top of page

Hidden Valley Hawk Talk Newsletter, Issue #5

HawkTalk Header
Monday,  October 2, 2023
HawkTalk Dates header


School Tour for Prospective Parents 9:15 AM

Oct 4

International Walk and Roll to School Day

Oct 6

PTO meeting at 8:20 AM

Oct 9

No School - Professional Development Day

Oct 13

Hidden Valley Fun Run

Oct 25

School Picture Day

fun run Sneakerlogo.png

There are just 11 days left before the Fun Run. We are at 83% participation, and almost halfway to our donation goal! Keep up the pace Hawks! 


Kudos to all those who logged in and registered your student’s Personal Fundraising Page.  The Fun Run has always been a community building event, just as much as a fundraiser. That’s why we value participation so much, and strive for the entire school to have a page set up. 


We still have some day of, October 13th, volunteer shifts available.  Please find the Sign Up HERE . Thank you for your support!


We will send out more information on how you can cheer for your HAWK during the run in next week’s newsletter, but for planning purposes all races will happen between 9 AM-11 AM. Now for the contest results:


Week 2 Contest winners are:

Every one that had at least one donor was entered into this week’s raffle. 


Here are the winners:

  • Scoop Gift Certificate: Jackson Christ (Brandt), Brooks Lyle (Wolfe), and Leo Raugh (Sottile)

  • Swirl Gift Certificate: Lucas Kasin (Horky), Emma Lo (Da Cunha) & West Fiorentini (Horky)


The race was neck and neck but Murdoch AND Workman crossed the 100% participation finish line together at the end of week 2. Just wow! Enjoy your movie day!

Our Class Motto Winners will be announced on Monday's PA and in next week's Hawk Talk. 


Now for Week 3’s contests…

  • Week three is FLASH FUNDRAISER WEEK: The class that has the most number of donors (week over week) gets to pick a school-wide THEME day. That means it's anyone's race to win! Keep sending out those pages folks! 

  • Did you know that the current average number of donors per Fun Run page is 3 donations? This week everyone with at least three donations will be entered into the raffle for Fairfax Theater movie tickets including a popcorn/snack. 



-Your Fun Run Crew (Mike Cassin and Sandra Murtagh)


Be an INcluder


Hello Hawk Families,


Interested in equity?  Want your child to receive SEL (Social Emotional Learning)?  Interested in a bigger picture district view?  Want to hear about the FunRun? Do you just want to sit with other adults and drink a coffee? Join us in the music room this Friday, October 6th @ 8:15 AM.   This year, we are combining efforts with PTO, School Site Council and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure that all of our school-wide goals are aligned.  Our mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families to support and advocate for all children. Our overall goals are below:


1. Continue to create a sense of belonging for all students, staff, and families. 

2. Focus on our signature practices to improve student achievement for all students.

3. Continue to deepen and expand opportunities for student agency and leadership.


It is our goal to streamline our efforts so that together we can identify ways that support a sense of belonging at Hidden Valley, celebrate diversity, and promote an anti-racist, anti-bias approach at Hidden Valley School. Some of the work includes:


  • Reviewing survey data and student achievement data to drive our goals.

  • Utilizing our PTO Resources to support school goals.

  • Reflecting and unpacking our own implicit biases 

  • Refer to Activity and Event Guidelines for all community events.

  • Monthly SEL and equity information provided to parents

  • Exploring the idea of DEI mingles as modeled after Wade Thomas School.

  • And much more...


Our Buddy Bench has been unveiled, presenting yet another opportunity to Be An INcluder!  Ms. Sottile’s second grade class introduced our Buddy Bench at the Wednesday assembly.  If ever students are feeling lonely, all they need to do is sit at the Buddy Bench and a Hawk INcluder will sit next to them to invite them to play. 

This is just one of many ways we layer in scaffolding for students to know they belong and are seen and valued.


In Community,


IMG_2457 (1).jpg

Meet Our New Staff Members

Throughout the year, we'll be highlighting our staff members. We will start with some of our newest faculty. This week, we'd like to introduce Annie Murdoch, Fourth Grade teacher:

Dear Hidden Valley Community,


I am so excited to be a new teacher at this incredibly special school and honored to be highlighted this week among my many esteemed faculty colleagues and Hawk families. 

This will be my sixth year teaching, but I grew up surrounded by educators (both of my parents and extended family work in higher education). My second home was Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where both of my parents were in administration and/or taught. I have also studied classical music for most of my life and first attended grad school in opera (I realized that I dislike singing the majority of this genre, so I alternated musical routes and sang in a blues/jazz band!), then switched over to nursing (I am passionate about healthcare and science, but did not want to invest another decade of my time in school, deciding to move to NYC after this!), and finally, coming around full-circle to my sweet spot, education… where I most recently earned my Master’s degree in the field. I love children and am most passionate about teaching: I encourage my students to take the leap of faith into unknown chartered territories of learning, particularly within subjects that are most challenging for them.


My favorite thing to do (outside of school) is ski whenever possible and be completely immersed in nature, whether it be on a mountain or by the tranquil water. I love travel, adventure, reading about the world at-large (I find this harder to do in my spare time as a teacher now than as a former English major), and the arts. One day I would like to write children's books.


Annie Murdoch

4th Grade


Photos attached:


1)     One of my family’s favorite local coastal destinations: Tony’s for oysters in Marshall

2)    Graduating summa cum laude with my Master’s in Education while also teaching full time (in the middle of a global pandemic) - a proud day! 

3)    My talented friend, a fellow classical musician, and also a musical theatre composer… at a Broadway-themed costume party no less (dressed up as characters from Chicago the Musical)

4)    A student portrait of their teacher!

You. Are. Our. Circle.

Hidden Valley PTO, Site Council, and our Diversity and Inclusion’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. 


Interested in equity?  Want your child to receive SEL(Social Emotional Learning)?  Interested in bigger picture district view?  Want to hear about the FunRun? Do you just want to sit with other adults and drink a coffee?   


Come join us October 6th 8:15-9:00 for our first combined PTO, Site Council and Diversity and Equity Meeting, to learn about how these  groups work together to support our students. 


80% of YES funding supports our art and music teachers and programs.   Take a look at this great interview with your child’s teacher, Ms. Gavam.  What an inspiration!


If you haven't donated to YES yet you can set up 10 payments by the end of September. For one child that’s just $90 per month (or any amount that fits your family). 


Don’t forget to ask your HR office if your company matches your donation. Thank you forSupporting the Arts!

Check the Lost and Found

Please stop by the lobby area of the Multipurpose room to check the lost and found. It is already overflowing and your items need to be rescued!

IWALK Green poster Spanish.jpg

Do you know how to sync the Hidden Valley calendar with your own calendar?

Please see below to learn how. 

Sync the school calendar with your:

Every week we will have a question of the week spanning varied subjects sometime including the content within the newsletter. The first one to respond gets a callout next week.

Week 5 Question:

Who is the most published author of all time?

1) Danielle Steele

2) William Shakespeare

3) Barbara Cartland

4) Agatha Christie

Please post your answers here

Last week's quickest responder Pete Mayer  

The answer was: Three

Congratulations, Pete!

Hidden Valley PTO
Site Logo_edited.png
Parent Square
bottom of page