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Principal's Message

May 2019


Puma Parents…

I begin my final communication of the year with a very simple, yet sincere, THANK YOU!

I can’t believe that this week we send off another promoting class of 8th graders to California High School and get ready to welcome a new group of 6th graders from our feeder elementary schools, in just a couple of months.  As a community, WE continue to serve our students TOGETHER and should be so proud of OUR accomplishments.  Eighth grade families… Good luck, as I hope we have served you well.

Before we step away from campus for the summer, I just wanted to acknowledge some of the individuals who collectively make us great.  To our outgoing PTA President, Julie Burlingame… your leadership has been inspirational.  Thank you!  You stepped up and into this role and steadied the ship before expanding the responsibilities of PTA.  When a void needed to be filled, there you were with a smile and a “can do” attitude.  You and your army of supporters were never taken for granted.  We welcome our new PTA President, Ann Marie Vanniasinkam and her Board to the 2019-20 school year.  The Pine Valley staff looks forward to continuing our partnership with PTA to the benefit of OUR kids.

The end of the year also allows us to honor the work of our finest staff and students.  Earlier in the spring we were proud to acknowledge Core 7 teacher, Kristy Lomando as our San Ramon Rotary Teacher of the Year.  Also, para-educator, Siva Swaminathan was the recipient of Pine Valley’s Classified Employee of the Year.  Finally, our PVEF president, Leslie Grgurina was the recipient of our “Shining Star” Award.  This year, the work ethic and contributions of these three ladies set them apart from their peers and we thank them for positively impacting our Pine Valley community.

At our annual Awards Night on May 15, Pine Valley staff also had the privilege of showing our appreciation for many of our hard-working students.  That night, over 150 students received recognition for their various campus contributions.  Most of the students acknowledged that night received a “Teacher Award” as each staff member honored two students based on the criteria of their choosing.  Sometimes a staff award is based on academics, but often it is on improvement, work ethic, positive attitude; etc.  Not only do these students receive a certificate, but they also receive a hand-written note card from the staff member that explains the award.  The thoughts expressed on these cards are truly the award.  The evening culminates with the announcement of the year’s Proud Puma Award.  Congratulations goes to Dylan Burlingame and Mia Rabuco.  These students were selected by staff and administration as they exemplify the “Puma Pride” spirit and the Pine Valley Life Skills that adorn the walls of our campus.  Thank you Mia and Dylan for leaving Pine Valley a better place than when you arrived 3 years ago.

As with every school year, staff changes are inevitable.  Pine Valley PE teacher, Jacque Bowman will be retiring.  Jacque has been a coach and teacher in SRVUSD for 33 years and her positive impact on students will live on and will be missed.  We wish her luck as she moves to the Central Coast.  Our Speech Pathologist, Amanda Marini will also be moving and leaving us.  Anybody who has ever sat with Amanda at a meeting will know how her calming and professional presence will be missed.  Finally, we wanted to express to our school nurse, Tracy Fernandez, our appreciation as she takes her professional responsibilities to another part of the district.  Good luck to teacher, Rhonda Coleman who will also be leaving our community.  I would be remiss if I did not thank long-term substitute, Andy Wigginton for stepping in this year and supporting his sixth graders.

If you have been attending any of our PTA meetings this year, I have been sharing with parents that declining enrollment will be impacting our community over the next couple of years.  We started this year with 1050 students and will start next year with approximately 1000 students.  A continued decline is also predicted as future projections have us closer to 900 students in the upcoming years.  Simply put, less students equates to less staff.  This includes administration, as well.  With that said, I regretfully inform you that Pine Valley will be losing Assistant Principal, Nikki Chaplan next year, leaving Meredith Bullock and I as Pine Valley’s administrators.  Mrs. Chaplan has accepted a position in our district as the new AP at Diablo Vista Middle School.  In her two years as our AP, Nikki has been an educational leader transforming our literacy program across all three grade levels.  Her professional skills will not be the only thing missed as her colleagues will also miss her positive attitude and demeanor in the office.  Thank you, Mrs. Chaplan!

As you drive by Pine Valley this summer, you will see much going on as we will host many summer camps, as well as SRVUSD middle school summer school!  Please be on the alert for an email coming in late July alerting you to online registration.  Our tentative date to “go live” is July 25.

Have a safe and fun summer and enjoy the family time!  We know you will be more than ready to give your kids back to us on the first day of school, Tuesday, August 13!  Until then, put the flip-flops on and enjoy the sunshine!  I will!

As always, thank you for trusting us with your kids!


Jason M. Law






Mr. Jason M. Law
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