Roadrunner Rundown – Teacher Appreciation Week

April 28, 2018

Roadrunner Families,

It has been another adventurous week and none of these events would have been possible without our collaborative school community. I want to start by thanking Andy Sharp, who brought together a team of students and parents to paint an amazing mural on our Art Portable. Many thanks to Andy and everyone else who came out last Saturday to assist with our Roadie Work Day.

On Thursday we celebrated the release of our latest issue of Lee Creates, our student publication showcasing the creative talents of our Roadrunners. Thank you to all our contributors, our 6th grade editors and Diane Presti and Melanie Tolen who oversaw this important project.

It was a great day of competition and camaraderie this Friday. Thank you to everyone who made Lee Olympics so fantastic for our Roadrunners. The weather was beautiful and it would not have been such a great day if it weren’t for our Special Areas Team of Coach Huff, Ms. Kennedy and Ms. Stephens and our team of PTA volunteers. Special thanks to kindergarten parents, Lauren and Jacob Ross who organized all of the refreshments and parent volunteers. I also want to thank the representatives Helping Hand Home who were serving snow-cones throughout the day to all of our our Roadrunners. They wanted to show their appreciation for the close relationship that we have with HHH and be present at Lee Olympics on behalf of all their students.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week! Please join us in celebrating all that our terrific teaching team does at our school. On Tuesday, we will be holding our final PTA meeting of the year at 3:00 in the afternoon in the library. We will be voting on the budget for next year and discussing our upcoming summer renovations.

Thank you to everyone who attended our open forum Principal’s Coffee on Thursday and filled out our recent feedback survey. We appreciate all of your input and will be continuing our work to make Russell Lee Elementary the best school it can be. To that end, please complete this short survey to describe your experiences with our Health Team this year. The survey will close at end of day on this Monday, April 30. You can access the survey here:

This week, we are sharing the final installment of our We Are Lee series featuring our awesome trio of kindergarten teachers, Bethany Gonzales, Diana Stanfield, and Rhonda Manning. Read on to learn about the history of our Dinosaur Program, lessons learned over the years and the lengths they will go to in order to make sure the show goes on.


We Are Lee: So you guys came up with the Dinosaur Program?

Ms. Stanfield: Oh yeah, everything.

Ms. Gonzales: It’s evolved. We added ‘We are the Dinosaurs’, probably about 10 years in.

Ms. Stanfield: And stuff kept getting added. I think the second year we did the dinosaur program was when my son Matthew was in kindergarten. He’s my 27-year-old. That’s the second year we did the dinosaur program. By the time Benjamin, two years later, was in the dinosaur program, we had the rock’n’roll part. Matthew was a dinosaur detective, and Benjamin was a rock’n’roll dinosaur.

Ms. Gonzales: Yeah, my kid was a dinosaur detective too.

Ms. Gonzales: We haven’t changed the program much. We’ve added props, the rock’n’roll guitars, and we’ve added costumes. We just got PTA-funded new dinosaur costumes.

Ms. Manning: They were falling apart.

Ms. Manning: And they smelled. It only takes a few kids to throw up on the costumes, and then the smell never comes out of them, and then it gets into everything.

Ms. Gonzales: It’s true, it’s true.

Ms. Stanfield: We have had lots of kids throw up.

Ms. Manning: The night time program used to coincide with…

Ms. Stanfield: What was it, the pizza sale and the book fair?

Ms. Manning: The pizza sale and the book fair. There was ice cream. So they would be full of pizza and ice cream and sweating, and then they would get up on the stage….

Ms. Gonzales: I’ll never forget, one of the coolest performances ever. Talk about the show must go on. Child projectile vomited, I mean, projectile vomited, onto the tile floor…And you could hear it just splat.

Ms. Stanfield: We’re in the back.

Ms. Gonzales: They’re in the back, they have no idea. And I’m trying to direct and sing and everything. The custodian comes.. he’s looking at this pile on the floor as the program is going on, and the kids just literally walked around it to go backstage and keep going. They’d come back and they’d walk around it again, because you couldn’t really mop it during the program. And nobody slid in it, nobody stepped in it, and at the end, some of the parents didn’t even know it had happened.

Ms. Stanfield: We didn’t know until you told us afterwards. I’m like, “Gosh, what happened?”

Ms. Gonzales: Well, because the smell was so bad.

Ms. Manning: But you had just instilled in them so many times, if your hat falls off, you keep going. Like the little girl … her thing came off, and she told her mom, “Well, my head came off, but I just kept going.”

Ms. Gonzales: They do. Those are life lessons. How do you persevere? What do you do when things don’t go the way you want them to?  You keep going.  You get help from your friends.

Ms. Stanfield: This is a lesson that we’ve carried our whole lives.

Ms. Manning: That’s how you teach a child to read. If you can’t get that word, go to the next one and see if you can figure that out.

Ms. Gonzales: Just try to keep going.

We Are Lee: Don’t get hung up on that one little failure.

Ms. Manning: Or if you’re upset with a friend today, you’re not going to be upset when you wake up in the morning…

We Are Lee: Wow. Y’all have probably saved us parents thousands of dollars in therapy from all of this.

Ms. Stanfield: There you go. You can just make the check out to me.

Have a wonderful weekend,

John Hewlett

Proud Principal

Russell Lee Elementary School