It is with a bittersweet feeling that I share with you the news that Kathy Gould will retire from teaching at the end of the school year.
Mrs. Gould’s career as an educator began in 1975. She started at Lewis as a student teacher and continued on as a classroom teacher. She is recognized by her peers and by the larger Portland education community as a master teacher who provides her students with experiences and opportunities that not only help them learn, but also help them become better people.
In my years as a teacher and school administrator I have met few educators as effective or knowledgeable as she. The students, staff and families of Lewis Elementary have had the benefit of her knowledge and deep commitment to education for the past 35 years. She has touched the lives of so many children. Her dedication and commitment will be something that I, and the Lewis community, will miss as she leaves the classroom and retires.
Please join me in thanking her for her commitment to Lewis and to Portland Public Schools.
I am writing to inform you of a tragedy that has affected the family
of one of our students. The father of Ihsan Gün, a Lewis 5th grade
student, died Wednesday as a result from injuries received in a
traffic accident. We are deeply saddened by this and extend our
deepest condolences and sympathy to the Gün family.
Today at school, we shared this information with our staff, and
Ihsan’s classmates in 4th and 5th grade. Counselors, teachers and
District support personnel have been and will continue to be available
to students, teachers and parents on an ongoing basis.
When circumstances of this magnitude occur, people have many kinds of
reactions: shock, sadness, fear, anger or no feelings at all. These
reactions can come and go in an hour or a day or for days to come.
All of these feelings are normal responses to the death of someone we
know or who was a part of our school community.
It is helpful for students to be able to talk about how they feel and
are impacted by this event. Learning of the death of a classmate’s
parent can affect a young person in a variety of ways, depending on
their age, how well the student knew the individual who died, and the
student’s prior experience with grief, death, and loss.
When reacting to a death a student may:
Appear not to be affected
Ask a lot of questions
Be agitated and angry
Try extra hard to be good
Be thinking about it privately
Be sad and withdrawn
We suggest that you encourage your student to talk about the events of
the day. If they seem to need information, answer their questions
simply and honestly. We encourage you to call the school at 503-916-
6360 should you need any assistance.
This has been quite a week. The snow coming down on Thursday was quite exciting for all of us. At one point in the morning the scene outside the classroom windows was, as Hailey in first grade said, as if “we are inside a snow globe.” Because of the school closures this week we were not able to send home our weekly newsletter. Below you will find a link to a downloadable copy. dec19.pdf
As we come to the end of the calendar year, and with Winter Break starting, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of our families the very best and to thank all of you for the opportunity to work with the students, families and staff of Lewis Elementary School. I consider it a great honor to do so. I hope you have an enjoyable and restful break and I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday, January 5, 2009.