sure you can assume, I was a huge fan!!! There is nothing like spending time with excited kids reading fabulous books. Here are some highlights:

  • We delivered milk and cookies on Pajama Day. Actually, our school was overrun with principal interviews and parents came to the rescue. Students were stoked about a couple of Oreos and reading under dimmed lights. We even served the Queen for the Day in Andy’s class. (Side note: we almost were too overwhelmed and cancelled this. WE ARE SO GLAD WE DIDN’T! We’ll be using this motivation as other events come during the remainder of the year.)

  • At Outdoor Drop Everything And Read,  students positioned themselves in the grass and on benches and ledges. They silently enjoyed the one day we had with good weather and great books. Teachers enjoyed students curled up in the grass and alive with the adventures books provide.

  • Haley, our third grade paraprofessional, co-hosted two assemblies with Izzi, the dragon mascot, and a few fifth graders. We watched videos about Reading Superpowers and The Summer of Reading Program at the library. We danced The Cha Cha Slide and sang along to some of our favorite songs.

  • Spirit Week was alive and well this week. My personal favorite will always be Izzi B Day! However, Mathlete vs. Athlete is becoming a fast favorite. Thanks to all the parents invested in making these looks happen!

  • If you pass by the Library, you will see teachers’ favorite books on display - some from teachers' childhoods. If you ask Andrea, she might even show you her “Reading Rainbow”- esque video book recommendations from students in every grade!

  • A week celebrating children and books is about as good as it gets for me. I’d say it can’t get any better, but I just remembered: we are following this up with Writer’s Workshop from five authors on May 17 for grades 3-5.

A long time ago, I asked if we could make this the year of the book, do you think we’re getting close?


For questions or conversation, reach out to Laura Glaab via email or phone 720-423-9900.


Take Action...


Council Board Elections, Candidate Bios

Council Board will welcome to new parent members for the 18-19 school year. The following Izzi B parents are interested in joining the Board. Please review the candidates bios and plan to attend our next Council Meeting, Thursday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m., to meet the candidates in person and place your votes. The newest board members will be announced in next week's Notes from the Dragon Cave.

Michael McMurray

I was born in Cali, Colombia; grew up in Texas and lived in Seattle and California before moving to Denver almost eight years ago. Career-wise, I am an Assistant Professor at the nearby Anschutz Medical Campus, where I run a research lab and train PhD students. Family-wise, I am the father of two current Izzi B students, a fifth-grader who is headed to middle school next year, and an ECE4-er who will be in kindergarten here next year. We became an Izzi B family in 2014, and my wife, Tania and I have devoted much of our time to the school in the last four years. I have spent many hours volunteering in classrooms and at school events, leading Exploratories, attending Council Meetings, attending Heart Talk and Equity workshops, acting as a Classroom Liaison, and working on the Exploratories and Grant Writing committees. I believe that in that that time I’ve developed an understanding of what works and doesn’t work in terms of cultivating a sense of community in our school, and an appreciation for all the disparate voices that need to be heard in our community, including which ones need additional attention in making sure they’re heard. I am a highly empathetic person who is able to appreciate multiple perspectives that may differ from my own, and I also have a drive to get things done effectively and efficiently, which I think are valuable qualities for the Council Board. I truly enjoy employing my experience and skills toward helping our school, and I believe that serving on the Council Board would be an effective way to do so.


Anna Moon

My daughter started Kindergarten at Izzi B in 2016 and I continue to be very impressed by both the staff and school community. In particular, I love the inclusive culture and the social-emotional focus found here. I'm interested in serving on the Council Board to help the school as it grows and matures. I would like to use my background in business and engineering to provide input on planning future initiatives and finding additional resources. Izzi B has been a wonderful place for my daughter and I want to contribute my skills to help it become even better.


Brad Dolian

I’m the proud father of two children (Emma, 1st Grade and Nick, ECE) in the IBCS Community. I am originally from Connecticut, I graduated from Duke University and I have been living in Denver with my wife, Lauren, since 2006. Professionally, I've been in marketing for 14 years, with a heavy focus on mobile, digital and innovation. I currently manage social media, online banners and mobile for Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops. In addition, I am currently working on a personal side project to launch a new direct-to-consumer product that will be sold online. I am interested in the role of council board member for a number of reasons. First, I have been very pleased with our Izzi B experience thus far and I feel it has a very strong foundation of teachers, parents and values to build upon. Further, I believe in the mission and its guiding principles align with my beliefs and what I strive to instill in my children. I believe the school is at an important inflection point and I would like to play my part, in conjunction with feedback from the broader community, in giving back and helping to shape its' future. Our family has not been with the school since inception and I view this as an opportunity for new, and objective, thinking. In addition to a fresh perspective, the fact that I am a male would also bring added diversity to the council. Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to reach out to me personally with thoughts or questions.


Kenda Keenan

I have two children here, Jasper in kindergarten and Evan in 4th grade. We have been privileged to be a part of this amazing school community since the very first year when we were only four classrooms with 87 students. In the years since then, I have had the opportunity to be involved at Izzi B in many different ways. I have been on the Auction Committee and the Liaison Committee (which I co-chair this year), given many school tours, and even worked in the Office our first year in the building. I was also on the Council Board for two years and then served as Council Board Co-chair and have been a part of multiple hiring committees. In addition to volunteering at school, I work part time as a Gallery Teacher and Adult Guide at the Clyfford Still Museum downtown. I am dedicated to supporting our staff and I see so many amazing things happening at our school, and such potential for growth! I believe deeply in the mission and vision of Isabella Bird Community School and in an inclusive community where all our families feel welcomed, and all our children are engaged, learning and making discoveries every day. 


Traci Lacheta In 2013, I introduced myself to the school leaders and immediately followed up with the question, “How can I help?” and I have continued to ask that question of our community weekly for the last five years. It has been my pleasure to serve Izzi B as both the Fundraising Chair and in several behind the scenes projects. In addition to being a wife, the parent of both a fourth grader and first grader, I work full time as the Director of Special Projects at the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) in Denver. At work, I dedicate myself to supporting teachers and school leaders in service of students. As a council board member, I will bring both my parent and professional perspective to inform what is best for our community and ultimately each of our kids. Our school represents a truly diverse community of students, educators, and parents who want the absolute best learning experience for each child and are not afraid to improve until that goal is achieved. As a founding parent who gave the thumbs up to becoming an Innovation School, I commit to honoring the school’s mission while embracing the new ideas and systems this community needs to grow and make every child and adult feel included and welcome.



Donor Perfect

Izzi B is in the process of launching a new donation platform, Donor Perfect. Please take two minutes and click on the form below to input the credit card donation. We will be shutting off the SimpleGive system at the end of May. Thank you again for your generosity!! http://bit.ly/2Hf0jEZ. Please Direct Giving Committee Co-Chair and Izzi B Parent, Tricia Houston, if you run into any issues. Thank you for supporting our school, the monthly donations go so far in helping us keep our school running efficiently throughout the year.


All Library Books are Due SOON!

We are entering our final weeks of school, which means it’s time to close our library book collection to checkouts and start getting them back on our shelves! After Friday, May 11, no more books will be checked out to students or staff. Notices will go home with students the following week. Please help your student look for lost books in the car, under their bed or even mixed in with your own book collection at home. Every student who returns all their books will receive a small gift from me, Izzi B Library Para, Andrea Rothstein! We currently have 897 books home with Izzi B students. This is about $13,000 worth of books. I plan to track and celebrate the return of each one of these books as we finish out the year! Stay turned each week with an update! For questions, please contact Andrea.


What's Going on With...


Isabella Bird Principal Candidate Bios

Bios of the two finalists for the position of Isabella Bird Principal are included below. We hope to announce the name of our school's future leader in next week's edition of Notes from the Dragon Cave.

Laura Glaab

For the last two years, I’ve had the remarkable opportunity of serving the Izzi B community as an assistant principal. My reputation has been that I’m the person you go to when you need something done. However, the reason I work as hard as I do and follow-through with fierce dedication is because I love the school I serve.  In the last two years, I’ve contributed a lot to our community. With teachers, I’ve served as a coach, partner, support-person, co-planner, professional development provider and classroom coordinator. For students, I’ve improved systems around behavior, data, learning opportunities and school events. Parents have partnered with me on volunteering, fundraising, student support, hiring and helping this school reach its full potential. Isabella Bird Community School has come a long way, in part, due to my contributions. I’m dedicated to being the next principal and continuing to move Izzi B towards being a home providing a loving and rigorous education for everyone in our community. Prior to serving the unique and illuminating students of Isabella Bird, I served a variety of other communities.


As a teacher, I worked in Jordan, Colorado, India and Texas. I’ve taught various grade levels and I’ve used a myriad of curriculums. I’ve taught at schools serving students identified as English Language Learners and Gifted and Talented. I’ve educated students from down the street and across the globe. Teaching was a passion of mine and I loved the classroom. After years working as a teacher, I turned to leadership hoping to serve and inspire teachers and students. I received a Master’s Degree from Stanford University in Policy Organization and Leadership Studies. I also served as an assistant principal to a middle school in Houston, Texas that was six blocks from my home there. I’ve been all over the world and, at Isabella Bird Community School, I’ve found home. The obvious contributions I’ve given to Izzi B include bringing authors and planning events. I’m our Spanish and Arabic speaker.


I love books and I love working for a diverse population. However, the subtle, discreet ways I’ve supported Izzi B is where my talent and creativity truly lies. The changes I’ve developed behind the scenes are the lasting improvements that will serve our students and school beyond this moment in time. I believe in continuing our work around social emotional learning. My heart is attached to our educators fighting to enhance opportunities for all students. The work at Isabella Bird Community School begins and ends with relationships. I feel incredibly fortunate that this community has brought me into the fold and allowed me to connect to the staff, students and families. In return, I now look forward to strengthening everything between our relationships and truly creating a school for every learner, myself included.


Lisa S. Schuba 

It is with great enthusiasm I am being considered for a leadership position at Isabella Bird. I have a vast and diverse background in both public and private education. My 18 years as a elementary classroom teacher makes me a strong instructional coach and mentor to aspiring educators. Additionally, I have had 10 years principal leadership experience. During my first principalship, I led a school with a growing number of at-risk students where socioeconomic factors, rates of mobility, English language acquisition and exposure to trauma created a diverse population with a wide range of needs. Then I took a completely opposite route and accepted a position in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in North Boulder where I am currently completing my third year. I understand the complexities and pressures faced in educational leadership, and my track record shows I have the ability to improve student outcomes both academically and social emotionally. 


10 YEARS OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT HIGHLIGHT:

  • Student Academic Growth, (2017). Implemented K-5 intervention blocks and regular grade-level data cycles. Revamped and expanded the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. Growth Results: Students Below Benchmark moved from 52.5 to 74 median growth percentile (MGP) points in ELA; TAG students MPG increased from 56 to 72.5 in ELA, and 44.5 to 64 MGP in mathematics.

  • Closing the Achievement Gap, (2014, 2015). Rated the only “A” school by ColoradoSchoolGrades in Southwest Colorado and ranked in the top 10% of CO elementary schools. CO School Performance Framework showed minority students (mostly Latino) exceed state expectations with 80 median growth percentile (MGP) in reading, 75 MGP in writing and 77 MGP in mathematics.  

  • Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, (2011). Animas Valley was the only school in La Plata County recognized by Colorado Department of Education for high academic student growth.

  • High-Performing School Award, (2009).  Named “High-Performing” school by CDE based on exceptional student growth in mathematics. Animas Valley was among 161 schools that attained the highest sustained rates of student academic progress over three consecutive years.

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS, RECOGNITIONS, AND AWARDS

  • President-Elect, Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals (2017-2020)

  • National Distinguished Principal of Colorado, Nominated (2014) & Finalist (2015)

  • Alumni Achievement Award for Leadership, The Foote School, New Haven CT (2013): Award for exemplary contributions to the field of educational leadership

  • Reba Ferguson Memorial Rookie of the Year Recipient, (2011): Colorado Association of Elementary School Principal outstanding elementary school principal within her/his first three years

  • Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence, Principal Recognition (2012, 2013)

My greatest strengths include: collaborative leadership, strategic planning, differentiated academic programing and development of innovative learning opportunities. I foster strong working relationships with all stakeholders while always modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act and encouraging the heart!  



Adventures in Hand-Washing

This year a handful of dedicated Third-Fifth Graders visited ECE-K-1 classrooms to do presentations on hand-washing. The older students were members of Izzi B’s Wellness Team or had participated in a healthy kids exploratory in the fall with Gay Lynn Olsen, our school nurse. They did a great job making the topic engaging with songs, videos and demonstrations. With First Graders, they applied glow gel on their hands, had them wash their hands, and then used a black light to see the places they missed.You can keep the message alive by reminding your kids to keep scrubbing for the time it takes to sing the "Hand-washing Song" or the ABCs. If your incoming Fourth or Fifth Grader is interested in joining the Wellness Committee next year (meets once a month after school), please email Gay Lynn. Hats off to these school student leaders for making a difference! 


How Safe2Tell Colorado Works

Safe2Tell Colorado’s tip reporting process is simple. Safe2Tell Colorado provides students, parents, and community members a safe way to report information about any issues concerning their safety or the safety of others. View the complete details.


Help Make Staff Appreciation Week a Worldly Success

Staff Appreciation week is coming up, Tuesday May 8-Friday May 11. Classroom Liaisons will show our amazing Izzi B staff we think the WORLD of them with international-themed treats all week. Sign up to help us decorate, bring in international breakfast treats, or help supply the 'Ready for Adventure' Packs. Staff will also receive school swag and a Feast from Latin America. All members of the Izzi B Community are invited to stop by the "Wall of Gratitude" for our amazing staff in the front hallway to ad a note of thanks and appreciation. Thank you in advance for helping to make this week a success! Contact Classroom Liaison Co-Chairs, Kenda Keenan or Melita Schwartz, with questions.

Mother's Day for Mango House Located in Aurora only, a few minutes from Izzi B, Mango House (1532 Galena St.) provides services for refugees making their home in Colorado. The Basic Needs Pantry at Mango House provides gently used clothing and household accessories, as well as much-needed toiletries and diapers, for refugee families. Moms from Burma, Afghanistan, Kenya, and elsewhere rely on Mango House for their babies' diapers and wipes, as well as many other basic needs. This May, in honor of Mother’s Day, please help stock their shelves with diapers and wipes. Boxes for donations will be in Izzi B's front Lobby, May 1-11, and we will accept donations of: Diapers (sizes 1-6) Opened boxes or individual sleeves of diapers are acceptable, too; wipes; shampoos; soaps; toothbrushes; sanitary pads and other toiletries. You can order items directly from their Amazon Wishlist and have them sent to Mango House (go to amazon.com/wishlist and search “Basic Needs Pantry at Mango House” under the “Your Friends” tab). Thank you for supporting this community resource! Contact Izzi B Parent, Martina Will, with questions or if you would like to volunteer to help deliver donations.


Language Learners Swim and Safety Outing

Izzi B's ESL teachers are taking our Language Learners to the Central Park Rec Center again this year for a safety class and swim lesson. Third-Fifth Grade students will go Wednesday, May 16, 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m., and First and Second Graders will go Wednesday, May 23, 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. Both groups will walk to the rec center and have a picnic lunch. To ensure successful outings for teachers and students alike, we need parent volunteers to chaperone the trips, as well as new swimsuit donations for the students, size fitting boys and girls, Kindergartner-Fifth Grade, and towels. If you're able to make donations, please drop your items off at Izzi B by Friday, May 18. If you've able to chaperone, please contact Kim Hundley, ESL teacher. Kim is also the contact for questions.


Save the Date...


IBCS Masquerade Ball

Join your Izzi B friends and family on Thursday, May 17, 5-6 p.m. for this year's all-school dance. In support of this year's theme, Masquerade Ball, 200 masks were purchased and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Masks are $2 each, and include animal, Mardi Gras and super hero masks. The entrance fee is $1 per person, and will benefit Fifth Grade Continuation costs. Note: This is a family event; children must be accompanied by an adult.


Classroom Liaison Party

Let's hang out, get to know each other better, celebrate this year, and maybe talk a little bit about next year. All Classroom Liaisons from this year, as well as anyone who may be interested in joining us next year, are invited to attend the Classroom Liaison Party, Friday, May 18, 6- 9.m., at Stanley Beer Hall (2501 Dallas St., Aurora 80010). Let us know if you can make it, so we can make sure to get a big enough table. We're doing the organizing; food and drink is up to you. RSVP here: http://evite.me/bMsq7xWahY. Contact Kenda Keenan, Genevieve Swift or Melita Schwartz, with questions. ​


Last Day of School

The last day of school is Thursday, May 31. It is a full day of school. Join us for an all-school picnic from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Students may stay at school the entire day or leave with their families after the picnic. For questions, contact School Secretary, Alexis Walker.


Mark Your Calendar...

  • Monday, May 7, All day - No school for students (staff professional development day)

  • Thursday, May 10, 3:30 p.m. - Kindergarten Round up

  • Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m. - Council Meeting

  • Thursday, May 17, 5 p.m. - School Dance

  • Friday, May 18, 8:15 a.m. - Coffee & Conversation

  • Wednesday, May 23, 6 p.m. - Third Grade Performance

  • Friday, May 25, TBD - Field Day

  • Monday, May 28, All day - No school (Memorial Day)

  • Tuesday, May 29-Wednesday, May 30, TBD - Arts Day

  • Wednesday, May 30, 6 p.m. - Fifth Grade Continuation

  • Thursday, May 31, All day - Last Day of School

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