Carolina Voyager Parent Newsletter – Year 5 Edition 4 August 24, 2018
The first week of school is in the books and I have to be honest, I think it was the best opening I’ve had in my 38 years in education (with the exception of dismissal on the first day!) There seems to be a heightened level of positive energy and excitement in the building. We can’t wait to see what the next 175 days will hold for our students.
We had our first Funky Friday this morning. It was pretty much a blast. We had about 30 parents join us for our weekly school gathering. Parents are always welcome to join us for Funky Friday. We try to get started at 8:05 each Friday morning in the cafeteria.
Thank you for your patience with arrival and dismissal this first week. Stono Park seems to have worked some of the kinks out of their dismissal, which has allowed us to start calling cars on time at 3:40 each afternoon. Yesterday we were able to dismiss all of our children in just about 25 minutes. My morning safeties are now on board which has eliminated our morning arrival backups. We will continue to look for ways that we can get you through the morning and afternoon car loop as quickly as possible.
If you park and walk your child to school, please remember to use the crosswalk in the main driveway. We ask that you accompany your child in the crosswalk all the way to the school sidewalk to ensure their safety. If you need to pick up your child early from school, we ask that you arrive before 3:00 p.m.
Thank you for helping us to get off to a fabulous start. I look forward to seeing everyone at our Back To School Night this coming Monday at 6:30 p.m. in our cafeteria. This is a “parents only” event.
What’s coming up? Monday, August 27th – Back to School Night – 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria (Parents only) Wednesday, September 5th – PTO Family Spirit Night at Jason’s Deli (details to follow)
New Staff Member Bios
We had another great “hiring season” this spring and summer. You can look forward to meeting all of our new staff members at Monday’s Back to School Night.
Laura Lesnevec – Grade 5 & 6 Math Teacher
My name is Laura Lesnevec and I am excited to be the new 5th and 6th grade math teacher here at Carolina Voyager! I was born and raised in a town right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I’ve spent the past three years teaching 6th and 7th grade math in Virginia, and I made the move this summer to Charleston! In my spare time I enjoy taking dance classes and outdoor activities such as kayaking and playing sports. I am really looking forward to an exciting and fun filled school year and can’t wait to begin this new journey here!
Natalie White – Grade 2 Teacher
My name is Natalie White. My husband and I just moved to Charleston with our 2 dogs from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I went to Oklahoma State for both my undergrad and Masters degree. My Masters degree is in Early Childhood Education. This will be my 5th year teaching. I have previously taught 3 and 4 year olds, and 2nd grade. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, and running. Now that I have moved to Charleston I love to go to the beach, try new restaurants, and explore this beautiful city! I am so excited to join the Carolina Voyager team.
Marvel Monzon – Spanish Teacher
¡Hola! My name is Marvel Monzon and I am Carolina Voyager’s new Spanish teacher! My husband Daniel and I just celebrated our 2-year anniversary in June and our little family grew this past March when we were blessed with a baby boy who is 5 months old now. I love spending time with my family and the journey of motherhood teaches me something new every day. I graduated from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 2015. I have worked as a teacher assistant here at Carolina Voyager for the past two years, the first year as a floating assistant for 1st through 4th grade and the second year as a kindergarten assistant. My initial plan for when my baby was born was to be a stay at home mom, but I just couldn’t say no to this amazing opportunity! It will be my first year as a Spanish teacher and I am so excited! I want to make learning Spanish fun for the students and for the language to be useful for them in the future.
Wendy Hollingsworth – Gifted and Talented Teacher
I am so happy to be joining the team at Carolina Voyagers this year as the GATE Teacher. This will be my fifteenth year teaching. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Language from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I then moved to California where I earned my Master’s Degree in Education and Teaching Credential from Pepperdine University. I have experience teaching Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade. Before moving and teaching in South Carolina, I also taught in Stafford, Virginia, and Los Angeles, California. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children, Ethan and Kailee, and my two adorable Papillion dogs. I believe in a hands-on approach to learning, and our classroom will be filled with many authentic learning opportunities. I love teaching and I aspire every day to inspire children to become lifelong learners who value and enjoy learning new things. I am looking forward to a fantastic school year.
Christina Miller – Special Education Teacher
Hello! My name is Christina Miller and I am thrilled to be serving as your new special education teacher at Carolina Voyager. I grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Marshall University in 2005. In 2010 I graduated with a Masters Degree in Education from Southern Wesleyan University. In 2011 I received my National Board Certification. I live in Summerville with my husband and two children. Over the past 15 years I have served as a Special Education Teacher and a Reading Specialist. I believe that all children need to feel successful and proud of their accomplishments. It is my job to make children excited about learning and to help them reach their fullest potential. I am excited to be working with the students at Carolina Voyager!
Regina Jackson – Speech and Language Pathologist
I am Dr. Regina Jackson-Simmons. I am a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. I earned an undergraduate degree from South Carolina State University in Speech Pathology and Audiology, Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Carolina, and Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. I hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). I have over 11 years of experience working with a wide variety of populations in various settings.
Alli Debrow – Grade 5 & 6 Science and Social Studies Teacher
My name is Alli Debrow, the 5th and 6th grade Social Studies/Science teacher at CVCS. I have a Master’s Degree in Education and over 30 years of teaching experience to include 10 years in New York and 20 years in South Carolina. An educator, once said, “Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression.” I am happy to say that I am most proud of the positive impressions I have left on the students I have taught; my greatest professional accomplishment has been teaching students about the world, how it exists, and how we should be kind to one another. Outside of work, I am involved in community service, the creative arts, cooking, and most importantly my family. I have 2 amazing children who are actively pursuing their own dreams and I live with my husband and an adorable dog. I am always seeking that new adventure to make a positive impression on my life so that I may share that with others.
Ryan Tracey – Grade 4 Teacher
I am originally from Virginia, where I received a Bachelor’s Degree from Christopher Newport University and a Master’s Degree from The College of William and Mary. Prior to teaching, I worked in museum education, leading courses at The National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington D.C. I have been teaching for 4 years, most recently at Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood where I taught 4th grade math. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Sam, and our two dogs and going to the beach. I am so excited to join the Carolina Voyager community, and can’t wait for this school year!
We conducted our first fire drill on Wednesday morning. The kids did a great job. This Tuesday we will be conducting our first Lockdown Drill. It saddens me that we have to conduct these kinds of drills, but we need to be as well as prepared as we can should a crisis occur at our school. I will be sure to share more information about our emergency drills at our Back to School Night.
From Our PTO
The PTO is looking for volunteers to be Room Parents. All the details for the position of Room Parent and Contact information can be found on the PTO website at:
Reminder to Return Forms
We apologize for bombarding you with a bunch of forms this week. We appreciate your efforts to get everything returned back to school. Several questions have come up about the Free and reduced Lunch Application. We are trying to get an accurate count of how many of our families would be able to qualify for this program. This information will be helpful as we move forward with planning for our new school. Even if you do not think your family would qualify, we would still like for you to fill our and return this form. Again, this information is help in the strictest confidence in accordance with FERPA guidelines.
We will begin distributing technology devices to our students on Monday. If your child has not yet returned their iPad charger, please have them bring it to school on Monday. Thank you.
Dress Down Day
Our monthly Dress Down Day is the First Friday of each month. For a $1 donation to our PTO, your child may wear their “regular clothes” in lieu of their school uniforms. Our First Dress Down Day will be Friday, September 7th.
Nut Free School
Given the number of students we have with allergies, all of our classrooms will be peanut and tree nut free this year. Nut products will be allowed in the cafeteria for lunch.
Students are encouraged to bring water bottles to school. Aside from during breakfast, water is the only drink allowed in classrooms. Soda and Coffee are not permitted for students at CVCS at any time.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ll be working in the yard on Saturday followed by a round of golf on Sunday. I’ll see you next week in the car loop to kick off our second week of school.