Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – June 20, 2017

I will understand problem solving, self-exploration, decision making, number relationships, structures, complex vocabulary, healthy living, cause and effect, creativity, imaginative thinking and my natural world when I am big. Because I play outside while I am little.Dear Parents/Guardians,

Monday was a whirlwind of activity here at Nottingham, what with class trips, publishing parties, Readers’ Theater, class picnics, and end- of-year activities. Hard as it is to believe, we are in the home stretch! This morning I enjoyed addressing our fifth graders/ rising 6th graders one last time, as they completed their final run through of promotion practice. We are ready for a memorable evening!

Hoops for Hughes

An update from HFH Lead Volunteer: Parent/ Guardian Karen Lindquist- I want to thank each of you for the time that you spent organizing, planning, and volunteering for Friday night’s game!   The 4th grade chorus did a fantastic job of singing the National Anthem prior to the start of the game. Our 5th graders showed great sportsmanship.  Each of the 60+ players played hard and had fun.  The enthusiasm from the cheering stands was so nice to see – and hear!   Together, Nottingham and Discovery 5th grade families raised a total of $2,505.00 for the Marjorie Hughes Fund.  They are always very appreciative of this event and the infusion of money that goes to the non-profit Marjorie Hughes Fund.

Fifth Grade Promotion Program – Thank You to our Fourth and Fifth Grade Parent/Guardian Volunteers

Many thanks to Robyn Joseffer and her army of volunteers who have invested heart and soul to ensure a memorable promotion for our Rising 6th Grade Knights. We will gather to celebrate the next stage in their educational journey at Williamsburg Middle School later on this evening. This is yet another outstanding example of the teamwork and dedication to our Knights!

Fifth and Fourth Grade parent volunteers who helped with all the various tasks regarding promotion are listed below

  • 4th Grade Parent Volunteers – Kendra Anderson and Maria Fusco
  • DAR Coordinator – Meaghan Thomas
  • Program Production – Stephanie Mitchell
  • Video Production – Betsy Churchill, Larry Gomez, Janna Tranfa and Patty Hines
  • Photo Bulletin Boards – Robyn Menard, Stephanie Mitchell, Elizabeth Duke and Rachel Agnew
  • Poetry Contest – Liz O’Neill, Karen Hammar Firebaugh, and Holly Tully
  • Certificates – Eileen Kostanecki Roosa
  • Decorations – Elizabeth Duke
  • AV Support – Lee Furches
  • Class photo – Soni Manickmam and Patty Hines
  • Community Service Project – Karen Kerley-Schwartz (she has a list of her volunteers)
  • Art Contest – Courtney Portner, Erin Colbert Jessica Neumann
  • Treasurer – Kendra Anderson

Knight Writer May

Nottingham Knight Writer

As we wrap up our academic year, I wanted to call your attention to our May Knight Writer online magazine. We have chosen to highlight the works of our rising 6th graders. It is inspiring to read their work and to be granted an opportunity to read more about the things they feel passionately about.

Nottingham Knight Writer New Focus:  Knights Ahead

For the 2017-18 academic year, Nottingham’s Knight Writer Project will take on a decidedly STEAM like focus. Via further integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, our STEAM focus will be on providing authentic, inquiry-based learning experiences that encourage our Knights to collaborate, experiment, and create solutions to real-life problems. As we incorporate elements of Project Lead The Way, we remain dedicated to providing our Knights with an engaging, hands-on environment. Our MakerSpace and ImagiLab work with our Knights and their teachers is dedicated to fostering those lifelong skills while engaging in hands-on learning. Global and local challenges surround us. To address these challenges and move forward, we know the world needs citizens who know problem-solving strategies, think critically and creatively, communicate and collaborate with others, and persevere when something does not work the first time! We think that sounds like our Knights!

A Fond Farewell to our Rising Sixth Graders

Please join us in “clapping out” the fifth graders at dismissal on Friday, June 23.

  • Teachers will have their classes lined up outside their classroom.
  • If you would like to join us, please plan to be in place inside or outside the school by 1:05 pm. We will begin our farewell at 1:10 PM.  The fifth graders will walk down each hallway.

Ice Cream Treat:  Celebrating the Last Day of School

Specials thanks to our PTA for sponsoring an Ice Cream Truck which will be located on the back black top beginning just after dismissal. Families are welcome to bring their children back to school as the Ice Cream Truck will stay until 2:30 p.m. Our PTA executive members have ensured that our ice cream treats will be nut free, and gluten and dairy-free options will be available. The items will have the ingredients listed on the packages and there will be wipes available as well.  Knights who attend Extended Day will be brought out to the truck in turn, and walkers/car riders may stop by on their way home. Bus riders will be brought options while waiting for their bus.

2017-2018 Staffing Update: New Staff Joining the Nottingham Learning Community

Please join Mr. Koutsouftikis and me in extending a warm Nottingham welcome to the following new colleagues:

  • Kelynne Bisbee, School Counselor
    Hi! I’m Kelynne Bisbee and I’m thrilled to return to Nottingham as a counselor this fall. I will be assigned here one day a week and am excited to see my former Knights again and meet some new ones. I am originally from upstate New York and for many years, I was a counselor in non-profit agencies. After I earned my graduate degree at UMass Amherst in 2000, I relocated to Arlington, VA and became a full-time elementary school counselor with APS. When my son was born in 2008, I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and once he started school, I returned to counseling part-time. During my free time, I enjoy reading, doing arts and crafts, and spending time with my husband, son, pets, and friends.
  • Martine “Cherise” Harrington, Math Coach
    “You have a brain in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”  ~ Dr. Seuss.  Not only is Dr. Seuss one of my favorite children’s book authors, but this quote really captures my attitude toward learning.  I am so excited to be joining the Nottingham Knights family as the new Math Coach.  I have over 20 years of experience in education including my first 10 years as a classroom teacher in Fresno, California before serving as a Math Coach for 3 years and was also selected to become a State Trainer, delivering 5-day training sessions on Math curriculum and standards.  In 2009, I decided to move to Virginia to be near my family and served as a Math Resource Teacher for a couple of years before being awarded my first Consulting contract in which I worked with 7 schools (on 4 of the 8 islands) in the state of Hawaii.  I also served as a full-time professional development consultant with a non-profit company called NWEA where I trained schools and districts throughout the US in the administration and application of a computer adaptive assessment.  Now, that I am back in Virginia, I am so excited to be getting back to Coaching where I can build and extend the capacity of our Instructional Teams at Nottingham to increase student learning in Math.When I am not teaching or developing professional development content for use in my coaching work, I am playing ball with my 2 dogs, playing at Top Golf, playing free poker or shopping!  I cannot wait to begin working with the Nottingham community.
  • Mary Beth King, Kindergarten Teacher
    My name is Marybeth King and I am so excited to be joining the Nottingham team! I started in Fairfax County 4 years ago as a Reading Resource teacher. I then transitioned to teaching Kindergarten, which I loved for the past 3 years.  I attended East Carolina University for my undergraduate degree and this past May I received my Master’s Degree from George Mason University, specializing in Math leadership.  I grew up in New Jersey and enjoy going home during the summer to visit my family and go to the beach.  In my free time I enjoying reading books, spending time with my brother and my niece, being in the sun, and shoe shopping!  I already feel so welcomed at Nottingham and I look forward to meeting everybody in September!
  • Katharine, McGinn, Special Education Resource
    Hello, Families!  My name is Katharine McGinn Pipke and I am delighted to join the Nottingham community this fall.  For almost 15 years, I taught Special Education inclusion in grades 2-4 in Alexandria, Virginia.  I recently received my Master’s Degree in Special Education from the Curry School of the University of Virginia and am eager to focus on meeting the needs of students requiring specialized instruction and their families.  Currently, I live in Alexandria, Virginia with my husband and two children.  When not in school, I enjoy visiting with family in DC, NJ, and NYC, travelling, running, and reading.  I am eager to work with members of the Nottingham community this coming year.
  • Teal Miles, Reading Specialist
    My name is Teal Miles.  I am excited to be joining the Nottingham Family!  I have worked as a Literacy Coach for the past 5 years in the Alexandria City Public Schools.   I am originally from Florida and taught 9 years in the same district from which I graduated.  My undergraduate degree is from Florida Atlantic University and my Masters in Reading is from Stetson University.  When not working, most of my time is spent exploring and attending all the amazing events in the area.  My husband and I are often looking for ways my 3-year-old son can burn off energy.  I am looking forward to meeting everyone in the fall!
  • Kristin Muller, 4th Grade Teacher
    Hello, Nottingham Elementary School members!  My name is Kristin Muller and I am thrilled to be joining the Nottingham Knights.  This will be my thirteenth year of teaching.  Most recently, I have been teaching Advanced Academics for a Primary Years Programme School, Belvedere Elementary, in Fairfax County.  I’m originally from a small town in upstate New York and received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SUNY Cortland. I am a thespian at heart and have enjoyed theater since a very young age. I was a performer until college, when I fell in love with the technical aspect.  Eight years ago I developed and directed a theater program for upper elementary students in Louisa County.  This year I am hoping to find time to participate in some form of theater.  I look forward to meeting the Nottingham Community this fall.
  • Kelly Neill, 4th Grade Teacher
    My name is Kelly Neill and I am excited to be a member of the Nottingham community!  I spent the last 7 years teaching grades 1-4 in Fairfax County and Loudoun County, most recently at Cardinal Ridge Elementary.  Before that, I attended the University of Virginia for my undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Last summer, I completed my reading specialist license through UVA as well.  In my free time, I love to cheer on the ‘Hoos, work on my goal of visiting all 50 states, and spend time with family and friends.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the fall!
  • Joe Price, 5th Grade Teacher
    My name is Joe Price and I am so excited to be joining the Nottingham community this year!  I have been teaching in Virginia since 2004.  Most recently, I taught fifth and fourth grades at Ashlawn Elementary. Prior to that I was a fifth grade teacher in Stafford County. I am originally from Rochester, NY and attended the State University of New York at Potsdam for my undergraduate studies. I earned my master’s degree from University of Mary Washington. When I’m not teaching, I love to coach baseball, play chess and spend time with family. I’m looking forward to becoming a Knight!

Summer Library Hours – Nottingham Library/Makerspace

Members of Nottingham’s Community of  Learners are invited to join Mrs. Koehler and Mrs. Gustafson, our Library Media Services team, for three special evenings from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Capitalizing on the energy and creativity of our Knights on display from this past year’s ImagiLab sessions, students and their parents will be invited to participate in a different STEAM activity each night. The activities will complement our summer reading theme – Build a Better World.


  • Thursday, 7/6, Wednesday, 8/2 and Tuesday, 8/22
  • 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Build a Better WorldHere is the link to the summer reading page and the summer reading packet.

On a never ending search for great reads?

One of the joys of living so close to the nation’s capital is our proximity to unique opportunities for fun summer activities.
Your child/ children might enjoy Summer Learning – National Geographic Society

A Knight to Remember Scheduled – Thursday, August 31 –  5:30-8:30 PM

Please mark your family calendar to join Mr. Koutsouftikis and me for A Knight to Remember! 

Our beloved PE staff of Ms. Pugh and Mr. Grasso will facilitate group games while families enjoy an old fashioned picnic. Leave room for a sweet treat, which can be purchased from Scoops to You, an ice cream truck. After the picnic, we will be featuring the movie Born in China: .  We look forward to seeing you and your family to help kick off the year in fine fashion!

Thank you for entrusting our staff with the gift and joy of being a formative part of their educational experience this year.

Wishing you a fun, safe, “outdoorsy summer,” full of play with your children!

Mary Beth Pelosky