Hickory Hills PTA

every Child; one Voice

February 2013 PTA Meeting Minutes

by Beth - February 20th, 2013

Hickory Hills Board and Membership Meeting February 15, 2013
In Attendance: Kelly Allison, Michelle Benzen, Shereena Cox, Danny Chisholm, Lori Chisholm, Brian Derenski, Michele Douglas, Brandy Hickman, Sarah Langston, Laura Ogden, Beth Plaster, Catherine Schmittling, Caren Tate, and Valerie Wehrenberg.
Beth Plaster, PTA President, called the meeting to order at 1:32 PM.
The January 2013 minutes were approved as written.
Caren Tate, PTA Treasurer: Ongoing Fundraising brought in $1,317.93 from Box Tops for Education and $93.43 from Pasta Express. Even though January shows -$1,186.80 in Scrip income, approximately $2,000 is in Scrip inventory. We are around $1,700 in the plus YTD with Scrip. Expenses for January include Founder’s Day tickets, Chat and Chew books, and our Counselor appreciation gift. Our total income YTD is $10,433.27 and expenses YTD are $5,409.48. Ending balance for January was $14,171.55.
Beth Plaster: A nominating committee is needed for the 2013-2014 board. Positions are available for Vice President and Treasurer. Brian Derenski motioned that Melissa Kotowicz, Brandy Hickman, and Catherine Schmittling serve as our nominating committee. That motion got a second and was carried.
Beth Plaster: The “Dive into Reading” assembly led by Magician Marty Hahne will be held February 22 at 1:30. Thanks to Kirsten Weiss, Cultural Arts Chairperson, who organized the assembly.
Valerie Wehrenberg and Brian Derenski, Yearbook Chairpersons: Order forms for yearbooks will go home the beginning of March. Prices will not change from last year.
Beth Plaster: Kindergarten registration will be held March 7 from 9:00-10:30.
Beth Plaster, Spirit Wear Chairperson: Order forms were emailed on February 13. Orders are due with payment by February 26 for the end of March delivery.
Brandy Hickman, Ongoing Fundraising Chairperson: Counted and sorted Box Tops should be turned in by Homeroom parents no later than February 22 in the teacher workroom. Each grade will have a class winner and receive a catered breakfast either late April or early May.
Kelly Allison, Principal:
ï‚· We are past mid-3rd quarter.
ï‚· Spring Break is the week of March 11.
ï‚· There will be a bond initiative and levy proposal on the April 2 ballot. If it passes, 4 elementary classrooms will be added to HH. These rooms will be built from the room that houses the laminator.
ï‚· A handout was presented to PTA members with the results of the HH School Parent Survey.
ï‚· The crisis team will meet again. Before the beginning of next school year, information will be communicated about changes and procedures regarding safety at HH.
New Business
ï‚· Sarah Langston, PTA Vice President: An email will be sent to current committee chairpersons and co-chairpersons to ask their intent to serve next school year.
ï‚· Lori Chisholm, Book Fair Chairperson: Buy One Get One Free fair will be held May 6-8.
The next PTA meeting will be Tuesday, March 5, at 1:30 PM.
Beth Plaster adjourned the meeting at 2:03 PM.
Lori Chisholm PTA Secretary

February PTA Meeting

by Beth - February 12th, 2013

Hello all.  This is just a friendly reminder that our February PTA Meeting is THIS Friday, Feb. 15th at 1:30p in the Elementary Cafeteria.  We will be taking yearbook photos of all PTA Members and PTA Board Members.  I’d love to see you all there for the picture and the meeting!  We will be electing the nominating committee for our incoming PTA VP and Treasurer and discussing upcoming events in Feb and Mar.  So please join us if you can.

All upcoming PTA meetings are posted each month on both our PTA website at www.hhpta.org and our Facebook Page “Hickory Hills Elementary PTA”.  Please “Like” us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Hickory and PTA.

Please check us out and see what’s new at Hickory Hills for 2013.  Thanks so much for all you do to make our PTA such a huge success!

Beth Plaster
HHPTA President


Counselor’s Corner

by Beth - February 10th, 2013



Our word of the month for February is Courtesy.  Students will discuss the importance of being courteous and respectful to self and others.  We will share examples of courteous words and actions in our guidance lesson this month.  We will also review the Guidelines for Resolving a Conflict Peacefully.  Please review these guidelines with your child. 


Guidelines for Resolving a Conflict Peacefully


  1. The student can report a situation to his/her teacher.


  1. The teacher will determine if counselor assistance is needed.


  1. If so, the student may choose to confront the other student(s) with the counselor present.


  1. If a student is not comfortable confronting the other student(s) involved, he/she may choose to complete a statement form provided by the counselor.


  1. Once the statement form has been completed, the student will then review the form with the counselor.


  1. If the conflict  is not successfully resolved, the counselor will consult with Mr. Allison or Mrs. Cardwell.  One of them will then determine the appropriate actions necessary based on the Springfield Public Schools Discipline Guidelines.     


Have a great February!

Mrs. Hughes


McTeacher Night

by Beth - January 28th, 2013

Good Day Hickory Families!  Tonight, Monday, January 28th is our annual McTeacher’s Night at the McDonald’s at Chestnut Expressway and 65 Hwy.  Please join your Hickory Teachers and friends for a fun meal in support of the Hickory Hills Elementary PTA.  The event runs from 4-8p. This is a fun event in which the kiddos get to see their teachers hard at work at McDonald’s!  We hope to see you there!

January PTA Meeting Minutes

by Beth - January 27th, 2013

Hickory Hills Board and Membership Meeting January 10, 2013
In Attendance: Kelly Allison, Lori Chisholm, Shereena Cox, Michele Douglas, Lisa Ebisch, Brandy Hickman, Melissa Kotowicz, Maggie Krogh, Sarah Langston, Laura Ogden, Beth Plaster, Catherine Schmittling, Caren Tate, and Valerie Wehrenberg.
Beth Plaster, PTA President, called the meeting to order at 1:34 PM.
The December 2012 minutes were approved as written.
Caren Tate, PTA Treasurer: Scrip brought in a big amount for December. Expenses for December included food vouchers for holiday baskets and die cut pads for the workroom. A Box Tops for Education check was received in the amount of $1,317.93. Ending balance for December was $12,208.06.
Beth Plaster: PTA Executive Team positions needed for 2013-2014 are Vice President and Treasurer. Three PTA members are needed to serve on the Nominating Committee to fill these positions. Brandy Hickman, Melissa Kotowicz, and Catherine Schmittling agreed they could serve.
Catherine Schmittling, RIF Chairperson: The second distribution is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, January 29. A sign-up sheet for volunteers was circulated.
Beth Plaster, Chat and Chew: Book price information and enrollment forms will be sent home, as well as the sign-up for parents to volunteer. The deadline for payment and enrollment is January 26. The ice cream party is April 18. The new co-chairperson for Chat and Chew is Catherine Schmittling.
Sarah Langston, PTA Vice President: Hickory Hills PTA volunteer day at the SCPTA Clothing Bank is Wednesday, January 23. A sign-up sheet for volunteers was circulated.
Beth Plaster, Spirit Nights: Two nights have been planned. A Skateport night is set for late January and McTeacher Night at McDonalds in February. Specific dates will be announced.
Laura Ogden, Homeroom Parent Coordinator: Valentine parties are Thursday, February 14, at 1:30 PM. Homeroom parents should remind parents what they signed up for and to include a healthy snack.
Brandy Hickman, Ongoing Fundraiser Chairperson: Scrip To Go inventory is available for purchase. A meeting will be scheduled to brainstorm ideas regarding online orders. The last Box Top collection deadline for students is February 15. Homeroom parents need to have their Box Tops ready and turned in the teacher workroom no later than February 22. Homeroom parents are encouraged to send a reminder email to classroom parents. As an incentive, a catered breakfast will be served to the top class in each grade. The goal is to raise $2,500 through Box Tops.
Beth Plaster: The Founder’s Day dinner sponsored by SCPTA will be held Thursday, February 21 at Parkview High School. The dinner recognizes each school’s volunteer of the year. This year, our volunteer of the year is Brandy Hickman. Thank you, Brandy for your dedication to Hickory Hills!
Laura Ogden, Spring Fling Chairperson: Spring Fling is April 19. Please submit names of businesses who might donate goods and services. Volunteers are needed to help.
Kelly Allison, HH Principal:
ï‚· Thanks to PTA for the teacher holiday luncheon.
ï‚· There will be a bond initiative and levy proposal on the April 2 ballot. $1.1 million of the $71+ million bond would fund to Hickory Hills School the addition of 4 elementary classrooms. The addition was pre-planned in the original design of the new school.
 A handout was presented to PTA members with “Back to Basics” safety information for HH staff. This comes in response to the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, CT. HH Staff were reminded of basic procedures concerning safety.
ï‚· A safety committee will be formed and meet. A survey to parents will be emailed, and then the committee will meet again. Results of the survey and meetings will be presented at the February PTA meeting. There is no money to fund any additional safety procedures.
ï‚· Performance Series Testing is happening now through the first week of February.
New Business
ï‚· The next PTA meeting will be Friday, February 15. Note the change of day.
ï‚· The next All Pro Dad breakfast will be January 24 at 7:00 AM. RSVP to Jeff Plaster at jeff.plaster@yahoo.com.
ï‚· Pasta Express vouchers are available at the restaurant if original vouchers are forgotten. Vouchers are needed to get credit for HH.
Beth Plaster adjourned the meeting at 2:07 PM.

Lori Chisholm PTA Secretary

January Counselor’s Corner

by Beth - January 12th, 2013

Counselor’s Corner



Our word of the month for January is Attitude.  Hickory Hills Elementary Student Council has a positive attitude about raising money for a great cause.  We are collecting money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pasta for Pennies Program.  We will be accepting donations from Jan. 7th –Jan. 25th.  The class that raises the most money for LLS will receive a luncheon sponsored by Olive Garden. 

LLS and Hickory Hills STUCO appreciates your help with this very worthwhile cause. 

Together we can make a difference!

During the month of January, we will continue talking about being a good friend to others.  We will also discuss how friends sometimes have conflicts and that those conflicts can be worked out peacefully.   We will review strategies for resolving conflicts peacefully.   Such strategies are as follows: use I-messages, agree to disagree, or ask an adult to be a mediator.   Students will discover that they can work out their differences by working together.

Have a fantastic January!

Mrs. Hughes (Counselor/STUCO Sponsor)

January PTA Meeting

by Beth - January 5th, 2013

Happy New Year!!  Please join us for our first PTA meeting of 2013!  Thursday, January 10th at 1:30 in the elementary cafeteria.  We will be discussing upcoming events for the 2nd semester as well as announcing our Volunteer of the Year.

Thanks so much for your continued support of our elementary PTA.  I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Beth Plaster HHPTA President

Where’s Spartan??

by Beth - January 3rd, 2013


We want to know where Hickory’s Spartan goes this Fall!  Capture your Spartan student and Spartan on camera at your favorite Springfield location, a sporting event, traveling or just hanging out at home.  Use the attached poster or your child in his/her Spartan Spirit Wear.  Be creative!  Have some fun with it!  Snap a good photo and upload it to our yearbook website.

Pictures will be included in this year’s Yearbook!


  • Picture must include at least one Spartan student AND Hickory Hills Spartan

(on a shirt or with the attached poster)

  • Image must be clear; no blurry shots please
  • Sorry no cell phone pictures (not high enough image quality for yearbook production)
  • Only one submission per student
  • Pictures must be received absolutely NO LATER THAN January 11th, 2013

How to submit:

  • Go to www.community.lifetouch.com
  • Enter access code:  VHPPLY under “New Users?” section of web page, click “Get Started”
  • Set up a FREE account so that you can upload and edit your photos
  • On the next screen you will see “Welcome, Mr. Smith”, “2013   Hickory Hills School”
  • Click on the UPLOAD IMAGES button to begin, OR
  • For an easy tutorial click on the “Community upload instructions” hyperlink to the right of the upload images button

So…Just where will Spartan be?!…

Order a Yearbook and find out!

Please email questions to:

 Valerie Wehrenberg at valerie@wehrenberg.net, Brian Derenski at brian@bddesignstudio.com or

Beth Plaster at jandbplaster@yahoo.com

December PTA Meeting Minutes

by Beth - December 16th, 2012

Hickory Hills Board and Membership Meeting December 13, 2012
In Attendance: Michelle Benzen, Lori Chisholm, Lisa Ebisch, Brandy Hickman, Heather Kirk, Melissa Kotowicz, Sarah Langston, Laura Ogden, Beth Plaster, Caren Tate, and Valerie Wehrenberg.
Beth Plaster, PTA President, called the meeting to order at 1:30 PM.
The November 2012 minutes were approved as written.
Caren Tate, PTA Treasurer: Acquisitions purchased privacy partitions for Mrs. Banasik and Mrs. DeGood. Expenses for November included the cost of the Directory and the deposit for the Yearbook. A budgeted $200.00 donation was sent to RIF. Ending balance for November was $11,970.46.
Beth Plaster, All Pro Dads Chairperson: The next All Pro Dad meeting is January 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM.
Beth Plaster, Spirit Wear: The next Spirit wear order will be taken the beginning of February 2013.
Lisa Ebisch, Charitable Giving Chairperson: 15 families were the recipients of Holiday Baskets, which were full of food, hygiene, and household products. Each family got 4 boxes full. Price Cutter vouchers and $20 Toys R Us gift cards (for each child) were also included in the baskets.
Melissa Kotowicz, Hospitality Chairperson: The Teacher Holiday Luncheon is Wednesday, December 19 in the teacher workroom. PTA is also giving gifts to each teacher.
Laura Ogden, Homeroom Parent Coordinator: Holiday parties are Thursday, December 20, at 1:30 PM. Homeroom parents should remind parents what they signed up for and to include a healthy snack.
Laura Ogden, Spring Fling Chairperson: Volunteers will be needed.
Brandy Hickman, On Going Fundraiser Chairperson: $550 was earned in the last 2 weeks from Scrip. This year, approximately $1300 has been raised through Scrip. The next Box Tops collection date is February 2013.
Sarah Langston, PTA Vice President: Hickory Hills PTA volunteer day at the SCPTA Clothing Bank is January 23, 2013. A sign-up sheet for volunteers was circulated.
There was no report from Kelly Allison, Principal.
There was no new business.
Beth Plaster adjourned the meeting at 1:44 PM.
Lori Chisholm PTA Secretary

Holiday Food Basket Drive

by Beth - December 11th, 2012

Here’s an opportunity for our entire Hickory Hills student body to work together to provide holiday food baskets to low-income families that SPS selected through Crosslines.

How you can help:  Donate food, cash, or help assemble and deliver the baskets to families.

FOOD:  With each grade overseeing a category of items, it will ensure the families receive a variety of items. Donation bins are available in the classrooms from Dec. 3 -13.

Food categories by grade are:

Kindergarten:      Canned fruits and vegetables

1st Grade:           Breakfast items (oatmeal, cereals, pancake mix, syrup)

2nd Grade:           Lunch items (soup, crackers, peanut butter, jelly)

3rd Grade:           Snack Foods (crackers, dried fruit, granola, nuts, popcorn)

4th Grade:            Desserts  (boxed cakes, brownies, cookies, etc.)

5th Grade:           Dinner items  (canned meats, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, macaroni
& cheese, beans, instant potatoes)
Middle School:   Household & Hygiene items (laundry detergent, paper towels,
toilet paper, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes)

TOYS:  Hickory Hills kids are encouraged to chip in $1 so we can add Toys R Us gift cards to the baskets – a little something extra for the children.  Baggie attached for your convenience.  Checks can be made payable to “HHPTA.”

DELIVERIES:  Assembly and delivery volunteers are needed on Dec.13th.  Contact Lisa Ebisch at 353-4197 or lebisch@gmail.com.

Show you care this holiday season.  – Thank you!