PCK Weekly News
April 14, 2022

A Letter From Our Vice Director

School Choice for Parents

Charter schools across the country are symbols of parent choice in education. In Douglas County, the existence of a vast charter school network is evidence that school choice is a high priority for families in our community. PCK is proud to be one of those choices for parents. Our goal is to ensure that every day, when you drop your students off at the front door, they are safe, loved, and provided a top-notch education that is second to none. We know that parents choose our school because our teachers and staff want to see each and every student succeed both socially and academically.

Part of our recipe for success here at PCK is the help of all the parents who donate their time and volunteer in so many different ways. Whether it is preparing Thursday Folders, chaperoning classroom parties, assisting in art, or helping facilitate our lunch program, our school operates so much better with the help and hard work of all of our volunteers. The component of parental involvement creates a stronger partnership for a student’s education. This piece is critical and needs the expertise, skills, and time that parents have to give.

One of the ways that parents can get involved with our school is by serving on one of our committees that aide in the overall operation of our school. Next Tuesday, April 19th, we will hold a school-wide election for two seats that are open on the PCK Board of Directors, which is the governing oversight committee responsible for fiscal and operating policies. Each parent of a currently enrolled student, as well as each staff member, will be allowed to vote in this democratically held election. The positions held by the board are truly crucial to the operation and direction of our school. On election day, parents of PCK will once again have a choice in how our school operates. Please join me in casting your vote and continuing the excellence our school is known for.

-Mr. Thompson

No School Tomorrow

Friday, April 15 is a staff in-service day, so students get the day off. Enjoy the long weekend with your family!

See You At Panera Tonight

Tonight, April 14, we have a Spirit Night from 4:00 - 8:00pm at the Panera on Twenty Mile Road in Parker. You can print or show an electronic version of this flyer to the cashier, or use code PRFUND with online orders, so the school gets a portion of the proceeds. When you get a night off from dinner duty, your family gets a delicious meal, and the school gets money, we all win!

Meet The Candidates

Next Tuesday, April 19, all PCK parents and staff members have the opportunity to vote for the candidates they'd like to represent them on the PCK Board of Directors. Board members serve three-year terms, and are eligible to run for a second term. Our current board president, Jessica Berry, is at the end of her first term and is running for re-election. 

All of us at PCK send a huge THANK YOU to John Faries whose term on the board is ending. John's contributions and guidance in the financial area, as well as his service as our vice president, will be sorely missed. We truly appreciate all you have done for the board and for the PCK community, John!

Please review the following information submitted by our candidates so you are ready to vote next Tuesday from 7:00am - 7:00pm. You will receive an electronic ballot via email. Make sure your email address is correct in Infinite Campus, and check your spam filter if you don't receive a ballot. 

Jessica Berry

Dear PCK,

I am nearing the end of my 3 year term, and am currently serving as President of the PCK Board. I humbly ask for your vote of serving another term and giving back to the school that has given my children such an exceptional academic experience. My daughter Preslie is in 2nd grade, and I have two PCK "graduations" to attend this year -- one for my amazing 8th grader Reagan, who is president of the Student Council; and one in Kindergarten for my little guy Holden. This has been an incredible opportunity navigating ever-changing guidance during a pandemic, selecting a new school director, and evaluating needs for building expenditures and school programs these past few years.  

A little about myself - I have an extensive media and public relations background, and I’m truly blessed to do what I love. I served 13 years combined in the Air Force and Navy, serving as a Public Affairs Officer in this capacity before my current role as a spokesperson for a hospital in Denver. On occasion, I have worked with the local media to tell some wonderful stories of just how special our PCK students are. 

I have served on a couple of boards that were an extension of my passion for the women and men who defend our country. I served on the board of Rocky Mountain Fisher House for about 4 years, and I continue to serve as one of the original board members of Veteran Tickets Foundation. 

This school wouldn’t be what it is without the support of our amazing parent community. I’m so grateful to represent PCK and collaborate with all of the impressive parents who serve on the Board. 

Hayley Contois

My name is Hayley Contois and I am a newer PCK parent with Adriana in 7th grade and Camden in 2nd grade. This is our first year with this wonderful school and I consider us blessed to be part of the community it offers.  

I have been part of my kids' schools since they started attending kindergarten. We lived in Vermont at the time and I became very involved in school board sessions, though they were different in the public school framework. I strongly believe that parents are a large part of educational success for students and I appreciate the opportunity to help drive the education of the kids and direction of the school at large.  

I considered running for the DCSD board this past year, but unfortunately we hadn't been registered voters in DougCo for long enough, so I was unable to register as a candidate. I believe in listening to the problems and successes from all sides and helping establish a clear path forward. Of course we can only do the best we can with the information at hand, but recognizing if a misstep has been made and course correcting is a big part of that, as well.

As mentioned, I am a mom of 2 children at PCK. They're almost 9 and almost 13. The perspective I can provide is unique as they both have ADHD and I've been working their entire school careers to help them be successful in a world that isn't really designed for them. I believe wholeheartedly in PCK's philosophy and have significant pride in the fact that my kids are students there.  That said, I believe there is an area for improvement when it comes to kids that aren't neurotypical, but that could still be incredibly successful at PCK.

I have my BS in Health Care Administration, as well as my MBA with a focus in Advanced Leadership. I have been working in healthcare for just under 20 years, focusing now in healthcare IT for the last 7. My current title is Project Manager for a non-profit organization that provides an excellent electronic health record to federally qualified health centers/community health centers. I work remotely full time and appreciate the flexibility that offers me.  

Walter Esser

I am the father of Emily and Wyatt Esser, and I am married to Cody Rae Esser. This was our first year with PCK. I am currently a Sales Director for a multi-billion-dollar ag chemical distribution company. In my current role I am responsible for ~ $750MM of sales, the budgeting process, and people management. I have 16 years of experience with the company that I am employed with that gives me the experience needed to sit as a board member with  PCK. This experience includes being skilled in operations, sales, marketing, and business analysis; I am  focused on processes and making data driven decisions. 

I have several years of experience (2018-present) being a board member with SCPA (Southern Crop Production Association). The SCPA was established in 1954 by pesticide formulators who foresaw the need for a regional trade association which would provide them with needed information and speak for the group at state and federal levels with one strong voice. Membership includes over 95 percent of the firms which manufacture, formulate, and distribute crop protection products in sixteen southern states. The SCPA is recognized throughout the industry and by state and federal agencies and legislative elements as the principal spokesperson for the crop protection industry and related trades in the South.  

I have several years of experience sitting as a board member with Valley Ag Fertilizer J.V (2014-2019). This board of directors was responsible for making business decisions between competitive companies that were sharing assets and inventory for crop production inputs.  

Erik Glenn

Dear PCK Community,

I would be honored to serve the PCK Community as a member of the Board of Directors. My family joined the PCK Community in the fall of 2020 when my son Theodore started kindergarten. Theodore is now in first grade and absolutely loves PCK and has great pride in being a Cougar. In my opinion, it is this ability to instill pride and excitement around education that when coupled with PCK’s mission to “...provid[e] its students an academic advantage by building a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and character, while challenging each individual to become a critical thinker, responsible citizen and future leader” makes PCK special, unique, and successful at preparing children for academic excellence. It is because of the growth that I have seen in Theodore over the past two years, his pride in the school, and PCK’s mission that I am most interested in serving on the PCK Board. Here is a little background on me and my experiences that I believe are relevant to the PCK Board of Directors.

Currently, I am the Executive Director of a conservation-focused non-profit organization – the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. In this role, I lead a staff of twelve, work closely with a 20-person board of directors to establish and implement strategic direction for the organization, and oversee a $1.2M annual operating budget and more than $12M in financial assets. I understand non-profit financials and accounting. I also have a background in public policy. I have testified on multiple occasions before the Colorado General Assembly and have successfully helped advocate for public policy positions before the US Congress. I currently serve on the board of directors of Keep it Colorado a conservation-focused trade association, as the president of the board of directors of the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts which is a public policy-focused organization that represents conservation organizations across the west and mid-west, and as a trustee for the Western Stock Show Association which manages the National Western Stock Show.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and two graduate degrees from the University of Denver – a Master of Natural Resources Law Studies and a Master of Business Administration. I believe my education, experience, and skills in non-profit management, organizational governance, and public policy will be beneficial to PCK.

If selected, I will work closely with fellow board members and staff to ensure that PCK continues to offer the best academic experience possible.

Tracy Maisonet

Dear PCK,

I have had the privilege of being part of the PCK family for five years now. My son Zach is in 2nd grade, and I also have a daughter, Ella, in kindergarten. Zach and Ella both attended the PCK preschool. My family and I have lived in Parker for over seven years, and I have lived in Colorado my entire life. I’m a rare native.

I’ve been in the financial industry for over 20 years with experience in operations, management, and compliance. Currently, I work for Empower Retirement within the Risk and Compliance Department. Prior to Empower, I worked for Charles Schwab. For over a decade I have been in the AML (Anti-Money Laundering) divisions. My team is responsible for maintaining regulatory requirements for BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) which include reporting suspicious activity, monitoring transaction activity and more importantly, working with regulators for annual exams. Part of my duties have been developing policies and procedures. Additionally, I have over 15 years of management experience. I absolutely love what I do, and the people I work with.

I can’t express the love and gratitude I have for this school, the staff and community. Since being a part of PCK, I have volunteered for many things, such as the Fall Festival, parent chaperone, Class Coordinator, library help, and am currently on the Foundation at PCK.

There are many reasons why I love PCK, but at the top is their transparency to parents and their passion to help each student succeed. I am asking for your vote so that I can work with the leaders of the school, fellow parents on the board, and continue to help provide the exceptional PCK experience we are all very lucky to have for our children. 

Tian Zhang 

I have been impressed with PCK very much since my son enrolled in K in 2020. I would like to get involved more and to serve more on the Board of Directors. As 36.6% of all students represent minorities, particularly 23.3% represent Asian heritage, I feel my involvement can add unique values and perspectives to the Board. Below you will find my work experience and what my personal passions have to offer for my interest in this position.

I came to the US for Graduate School in 2006 and started working in 2008 as a Mechanical Engineer. After we got kids, I stayed home for the past 6+ years. My current work is a life insurance agent and a trainer for agents. I provide coaching and training to nurture a high-performance team. I enjoy this line of work to know people and to help provide education and protection to families.

I pursued a certificate in Environmental Policy Management as one of my passions is about stewardship of the beautiful nature. Although I did not take positions using this expertise, I have been trying to expose kids to natural exploration as I believe people can't love something that they don't know well. I just started organizing a monthly outdoor activity that combines nature exploring, Chinese learning, and movements for kids 0-6 years old. 

During 2020, I also founded a Chinese parenting group on social media whose members are now over 300. This is a 501(c)(3) organization. I organized the weekly lectures from experts, sharing among peers, and books discussions for over a year. Hosting the weekly Zoom meetings, providing the summaries of the meetings, and planning for all the communications needed for a smooth operation of a community for parents with growing mindsets. Every month the topic changes ranging from understanding kids' drawing to how to discover and enforce the virtues in kids. The outdoor activity mentioned above also got inspiration from what we learned about free play in nature. We celebrated the one year anniversary of the community with raffle prizes provided by me and other experts who had given lectures and it was a great feeling to be part of a community that values learning and growing on the part of parents, not just the kids. 

From the end of 2020, I also began to volunteer for a Non-Profit organization that promotes Chinese learning in the form of Chinese Storytime. I have hosted over 60+ weekly Zoom storytimes now and only till last month I changed it to bi-weekly due to time conflicts. 

As all these demonstrate that I am a person holding very high standards for myself and take my commitment very seriously, with due diligence and with great creativity. I am passionate about motivating kids to discover their own paths and achieve their goals, and I deeply believe in our goal in life is to serve, from which we lift others and ourselves.

Don't Miss The Music Man This Weekend

The opening performance of The Music Man is tomorrow! Our spring musical production is sure to be a hit that you won't want to miss, and tickets are still available. We count on ticket sales to fund our exceptional music program, and have really felt the pinch of COVID on our program. We are grateful to be able to offer our full, in-person production this year, and we truly thank you for your support.

The Music Man  is a memorable family favorite about Harold Hill, a traveling con man who convinces the parents of River City to put their sons in a boys band and purchase the uniforms and instruments from him. He plans to run away with the money and leave the town without a band, but begins having doubts when he meets the local librarian. This is a show the whole family will love.

Performances are at 1:00pm and 6:30pm on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16. If you don't already have plans for tomorrow's day off, come to the show! Get your tickets here.

The Music Man is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. (MTI.) All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

We Are The Champions

Congratulations to the PCK boys volleyball team for winning the SMAC Volleyball Championship! They had a great season under the excellent direction of Coach Mathias and Coach Gallup. Way to go, boys! You make us PCKproud.

Get Ready To Bid On Your Must-Have Items

Register For Your Silent Auction Paddle

The Gala's silent auction is next week. If you bought tickets or a VIP table for the Gala and haven't registered yet, please click here to access our GalaBid page. Once you are on the page, click "register" to complete your registration for the auction. It is important that each auction participant/couple register at GalaBid. This is how we determine your Paddle Number at the event.

If you aren't going to the Gala but want to participate in our silent auction, please make sure you register here. The silent auction will be open until 7:00pm on April 23 (the night of the Gala).

We Have A Kindergarten T-shirt Design Winner 

Congratulations to Nathan W. for his awesome t-shirt design! Nathan and the other t-shirt winners announced in last week's newsletter will receive certificates for a special dress down day just for them. Additionally, everyone at PCK will have the opportunity to bid on these t-shirt designs. The winning bidder on each design will have it made into a t-shirt their child may wear on PCKproud days. Additionally, the winning bidder also gets a special dress down day for their child. Watch for the designs on social media as well as on GalaBid next week. Great job everyone!


Thank You

This week we would like to thank the Thompson family and TCM Sales & Marketing for their $250 general sponsorship. Sam and Phil have two kids at PCK; Avery is in 2nd grade, Audrey is in kindergarten, and they also have a 2-year-old. Thank you, Sam and Phil, for your support!


Thank you to all of the families that donated to the Gala and Auction, and special thanks to the Danner and Dobkin families for going above and beyond with their donations.


Also, a special thank you goes out to all of our amazing sponsors. We could not do our Spring Gala and Auction without all of you. Thank you again for your generous sponsorships! 

Are Your Volunteer Hours Logged?

Thank you to everyone who has already completed their 20-hour volunteer commitment. Please make sure your hours are logged in Raptor.

If you still need to log volunteer hours you have already completed, you can access Raptor here. Your user name is your email address. If you don't remember your password, you can reset it in Raptor. PCK is unable to provide your password.

If you still need to finish your volunteer commitment for this school year, you can find opportunities on the Volunteer page of the PCK website, or by contacting Corey Yanzito, our volunteer coordinator.

Help The PTA With A Flower Mart

The PTA will be holding a flower mart for the teachers and staff in a few weeks. We are looking for donations of vases, large mason jars, tissue paper, and ribbons.


If you have a donation, please drop it off on the porch of one of the following addresses: 


Lewis home:

11985 Horseshoe Lane

Parker CO 80138


Danner home:

11226 Jordan Ct.

Parker CO 80134


We thank you!

Earth Day

Next Friday, April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day. This will be a green dress down day, so students may wear their favorite green garb (remembering to follow the dress down day dress code). 

The Earth Day Committee has been working hard to schedule engaging speakers and presentations for our students. The theme this year is "water," and we have local experts coming to talk to each grade level, including  Master Gardeners from CSU, engineers working on water projects for the US Forest Service, and engineers from Parker Water and the Water Ambassadors. They will discuss water usage on the local level.  


We are looking forward to an interesting and engaging day, and thank the Earth Day Committee for all of their hard work arranging this event for our students.

Spirit Team Tryouts Are Coming Soon

If your student loves our Spirit Team, you can learn more about it at a parent/daughter meeting next Wednesday, April 20th, from 4:00 - 4:30pm in room 148 (Coach Gillen's classroom). Tryout information, fees, expectations, and other details will be covered in the meeting. Students currently in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade may try out. The tryouts are May 9th, 11th, and 13th from 3:30 - 4:30pm. The 13th is a teacher work day and students do not have class, but tryouts will still be held at 3:30pm that day.

Photos Needed For Our Yearbook

The deadline to get our yearbook to the printer is approaching quickly. If you have any last-minute photos to submit, please be sure to upload them to our TreeRing account right away so they can be included in our yearbook.

To upload photos: 

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact our parent yearbook editor, Sarah Gustashaw.

Great News From The COVID Tracker

Our number of positive COVID cases for the past week is zero. Thanks for your help by keeping students home while waiting for test results or when they have any symptoms.

Stand Up For Safety

Thank you to Walter Esser, Curtis Widerholdt, and John Ferg for being this week's Safety Dads! Our students love seeing their dads at school, especially at lunch and recess, so check out the Sign Up Genius and claim your spot today. Many dads sign up for multiple shifts because they enjoying getting a first-hand look at the great things happening at PCK. If you would like to stay for the full day, feel free to sign up for both the morning and afternoon shifts. We would love to have you here!

Thank You

Thank you to Kelly Anderson for bringing our our staff delicious baked goods today. You sure do take good care of us!