Brightwood School

1701 Brightwood Street, Monterey Park, CA 91754






March 2003 | January 2003 | December 2003 | November 2003

The Brighwood Bark - December 2002

Brightwood School...A Grrreat Place To Learn

A publication of the Brightwood Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, Alhambra Council, First District of the California State PTA. Reach us on-line at [email protected].

Musical Christmas Card to be Delivered Dec. 19

Come see our 1st, 4th and 7th graders star in the holiday musical, "Santa, You've Got Mail", being performed in the Brightwood cafetorium at 7 p.m., this Thursday, December 19. Parents and family members are also welcome to attend daytime performances at 9:30 a.m. on December 16, 17 and 18.

Seventh grader Stewart Ibrahim leads a cast of 18 actors and 18 stage crewmembers. Hundreds of 1st, 4th and 7th graders will sing eight songs about the December holidays. Show director and 7th grade teacher Barry Glick says, "We have choreography, singing, dancing…the whole bit!" Students practiced many hours, numerous days after school and even came in and practiced on a school holiday.

The musical tells the story of a stressed out postman who finds no joy in the bustling holiday season until he discovers how each of his deliveries makes someone's holiday celebration possible. Mr. Glick says, "It's really a tear-jerker at the end."

Parent George Cheung, a professional actor, has volunteered as assistant director. Parents Nick Ragus and Paul Hughson helped build the stage sets. Parent Elaine Lee has worked hard as the show's stage manager. Teacher Kimberly Geoghgan is the choreography director and teacher Tracy Kawasaki is the technical director. Our 1st, 4th and 7th grade teachers have lead their kids during hours of choir practice. They include: 1st grade teachers Deserie Bradvica, Carol Makela, Janet Bennett, and Jenny Lin; 4th grade teachers Suzanne Hanson, Melisa Lee, Gwen McLain, and Jane Lin; and 7th grade teachers Barry Glick, Tracy Kawasaki, and Judy Lyle.

Mr. Glick noted, "We are really taking advantage of the risers, curtains and new wireless microphones paid for by the PTA."

Postal workers from the Monterey Park Post Office have been invited to the show and will be recognized for their service. Mr. Glick said, "The show is dedicated to them."

PTA Needs Your Input

A letter from PTA President Scott Hara

Dear Parents, Teachers and Friends,

December is a busy month, especially at Brightwood! We are looking forward to the Winter Program on Dec. 19, and teacher Barry Glick tells me the teachers, parents and students are putting forth extra effort to make this a memorable and fun show to watch. I recommend getting there early to get a seat.

The Talent Show last February must have been a success because this year we have double the number of students auditioning for the next show, meaning the Brightwood student performances will really shine on Feb. 19. If you missed the auditions last week, please speak to Mr. Glick this week to see if he can grant an emergency audition.

In this issue of the Bark, we pay tribute to a few Brightwood students who have been recognized for their good work and talents. Contact us at [email protected] about students noteworthy of recognition. WE WANT TO KNOW!

One major issue has been on my mind. Our PTA has been diligently reserving funds for school and cafetorium improvements assuming school construction would soon occur. However, the planned construction has been delayed. So, this January, I will be chairing a committee of interested parents and teachers to evaluate our funds and rebudget them to benefit our students NOW. If you are interested in participating or have suggestions, please email me at [email protected] or leave a message at the school office for Scott Hara, PTA President and add your name, your child's name and grade, and contact information so I can reach you.

The suggestions should be for enrichment programs that benefit all of the students, not just one grade. Programs that help parents or teachers work with our children are also welcome.

Finally, I would very much like to congratulate Ms. Colleen Underwood on her promotion as our new principal and welcome our new assistant principal, Ms. Priscilla Boyle.

May you all have much to be thankful and happy about. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Be Santa for Your Favorite Teacher

Brightwood teachers spend a lot of their own money on school, office and art supplies for our children. A little elf (PTA Teacher Representative Barry Glick) has told us that our Brightwood teachers have been very good "girls" and "boys" this year and could really use some gift certificates from stores like Staples or Office Depot. Thanks for helping our teachers to help our kids!


  • December 16, 17, 18 Winter Program, 9:30 a.m.
  • December 19 Winter Program & PTA Association Meeting, 7 p.m.
  • December 20 Eighth Grade Breakfast and Christmas Dance
  • December 20 Last day of school before Winter Break- MINIMUM DAY
  • January 3, 2003 Back to School
  • January 20 Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday - NO SCHOOL

Hard Work Wins Role with Moscow Ballet

This September, a cast member of the Moscow Ballet conducted a student assembly at Brightwood and invited students to audition to perform locally with the group. Sixth grader Michelle Nieman knew she wanted to try-out. The auditions were for the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker performances on November 9, at the Long Beach Convention Center Terrace Theatre - part of the Ballet's tour of 75 U.S. cities this fall.

Hundreds of Los Angeles County students auditioned. Michelle was among the few to be selected. Michelle said, "I was so excited when I was told I'd be in the show!" After being cast as one of the "party kids", Michelle rehearsed with the Moscow Ballet on about seven Sundays. Michelle thought the regular cast members were "kind'a cool and sometimes funny." Michelle said, "They fooled around just like us kids."

Michelle's two performances with the Moscow Ballet were the culmination of this "once in a life time experience." Michelle said, "They left me with a wonderful memory to keep."

Michelle has been studying and performing ballet and Chinese classical dance for the past six years. Michelle attends dance classes about four days a week, after she finishes her homework. Michelle says, "I'm learning a lot. I'm learning new dances and working hard. It's fun." Michelle even studied dance for a month in the summer of 2001 at the Performing Arts University in Beijing. Locally, Michelle has performed in numerous productions, including events at the Taiwanese consulate in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium.

Book Fair Nets New Books and Cash

By Joanie Luthi, Book Fair Chairperson

The October Reading Roundup Book Fair was very successful. We took in a total of $6,470.30 with a net profit of $1,793.15. Thank you to all of the teachers, students and families for their support. Many families purchased requested books for their children's classrooms. Scholastic Books provided $175 in book fair gift certificates, which were won by 11 students and parent volunteers.

The success of the book fair is due to the dedication of our wonderful volunteers: Hagar Benitez, Sing May Chen, Rosanna Chong-Allen, Lupe Garcia, Leticia Gil, Peggy Gu, Donna Hihara, Katya Hochstrasser, Christine Hum, Quyen Huynh, Pat Ichiriu, Jennifer Izuhara, Lynn Izuhara, Emily Jen, Martha Jimenez, Cecilia Lee, Elaine Lee, De Liang Li, Julie Li, Perry Lim, Sharon Lim, Susanna Louie, Betty Low-Chang, Ruja Meow, Sumiko Miyagi, Belinda Montgomery, Melanie Paek, Mary Ann Ragus, Nida Ramirez, Alma Rios, Jessica Rubin, Yaneli Ruiz, Lora Saiki, Margaret Sakakibara, Yuri Sangen, Isabelle Sato, Suzette Shinba, Anna Shishmanian, Michiko Tanaka, Yushan Tong, Kim Tusakul, Susanna Wan, Jian-Bao Xie, Lily Yan, Rowena Yan, Lisa Yee, and Michelle Yip. If there is anyone who volunteered and is not included on this list, please accept our gratitude for your time and support.

Calendar Girl and Guy Celebrate Diversity

The artwork of sixth graders Kamryn Ikeda and Jeffrey Tom was selected from numerous Alhambra School District student submissions for publication in the District's 2002-2003 Multicultural Calendar. The calendar's theme "Celebrating Our Diversity" was created to help students develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural harmony and an understanding of our American heritage. Each date on the calendar lists significant events and important people from world and U.S. history. This is the 18th year the Alhambra School District has published the Multicultural Calendar.

Jeffrey Tom's work illustrates the roles totem poles play in family and tribal life among Native Americans of the Northwest. A family vacation to Alaska gave Jeffrey the inspiration for his drawing. Jeffrey likes how totem poles "tell stories and have many different animals and colors."

Kamryn Ikeda's drawing features a patriotic potluck of foods Americans enjoy from many different cultures. Kamryn said she likes to cook at home. "I drew the foods I like to eat." Kamryn said, "It feels good to have your picture in the calendar."


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