Thursday, August 1, 2013

Baby Steps

Today I had the opportunity to visit Beckford for the first time in a very long time.

Miss L. culminated a couple of years ago and it's probably been as long since I've been back. In case you hadn't noticed, there has been a serious lapse in postings here, as there has been serious business to attend to elsewhere and I'm hoping to rectify that situation now.

I was invited back today to attend the first PTA board meeting of the year, by invitation of new PTA president, Denise Mumma. Madam President asked me to attend the meeting in a parliamentarian capacity and I happily agreed. For you new parents who may have stumbled across this blog by way of a Google search, my name is Debbie Lopez and I started this blog years ago as a way to disseminate more information to our parents and the community at large, as things within LAUSD were changing rapidly, and this was one way to help parents keep abreast of those changes in a timely fashion. My two children are both products of a very fine Beckford education; the oldest Beckford graduate will be starting his second year at USC and his younger sister is enjoying her time at Nobel Middle School. There simply aren't enough wonderful things I can say about my children's experience as students at Beckford and my experience there as a parent volunteer. It is simply the best little elementary school in the Valley and if you are lucky enough to be a parent with a child attending or about to attend Beckford, I am giving you a virtual high-five, a cosmic fist-bump, a very enthusiastic thumbs-up. You are about to begin a school year with the best staff in all of LAUSD: the most incredible, dedicated teaching staff and teacher aids; an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and delightful principal; a plant manager who is legendary at Beckford and who after a seemingly long, long absence will make his triumphant and long awaited return this year; support staff who are helpful and caring; parents who go above and beyond to provide a stimulating learning environment and most importantly.... lots of fun stuff, too!

Beckford Plant Manager, Henry Callahan

As was mentioned above, our beloved plant manager Henry Callahan is returning after being reassigned to another another cluster of schools in a pilot program implemented by LAUSD in a cost-cutting effort. I don't really need to go over how that program didn't work out so well, after so much upheaval and inconvenience to many campuses. But in any event, all's well that ends well... Henry is back!

view of the new raised-bed garden, looking towards the kinder yard

The second thing I noted on campus and which made my heart soar: a new raised bed garden on the east side of campus. A school garden had been on my wish list for the campus for a very long time and I was so happy to see it actually happening. I understand the credit goes to teacher Tobi Milroy and her family. Thank you so much, Mrs. Milroy! This will only add to the innovative and thoughtful curriculum our teachers are implementing every day. The benefits of having a school garden are well documented and test scores of all stripes improve dramatically at schools which have gardens on campus.

another view, standing outside the Parent Center.

The board meeting went well and your Beckford PTA's first event out of the gate will be their Membership Drive, which will commence August 19. Please consider joining the PTA... they do such important work and membership gives you a vote and a voice on many issues and the support you are able to give is so invaluable. Denise Mumma will be an incredible president this year and I know she'd like to meet you so if you see her in the halls, don't hesitate to introduce yourself and let her know how you can help, there are so many opportunites for involvement so don't be shy.

from left, 5th Grade Chair Chana Gluck, Miss R., and PTA President Denise Mumma

My heart was so happy being back today and visiting with old friends and meeting new ones. Hearing that Henry is returning and seeing the new raised-bed garden only added to my elation. Baby steps back, here and there.

It's going to be an fun and fabulous school year. I can feel it in my bones. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful news! We are so excited to come back to school, especially my daughter!! Rhonda Schachter

Anonymous said...

Just arrived home after jogging around Beckford, reminiscing about my 8 years there. (Dear J. and N. are at Nobel now). I spied HENRY and stopped to chat. He is still the same jewel and treasure he always was. He missed Beckford just as much as we missed him. Congrats Beckford for getting Henry back.