By Theresa Hirst, PV Meet the Masters Coordinator


In 2005, a Harris poll indicated that 93% of Americans consider the arts to be vital to providing a well-rounded education for children and a critical link to learning and success. In the same year, the Park Village Foundation identified the need to enrich our school’s art education, and the Meet the Masters program was developed. The goal of the program is to teach children to think creatively and to develop more innovative approaches to learning. It provides an opportunity for students struggling with academics to excel in a different way.

I became the Art Coordinator in 2014 and I love to see Park Village students excel in their understanding of art and the masters who inspire innovative thought and creativity. Through our rotating modules, children learn to appreciate the techniques of each artist and then practice similar concepts in their own work of art. My two children attended Park Village and have now moved on, but I continued with Meet the Masters because I believe in the importance of art in our schools.

My professional experience is as an interior designer and I enjoy helping my clients learn the value of art and creativity in their personal lives. It is my hope that sharing the art world with your children provides them inspiration in some facet of their lives, in any way that they find a connection to art.


By Barb Mills, PV PE Coordinator

“I like PE a lot. Now I’m happy because we have PE once a week rather than 2 times a month. I can’t wait to play basketball at PE. I also like to play kickball, and football. I can’t wait to go to PE with Mrs. Mills!” – 5th Grade Student


Physical Education was my favorite subject every year in school. It’s no surprise that I found my way into teaching the same subject that gave me so much joy during my school years! I have a B.A. in Recreation Administration, an M.A. in Education, and hold a current California Teaching Credential. With 22 years of teaching experience, both in the classroom (grades K-3rd) as well as out ‘on the field’, I have never been happier with my job. I am very excited about starting my fifth year here at PV.

When developing the PE program at PV, I made sure to focus on fun, but I also see Physical Education filling a very important role in the school day. I feel it’s important for obvious reasons associated with health and fitness but also for some reasons that may not be as obvious. It is a time for students to ‘play,’ to interact with their peers, to learn social skills such as good sportsmanship, and to provide self-esteem. Providing additional outlets for experience and success, such as through sports and team building activities, can help our students develop healthy attitudes as well as healthy bodies.

The current PE curriculum draws on multiple sources I have gathered over the years, including some from old Physical Education manuals, sharing and collecting new ideas from other physical education teachers and coaches, as well as others from the SPARK Physical Education binder provided to all of the PUSD teachers. Lessons differ by age, with younger students focusing more on locomotive development and ball-handling skills, and older students focusing more on developing skills to prepare them for team sports. My philosophy is for the kids to have fun and enjoy themselves while being physically active.
With a focus on helping establish a lifetime of healthy habits and an emphasis on fun, my hope is to help our students become more fully developed and well-rounded members of our community, setting them up for a lifetime of activity and health.


By Steve Hodge, PV Music Coordinator


Thanks to your wonderful support of the Park Village Foundation, I am able to continue my weekly music classes at Park Village Elementary. Music is such a powerful educational tool. Human brains just seem to be wired for music. Whether you consider yourself a “musical person” or not, I’d be willing to bet that you know the lyrics to hundreds or even thousands of songs. It’s amazing what we remember when it’s set to a catchy tune!

Each week, I have the opportunity to use music to promote the development of the structure and rhythm of the English language, vocabulary, rhyming, and cultural literacy. Using fun songs and folk instruments including the guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, dobro, and dulcimer, Park Village students in preschool through fifth grade explore the seasons, science and social studies curriculum, and the world around them.

I’ve also been able to provide assistance to different grade levels for performances, including the first grade patriotic program, second grade square dance performance, third grade end of the year program, and fourth grade California Program. We sing colonial songs and sea shanties throughout the year with our fifth graders so that they’re ready for their spring experience as sailors. Thanks so much for the opportunity to bring the joy of music to your children.


By Shannon Nellies, PV Science Coordinator


I am a certified school teacher (MA in elementary education) and I learned to love science years ago when I had to teach 6th grade science without a textbook. I was a first year teacher and my whole goal was to help the kids love science. My theory is that if you really enjoy science then learning the concepts is easy.
After I became a mom, I took a break from teaching, deciding to stay home to be with my children while they were young. Recently, I returned to the classroom, or rather – the Science Lab – started by Traci Jackson many years ago. Thanks to Traci, and the Park Village Foundation, I have this perfect place to focus my love of teaching science while being at school with my kids.

Our labs and science nights are all hands on and fun so that the kids can truly experience science in action while learning key concepts. The energy of the science lab is exciting: it’s loud and crazy but everyone is on task and I love it!
I am so grateful that the Foundation (funded by Park Village parents!) supports our science program. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes