July 28, 2017
Good evening Mayer,
I hope each of you are enjoying the summer. I wanted to send along an email with a few staffing updates that have been sent out this afternoon. Please take a moment to read below the updates heading into this school year.
Julie Zonca, our case manager counselor, will not be returning to Mayer this coming school year. Ana Solis, ELII teacher, will be taking on a new role at Mayer next year. Ana has her School counseling degree, and will assume this position. Ana is thrilled to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on our entire school population in this new role.
Dear Mayer Families,
For those of you who don’t know me as well as those of you who do, I wanted to share with you all today that I have accepted the position of School Counselor for this coming year at Oscar Mayer. Though it feels somewhat strange to leave the classroom after teaching in one for so long, this is also a natural transition for me. In the 17 years that I’ve been teaching at Mayer, one of the things I’ve been most passionate about has been developing relationships with the children I teach. Those relationships have been a tremendous motivator throughout my career and is the reason I chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in School Counseling some years back. When this position became available, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to counsel in the school that feels like home to me.
As the School Counselor, my roles will include supporting students with IEPs, facilitating small groups for students with various social emotional needs, providing the mandatory tier three services to our students with the most needs, providing support to my colleagues, and helping students transition from 8th grade to High School. I will also work with our school community to help implement important Social Emotional Learning curriculum. So many of us are seeing how these kinds of issues impact our children’s academics and overall well-being. So, I’m invested in making sure that we stay on top of these things as a school community.
Please know that I will available to you and your children if concerns or issues ever come up. I’m excited to work with your children in this new capacity this coming year. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summers!
Ana L. Solis
Room 213, ELII
Ana will be leaving room 213 to take on her new role. Pili Mendoza, ELI will be moving back to ELII. Pili started her career at Mayer in ELII, and she is looking forward to the opportunity to rejoin this team and service our 4th and 5th grade students.
Room 203, ELI
Julie Drew, former ELI assistant, had left Mayer to become an ELI teacher in the suburbs. She is very excited to return to Oscar Mayer and take on the lead teacher role in room 203. We could not be more excited for Julie to rejoin her team as a lead teacher. She is currently in the process of obtaining her Elementary One certification.
I am excited for the staff members as they make decisions to professionally develop and grow. Each of these Educators are going to do amazing work in their new roles.
Finally, please see Mrs. Bilquis Thomas’ update and letter below.
Note from Mrs. Bilquis Thomas – Thank You Mayer Magnet School!
Hello Mayer School Community,
I hope you all are enjoying the chance to have fun and relax in this beautiful summer weather. I am writing this letter to inform you all that I will not be returning to Mayer in the fall. For eleven years, Mayer has been much more than a job to me. I became the Assistant Principal of Mayer with the intention to work with Katie and the school community to create a great learning environment for all students. I believe that together we have all accomplished that goal. And I couldn’t be prouder!
I initially thought it was necessary to write separate parting letters to each stakeholder group. However, Mayer’s strength has been, and I hope will continue to be, working together as one family committed to success for all students. Personally, I have experienced some of my most powerful lessons in leadership by working with the students and staff of our great school. As Rory Muchow stated during professional development a number of years ago, “Remember that everyone has a story; demonstrate mutual respect.” Thank you all for making Mayer a part of your story through your dedication to students.
To my amazing staff: Over the years, I have supported your tears of joy and sadness as you work hard to help our students grow. I have experienced your tremendous highs as you celebrate the successes in your classrooms. I have traveled with many of you as you leave your families each year to chaperone overnight experiences with our students and help them create memories they will keep forever. I have witnessed your amazing growth as we have worked side by side over the years to implement district mandates and programmatic requirements, all while making plans to meet the individual needs of your students. I have seen many of you either coming in early or staying late every single day. And summer doesn’t end without many classrooms already being set in anticipation for the upcoming year! Mayer has never been a “teach to the test” school, because we have been able to plan for our daily instruction to ensure students are prepared for any test they encounter. From the ISAT, to NWEA, to PARCC, to high school selective enrollment exams; our students have been properly prepared. Each of you should take great pride in knowing that every year our graduates’ acceptance rate into schools of their choice has increased. I am grateful to have hired, worked with, learned from, and led such a FANTASTIC TEAM of education professionals!
To the Mayer LSC: Thank you for your commitment to your child’s education and our overall school community. Over the years, you have supported the teachers and challenged the administration. I believe that has all been in an effort to make sure Mayer remains one of the best schools in the district. I am hopeful that your principal selection process will help you find the new era of leadership you are looking for.
To the FOM Board and all Mayer Parents: You all are truly amazing! Your collective efforts have, in no small part, allowed Mayer to provide each of our students with a learning experience that is truly unlike any other within the district. The combination of fundraising, volunteering and general school support that you provide are what help make Mayer a great place for students. Collectively, our parent community has helped in countless ways throughout the years; you name it, you all have done it! From taking care of classroom pets, directing traffic for Moving Sidewalk, ensuring one to one technology 4th – 8th grade, volunteering to help with classroom celebrations, washing dishes and work rugs, ensuring there is air conditioning in classrooms, coaching, leading after school activities, organizing school-wide events, raising finances to support the school, providing snacks and school supplies, organizing service opportunities for students to give back to the community, touring prospective parents, being a smiling face on the playground at entry and/or dismissal, and the list could go on and on. Thank you!
Last, but certainly not least, to the students of Mayer School: Thank you for coming to school each day ready to learn. Your willingness to embrace our Bulldog Pride, and demonstrate those principles each day has been wonderful to witness. From EC to MYP, I take pride in how well our students lead by example at every level. I have had the privilege of coming in your classrooms to listen to your discussions at every grade level. I’ve gotten the opportunity to watch you play at recess and watch the imagination unfold. I have been here to watch as the majority of you have entered the basketball door for the first time as an EC student, a little tentative, but very excited; and witness you grow in confidence as a student and a member of our school community day after day and year after year. In short, you all are amazing! Of everything I have learned and gained from my time at Mayer, my work with Mayer students is what I will miss the most!
In the fall, I will be joining the staff of Clissold School, as their new Assistant Principal. I am happy to take all that I have learned from Mayer to the only other CPS school with both the Montessori and IB MYP academic program model. I am hopeful that in this new role, I will be able to continue working to provide an excellent learning experience for a new community of students.
Thank you all for your dedication to Mayer students each and every day. It has been my honor to work for the students and community of Oscar Mayer Magnet School.
Bilquis A. Thomas