Hickory Hills PTA

every Child; one Voice

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!


by Beth - December 9th, 2012

Monday, December 10th from 4-9p is Pasta Express Night for Hickory Hills Elementary!  Please join us in our fundraising efforts and enjoy some yummy food with friends and family.  Please print out the flyer below, which can also be found on the Hickory Hills Elementary PTA Facebook page, and bring it with you.  The flyer must be presented at time of food purchase in order to receive the 15%  back to our school.  We hope to see you all there!

Thanks for your support of Hickory Hills Elementary PTA, our teaching staff and our children.


  You Are Invited

 to a Gathering For:

Hickory Hills School


The Second Monday (December 10th ) of Every School Month


Pasta Express

3250 E Battlefield


To Help raise money for HICKORY HILLS SCHOOL

Pasta Express will donate 15% of the sales between 4pm and 9pm.

Bonus Fundraising Available!

Pasta Express will donate 15 % to HICKORY HILLS SCHOOL for any catering event booked


Order can be placed online or by calling 890-1345.

– — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — -


   4 to 9 PM

Eat at Pasta Express at 3025 E BATTLEFIELD on your group’s night.          

Present this coupon when you purchase your meal.

Your group will earn 15% of the cost of your meal.

Coupons cannot be handed out on store premises, parking lot or at the door.

            $ ___________________             Come and join the fun and get some cash for your school.

Meal cost

December Counselor’s Corner

by Beth - December 4th, 2012

Counselor’s Corner

  Our word of the month for December is Honesty.  Students will discuss the importance of being honest with others in order to form happy, healthy friendships.  We will also discuss the importance of the Golden Rule.  Classroom visits will focus on activities that encourage students to treat others the way they want to be treated.  At Hickory Hills Elementary, we remember to use kind words and kind actions so that others will want to be our friend.

   Here are some tips for helping your child to make and keep friends.

  1.      Read books with your child about making friends.
  2.      Talk to your child about choosing friends.  What makes a good friend?  What makes a bad friend?  Congratulate your child when he or she makes a good choice!
  3.      Find a family with children the same age as yours.  Schedule activities together so your child has some support in developing friendships.
  4.       Be a good role model in friendships.  Show your child how you choose and interact with your friends.
  5.     Make friendships an important discussion topic.  Pick a specific time and place to talk with your child about friends and relationships.
  6.      Don’t try to solve your child’s friendship problems.  Help your child develop problem-solving skills around friendships.
  7.      Help your child identify his or her interests and hobbies.  Find opportunities for him or her to pursue interests or hobbies with other children the same age.

    You can find more tips at www.floridainclusionnetwork.com


Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Mrs. Hughes

SPS District Technology Advisory Committee

by Beth - November 27th, 2012


The Springfield Public School District is looking for volunteers to serve on the Technology Advisory Committee.  Below are the dates and times of each meeting.  If you would be interested in serving on this advisory panel which will look at  future technology advances, usage, etc.,  please contact me as soon as possible.


Beth Plaster, HHPTA President

Tech Advisory Meeting Dates

All meetings are from 4:00-5:00



11/29 KAC 101


KAC 101
1/3 KAC B
1/17 KAC B
1/31 KAC B
2/14 KAC B
2/28 KAC B
3/14 KAC B
3/28 KAC B

November 2012 PTA Meeting

by Beth - November 14th, 2012

Hickory Hills Board and Membership Meeting
November 8, 2012
In Attendance: Kelly Allison, Michelle Benzen, Lori Chisholm, Lisa Ebisch, Brandy Hickman, Sarah Langston, Kim Mayer, Beth Plaster, Beki Rhein, Caren Tate, Catherine Schmittling, Dana Mirowski, and Valerie Wehrenberg.
Beth Plaster, PTA President, called the meeting to order at 1:37 PM.
The October 2012 minutes were approved as written.
Caren Tate, PTA Treasurer: Fall Fun Night balance stands at $1,983.82. Ongoing Fundraiser brought in $193.95 from Chick-fil-A Spirit Night. Scrip (Income) has a balance of -$1,888.93, part of which reflects inventory on hand. Health and Safety had expenses related to Red Ribbon Week and supplies for the school nurse. Other expenses for October were Hospitality’s Open House dinner for teachers and SCPTA dues. The Reserve Fund shows -$450.00 for October due to a lost check from last year that had to be voided and reprocessed this year. Ending balance for October is $17,050.10.
Lori Chisholm, Book Fair Chairperson: In-school and online fair net sales were $7,750.67, earning $4,850.40 in profits and bonuses (60% of sales). Earnings were spent to purchase new books for 15 homeroom teachers, the librarian, counselor, resource, speech, and ESOL teachers. All for Books donations totaled $179.60, which was spent on approximately 40 ESOL students, who took home a new book. Thanks to everyone who volunteered, donated, and bought books to help our school.
Sarah Langston, PTA Vice President: To date, our unit stands at 223 total memberships (individual and business). The top 5 participating classes are Banasik (100%), Logan (92%), Anderson (83%), Fetter (81%), and Meacham (73%). Beth Plaster presented Sarah Langston a certificate from SCPTA recognizing our unit’s 10% increase in memberships from last year. Thank you Sarah for your efforts with HHPTA’s membership drive!
Beth Plaster: Three Spirit Nights are scheduled–Pasta Express on Monday, November 12, from 5-8 PM; Newks Café on Tuesday, November 13, from 5-8 PM; and Pasta Express on Monday, December 10, from 4-9 PM. Volunteers are needed to help at Newks.
Beth Plaster, Watch D.O.G.S. Chairperson: Only 2 dates are open for the year–December 19, 2012 and May 1, 2013. Email Jeff Plaster at jeff.plaster@yahoo.com to sign up. Background checks must be completed and cost $17.50.
Lisa Ebisch, Charitable Giving Chairperson: Holiday baskets will be prepped and delivered for 15 families. Homeroom parents need to have 2 donation boxes ready in the classrooms by Friday, November 30. Donations will be collected December 3–13. December 13 is the day to sort, build baskets, and deliver. More information will be sent home regarding donations. Volunteers are needed.
Catherine Schmittling, RIF Chairperson: Distribution is November 19. Cookie sale fundraisers have been scheduled for December 8 at the Springfield Christmas Parade and December 10 at Barnes and Noble.
Brandy Hickman, Ongoing Fundraiser Chairperson: Box Tops brought in $1,267. The top homerooms for first collection were Banasik, Logan, and Blaine. Scrip holiday orders will be coming up. Incredible Pizza platinum $20 food & game cards will be available for purchase in which HH gets 50% back. Don’t forget to get your Target Red Cards.
Beth Plaster, All Pro Dads Chairperson: A breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, November 15 from 7:00-7:45. Please RSVP by November 12 at www.allprodad.com/2447.
Kelly Allison, Principal:
ï‚· Dr. Norm Ridder, Superintendent, visited recently and was complimentary to Hickory Hills.
ï‚· Parent-Teacher conference week had a good turnout.
ï‚· Bash the Trash assemblies (K-2 and 3-5) are Friday, November 9, 2012.
ï‚· Hickory Hills will host a cyber-bully awareness meeting on Wednesday, November 14, from 6:30-7:30.
ï‚· Thanksgiving holidays are November 22 and 23.
ï‚· December 20 will mark the end of first semester.
ï‚· The K-8 holiday assembly will be December 20.
ï‚· The afternoon crossing guard position has been filled.
ï‚· Could PTA consider the possibility of merging the elementary/middle school book fairs?
ï‚· The Stenger family donated $5,000 to Hickory Hills School.
ï‚· Announcements may be submitted for HH Facebook page.
Beth Plaster circulated a thank you note from the 5th grade teachers for dinner provided during Parent-Teacher conference. The next PTA meeting will be held Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 1:30 in the cafeteria.
There was no new business. Beth Plaster adjourned the meeting at 2:20 PM.

Lori Chisholm
PTA Secretary

All Pro Dads Breakfast

by Beth - November 12th, 2012

Hickory Hills Elementary All Pro Dads (moms and grandparents welcome too)

Just a reminder for those who have not RSVP’d yet.  If you are planning on attending I need for you to RSVP no later than 11/13/12 so that there is enough breakfasts.  The next All Pro Dad breakfast has been scheduled for November 15th at 7:00am in the elementary cafeteria.  The topic of discussion will be “Kindness”!  Please RSVP at http://www.allprodad.com/2447 by Tuesday, 11/13/12.  I hope to see all of you there and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thanks, Jeff Plaster

Cyber Awareness Seminar

by Beth - November 12th, 2012


Spartan Family Event @ Hickory Hills

Wednesday, November 14th

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Guest Speaker:   Mr. Tom Durkin

  Public Education Director, Office of the Missouri Attorney General


  • Internet/Cyber Privacy, Protection, & Safety

  • Cyber Bullying

  • Social Network Issues

  • Family Technology Guidelines

  • Question & Answer Session


Door Prize Drawings will be held for our youth!

***Please note, some material discussed is not suitable for younger elementary children.  Parents are welcome to attend without their younger children***