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Meet the Principal
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Hi, My name is Mette Thallaug. I have been the principal at Springhill since 2015. However, Springhill is near and dear to me. I taught K and 1st grade at Springhill for 14 years before I moved on to become the reading specialist at Burton Valley for 7 years. I was also a district literacy coach for a year and the vice principal for a year before coming back to Springhill. 

I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to the Bay Area in 1992 with my husband, Haakon. We currently live in Walnut Creek and have raised 2 boys, Andreas (24) and Steffen (20).

The favorite part of my job is visiting classrooms and reading books to the students. I am inspired by the conversations we have together. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors.

Principal's Message

Dear Springhill Families,

Welcome Back! Even with the short Summer, I am excited to have the students back on campus. It has been a smooth start and despite the hot weather, it was a successful first week. With Back to School night complete, I thought it would be helpful to share some updates and general information about what is happening at Springhill.

Staffing

We are excited to welcome a few new staff members to our team this year. When you see them on campus, be sure to smile, introduce yourself and thank them for their work.

  • Melissa Barclay will be our new VP for 1.5 days a week.
  • Meg Gibson is taking over as the new Library Specialist for the year.
  • Sarah Mould and Sarah David will be instructional aides for two of our 4th grade classrooms.
  • Jayson Caraccioli is back! He will be working at all the schools throughout the week. We are happy to have him two half days a week to support tech integration with the curriculum work the teachers are doing in their classrooms.
  • While Austin continues to recover from his accident, Terrell, Manual and David have been hard at work getting the campus clean and ready for the new year.

Campus

As you first stepped foot on campus, you probably noticed that construction crews had been busy this summer getting the campus ready and trying to hold to deadlines.

  • We finally have beautiful green grass on the lower field, but we still have to stay off the field for a few more weeks to make sure the roots take hold. We have been given the all clear to host our Annual Back to School Picnic on Sept. 6th.
  • By Sept. 6th, all the fencing should be removed, new basketball hoops installed and lines will be painted for the courts and the track.
  • In July, the two portables on the far end of campus were dismantled and removed. Soon after, three new portables were delivered and installed. We now have a new music room, Speech room and Occupational Therapy room.

Classrooms

  • Many of the upstairs rooms have new carpet this year. The old tile floors in those rooms were cracking and needed attention. We opted for carpet to help with reducing noise for the downstairs classrooms that have a classroom above them.
  • New furniture was purchased for all the classrooms to help support more flexible seating options. Teachers are experimenting with different ways to set up their rooms, storing materials and setting up routines and structures.
  • For the next three weeks, we will have a crew (after school hours) installing flat screen monitors in all the classrooms. These will replace the screens as well as the old TV’s that are still hanging in the rooms. We are slowly making our way into the 21st century!

Kindness

We are excited to announce that we are officially continuing our commitment of building a culture of kindness within our Springhill community. Our Kindness chairs this year will be Melissa Murphy and Patty Mitchell. The theme for the year is “Light Up the World with Kindness.” You will be hearing more from them with all the details but here are some of the highlights.

  • #BeKIND21 campaign will launch at Springhill on Sept. 4th and through Oct. 2nd. This event will culminate with a Kindness Fair.
  • Spirit Wednesday Assemblies will be an opportunity for classrooms to support the kindness efforts by sharing a kindness goal or celebrating acts of kindness.
  • 5th Grade Kindness Ambassadors- This will be an opportunity for our students to take the lead and have a voice about what happens on campus

Garden

We have an amazing volunteer team led by Jessica Chandler and Lauren Deal working to upgrade, enhance and maintain our beautiful Springhill Garden. In fact, the renovation work happening has earned a nomination for a Leadership in Sustainability Award from Sustainable Contra Costa. The winner will be announced at a Gala event on Sept. 17th.

Pick up and Drop Off

Overall, pick up and drop off have gone well so far but this has always been a challenging aspect of Springhill. Our priority is always student safety and we ask that when you are dropping off or picking up students that you are patient with our staff and each other. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Stay off your phone when you are driving in the parking lot.
  • Do not leave your car parked or unattended at the curb during the posted pick up and drop off times.
  • Pull up as far forward (toward the MPR) on the curb before having students enter or exit the car.
  • It is always safest and preferred to have students enter and exit the car on the passenger side along the curb.
  • It is not safe or preferred to have them exit or enter from the driver side or toward oncoming traffic.
  • Please use the crosswalk when getting to or from your parked car.
  • Listen to and follow the directions of the staff directing traffic in the lot.  We have a system in place and our intent is to get cars up to the curb safely and efficiently.
  • If you are directed to the inner circle, please be patient, do not block traffic trying to get into the outer circle and do not get out of your car. You will be directed to the outer circle once you have filed through the inner circle.
  • Park your car if you would like to walk your child to the classroom/yard in the morning or if you choose to meet them at the curb or the classroom afterschool.

PFC

I am happy to be working side by side with this year’s PFC president, Susan Wiggen and all the board members. The PFC works for the benefit of Springhill students, parents and staff. I hope you will all consider joining the PFC to get involved and support all the amazing events and programs they sponsor.

LPIE

LPIE helps fund essential and valuable programs, experiences, supplies and classrooms needs for our students at Springhill. Thank you so much if you have already made a donation. If not, I hope you will consider supporting LPIE’s efforts to keep our schools exceptional.

Up Coming Events/Important Dates

  • Picture Day August 30th
  • Labor Day- September 2nd No School
  • Back to School Picnic- September 6th 5:00-8:00
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences September 16-20 Early Dismissal
    • All kindergarten 8:15-11:45
    • 1st-5th grade 8:30-12:00

 

Our motto this year continues to be Springhill PROUD!  Along with our work around kindness, together as a community, we will strive to offer our students a rigorous, comprehensive academic program with a wide variety of extra-curricular and volunteer activities. Our intent is always to create a learning environment where our students can achieve, succeed and grow as learners.

 

I am looking forward to a fantastic year together! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about something you feel is important.

 

Kindly,
Mette Thallaug
Principal
Springhill Elementary School