Tigers Study Their Way To The Top for CAO

Superquiz team member Jenna C. reacts with LM CAO Champ Hailey J. when they find out they've won the event.

Superquiz team member Jenna reacts with LM CAO Champ Haley when they find out they’ve won the event.

Scroll down to view photo gallery.

Haley is the first girl in seventeen years to win gold in Science.  Go girl!

Haley is the first girl in seventeen years to win gold in Science. Go girl!

It was a banner year for La Mariposa and the Camarillo Academic Olympics.  For the first time ever, our Superquiz team, The Tiger Tribe, won the Superquiz.  La Mariposa also snagged 14 individual medals, the most of all the elementary schools.  This medal count includes winning gold in five of the ten individual categories.  Looks like our tigers jumped into their smarty pants with both feet for this one!

Alex is the first student in CAO history to win gold in both creative writing and art.

Alex is the first student in CAO history to win gold in both creative writing and art.

The Camarillo Academic Olympics culminated with the Superquiz Finals and Awards Ceremony held at Monte Vista last Friday night.  Students marched in and received their medals on the podium in front of a cheering crowd of parents and Camarillo VIPs.  A huge Tiger congratulations goes out to:

  • The Tiger Tribe Superquiz Team: Manas Khatore, Jenna Chui, Evelyn Li, Matt Kim, Karolina Dzieciol.
  • Haley Jeffers: 1st Place Science, 1st Place English Grammar, 2nd Place Math
  • Manas Khatore: 1st Place Geography, 2nd Place Math, 3rd Place Science
  • Alex Masci:  1st Place Art, 1st Place Creative Writing
  • Jenna Chui:  2nd Place Creative Writing
  • Sophia Pantoja: 2nd Place Speech
  • Tanvi Patil: 3rd Place Speech
  • Andrew Chan: 4th Place Current Events
  • Matthew Yang: 5th Place Art
  • Nicholas Truitt: 6th Place Current Events
The Tiger Tribe--2014 Division II Superquiz Champs!

The Tiger Tribe–2014 Division II Superquiz Champs–blowing off a little steam before the final stage of the competition Friday night.

Big Tiger hugs go out to Speech Coach, Dorothy Hanchey, and Superquiz Coaches Nilay and Nidhi Khatore.  Special thanks to Kathryn Masci for the perfect data entry and all of our judges, proctors, drivers, and tabulators:  Barbara Velji, Erica Williams, Nicole Sadowsky, Christy Pantoja, Ann Hudacko, Cathy Schafer, Jeff Miller, Jill Heybl, Kelly Long, Cindy Laudato-Wong, Yanzhen Xu, Kari Wetter, Lily Li, Natalie Swarts, Mickey Hirsch, Melissa Short, Jennifer Kwast, Alexis Chavez, Catherine Pedrosa, Michelle Fisher, Maria Redekopp, Madhuri Patil, & Linda Fitzgerald.  Programs like CAO do not happen without volunteers like you!

Red Ribbon Week Focused On Healthy Habits & Community Connections


Scroll down for a photo gallery from the week.

HISTORY:  Red Ribbon week began in 1985 in Honor of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was killed fighting drug traffickers in Mexico.  Today, Red Ribbon Week is nationally recognized and celebrated.  The Red Ribbon Campaign has also become a symbol of support for the DEA’s efforts to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs.

AT LA MARIPOSA:  We focus on healthy choices and establishing positive ties with our community and local law enforcement.  Our PTA and administration believe strongly emphasizing smart choices and establishing a foundation of support goes along way in keeping our students drug free when they face more difficult decisions in middle school and beyond.

AT HOME:  At the elementary level, specific conversations about drug use should take place at home.  If you are not sure how to approach this subject with your younger children here are some great, age appropriate resource for you:

The Week’s Activities

Monday: Students wore a sports jersey or Jog-a-thon t-shirt. Athletes from Camarillo High School joined us during the lunch period and talked to the kids about making healthy choices as athletes. Teachers received red ribbons to have the kids tie on the fence.

Tuesday & Wednesday:  Local law enforcement to visit kids during lunch.

Thursday: Twin day “Help A Friend Make Good Choices”, students dress like a friend.

Friday: We had a very special end of the week morning assembly featuring the Oxnard K9 unit and Police Officers.

Special thanks to PTA Red Ribbon Week leads Jill Hodges and Nicole Brower!  A big thank you to Susan Weerakkody, Principal Williams, Elizabeth Jensen, Diana Goodson, & Erin Jertberg for sharing their photos with the Pawprint while our editor was on hiatus!

Jog-a-thon Update, Photos, & Contest Standings

Jog-a-thon 2013-18

What a Rockin’ Day La Mariposa had on Friday!  Our tigers ran their hearts out on our tracks throughout a day filled with smiles and music.  Big thanks to our Jog-a-thon committee, sponsors, classroom coordinator, and all the parents that came out with roaring support!  Scroll down to view a photo gallery from the day.


Jog-a-thon 2013As of Monday morning we have raised $39,003–we are having one of our best years yet!  Do you think we have it in us to break last year’s event record?  Last year we raised more than $54,000!  What do you think La Mariposa, can we raise $55,000 this year?  Raising $55,000 means more technology, more art, and more science for our tigers: Chrome Books, supplies for science labs, additional field trips, and high quality art materials for our students to use.


Jog-a-thon 2013-5The Classroom Contests are heating up.  Mrs. Evan’s class is on fire and leading the entire school along with the 5th grade race with a total of $2580 donations collected.  In 2nd grade our leaders are neck and neck. Mrs. Bradshaw’s class has raised $1882, but Mrs. Huntting’s class is only $40 behind with $1842–this looks like one to watch!  3rd Grade is also very close.  Mrs. Culp’s class is leading with $1335, but Mrs. Hughes’ and Mrs. Hank’s classes are both not far behind with $1173 and $1130, respectively.  Our Tiniest Tigers are doing great, too!  In Kindergarten, Mrs. Celic’s class leads with $1912 and Mrs. Wallace’s follows with $1365.  In 1st Grade, Mrs. Jaquez is off to a fast start with $2291–the class with the highest per student donation in the school.   Mrs. Richard’s class trails them with a stellar $1820.  Mrs. Hudacko’s class is out in front of the 4th grade race with $1960, but Mrs. Ruiz is nipping at their tails with $1707.  Finally, our small sized special classes are getting in on the action.  Mrs. Chase’s class is leading our specials tigers with $710.

*Click here to view complete results as of 10/13/13.


Proceeds from the Jog-a-thon benefit all of our tigers.  In past years, we’ve seen participation rates as high as 70%–that’s pretty amazing.  Wouldn’t it be great if all our tigers families donated an amount that is right for their family?  Whether it is $1, $100, or $1000, we’d love to see 100% participation this year.  As a bonus, the grade level with the highest participation wins a FREE RECESS & Ice Cream Social!  Our leaders so far this year are:

  • 2nd Grade: 50%
  • 5th Grade: 49%

*Click here to view complete results as of 10/13/13.


Special thanks to Susan Weerakkody, Pam MacCallum, Vivienne Zimmerman, & Natasha Scrivener for submitting photos.

Tiger Teachers Rock The School House: Pictures & Prizes

JAT Kickoff-13

In the last twenty minutes of the school day on Thursday, La Mariposa kicked off our 12th Annual Rock N Run Jog-a-thon.  Always a great time, the Jog-a-thon committee stepped it up for 2013 with a concert-style assembly complete with our own tiger teachers as performers.  Amidst air guitars, bongos, and inflatable keyboards, students learned about all the great things Jog-a-thon funds support and what the donations they collect can get them.  We also found out what Principal Williams will do if we reach our $45,000 goal.

The Prizes

Any donation made until October 18th will be counted for individual, class, and grade contest credit.

Individual Prizes for Donations Totaling:

  • $ 10 – Japanese Eraser
  • $ 50 – La Mariposa Notebook and Pen + all the above
  • $100 – Domino’s Pizza Party with Pizza, veggie/fruit, gold fish & juice box/water + all the above
  • $250 – La Mariposa Picnic/Travel Blanket + all the above
  • $500 – After School Bowling Party for Individual Student & 1 Friend (pizza and snacks included) + all the above

Class and Grade Level Contests:

  • The Grade with the greatest % of Students Submitting Donations gets a free recess and ICE CREAM SOCIAL!
  • The Class in each grade with the greatest Amount of Donations raised wins the Class Tiger Award + a free recess.

JAT Kickoff-15The Principal’s Promise

If we raise $45,000 by Friday, October 18th, Principal Williams will wear this Chicken Suit all day AND do the Chicken Dance in front of the entire school at the Halloween Parade.

Picture Gallery

The teachers did love rockin’ out with you and our Terrific Tiger!  Can you spot your favorite teacher in the pictures below?

…and don’t forget KINDERGARTEN!

Thank you to our generous sponsors:


Esquire Property Management, D & D Coastal, LLC, Koppel Patrick Heybl & Philpott, Santa Barbara Umbrella, Wong Family, Zindagi Games Inc.


Barlow Realty, Canary Voice, Cliff Bar, The Dance Company


Camarillo Children’s Dental, Caulfield Consulting, Dr. Andrew & Dr. Lynn Jeffers, Hughes General Engineering, Keith Geller, Patti Stouch ,Patient Sleep Supplies, Searle Financial, Snapper Jack’s, Yolanda’s

Special thanks to our Tiger Staff and Volunteers!  We couldn’t do it without you!

Photo Credits: Susan Weerakody (Kindergarten Assembly) & Kamala Nahas (1-5 Assembly)

Posting Party Hits The Spot

LM Posting Party-2

Families crowd together as class lists are unveiled.

It seems each year in Camarillo the sun saves its warmest welcome for Back-To-School festivities.  2013 was no exception.  The La Mariposa community gathered together the Friday before school started still wearing flip flops and summer smiles for the Annual PTA sponsored “Posting Party”.

Each year more and more families come together to reconnect and learn what classes they will be in for the new school year.

“Attending the posting party is exciting for my daughter and even me because we are surrounded by tons of friends, some who may have gotten placed with the same teacher as Sydney. Chatting and catching up with old friends is fun, and as my daughter, Sydney, says ‘maybe make some new ones.'”

–Amanda, parent of a 2nd grader & tiger in training

LM Posting Party

One parent snaps a picture on her smart phone as other react to the discovery of their children’s teachers.

The posting party is about more than just finding out who your teacher will be.  This year Surf ‘N’ Yogurt brought their truck out to serve up refreshing treats.  They donated 25% back to the La Mariposa PTA–a total of $125.  Surf ‘N’ Yogurt was joined by Pack 3831 Cub Scouts (servicing Tierra Linda and La Mariposa), our Jog-a-thon & Dinner Dance committees, and our very busy spirit wear committee.

“The unveiling of the new Spirit Wear is thrilling, seeing what designs were created, what colors were chosen, AND there are many $5 dollar shirts for sale or markdowns. One friend was definitely interested in Spirit Wear and knew we would have it on sale.”  Amanda said.

A great example of school spirit and PTA involvement, this year’s Posting Party was the best, yet!

Special thanks to Kelly Long for arranging for Surf ‘N’ Yogurt, Surf ‘N’ Yogurt for their donation, Kat Gregory and her team for making all the Spirit Wear available, and the many, many, other hands that made this great event such light work! 

Photo Credits:  Cindy Laudato-Wong & Kamala Nahas

From The President: Welcome Aboard


Ahoy La Mariposa families!

I am so excited to be your PTA captain.  As we embark on the upcoming school year, I would like to welcome all of you to our school and I look forward to meeting our new La Mariposa families and staff and reconnecting with families that continue to be a part of this wonderful journey for our children.

To kick-off our voyage, I invite you to join us at some pre-celebration activities:

  • This Tuesday, 8/20 is our PTA Meet and Greet & 1st Association Meeting, 10am at Pitts Ranch Park.  Meet your Principal (Fleet Commander), Erica Williams, and your PTA crew (Executive Board).  You may even have the chance to meet some of our La Mariposa crew (staff).
  • This Friday, 8/23 is our Class Posting Party.  Find out who your child’s teacher is and what pier your child’s ship will be departing from.  We will have spirit wear, school supply boxes, and yogurt (provided by Surf n Yogurt) available for purchase for you and your family to enjoy.  Festivities will begin at 3:30pm and conclude at 5:30pm. Class lists will be posted on campus and available online at www.lamariposatigers.org promptly at 4pm.
  • Wednesday, 8/28 at 8:10am is the day we embark for our new adventures, your PTA crew will be hosting a Welcome Reception in the La Mariposa quad area.  You will have the opportunity to meet your Fleet Commander (Principal), PTA Captain and PTA Crew.

You and your PTA play a significant role here at La Mariposa.  We have a great crew (staff and all our volunteers).  We continue to be successful due to collaboration, hard work, and dedication.  I am proud to be a part of La Mariposa’s community.  As we begin this journey together, I encourage you to be on the lookout for our PTA Back-to-School (BTS) Envelope coming home on the first day of school. This provides your family an opportunity to become members of our PTA, take care of purchases (spirit wear and yearbook) and donations to help us fund class field trips, PE, Technology and Music teachers, interactive learning equipment for our school, and amazing hands-on lessons, including art, science, and health & wellness.  Taking care of these items at the start of the year makes it easier for you and your family and it allows our PTA to continue to advocate for our children and ensure that we provide programs for our children.  Submitting this envelope on time will ensure that your family will be part of our School Directory.

As your PTA Captain, I believe it is important that I share some facts about me.  I work full-time as a Sr. Business Consultant at WellPoint, Inc. where I focus on process optimization to ensure efficient business practices.  My family comprises of my husband, Yeman, my two children, Colin (5th grade) and Anneliese (3rd grade), and our dog, Almond.  I have been actively involved in our PTA for 5 years, since Colin started Kindergarten.  I was a member of the School Site Council and served as PTA Executive VP (Communications) for 2 years.  This is my 2nd year as your PTA President.  In addition to leading our PTA, I am the Membership Chair and Popcorn Kernel for Cub Scouts Pack 3831 (servicing La Mariposa and Tierra Linda Schools) and an active parent in Anneliese’s Girl Scout troop.

As you can see, I choose to get involved so that I can be a part of shaping my children’s experiences.  I encourage each of you to get involved in any way that you can, VOLUNTEER, ask questions, and share ideas.  We have many volunteer opportunities here at La Mariposa.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, any of our PTA Executive Board members, or contact me.  We have a few open PTA Chair positions:

  • Yearbook Co-Chair
  • Restaurant/Fundraising Night
  • School Supplies
  • Science Week
  • Garden Liaison
  • Teacher Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Open House Dinner

If any of these positions interest you or if you know someone that would be great in one of these positions, please let me know.

What can you expect?  A great year filled with memorable events, programs, and assemblies that will inspire and enrich our children.  Our children will enjoy learning at La Mariposa and make lasting memories and friends.  Your PTA is here for you and your children.  Please join us in making a difference at La Mariposa.

To keep up-to-date with our many events, programs and activities please sign-up for our weekly e-blasts by sending an email to La Mariposa PTA and indicate you are interested in receiving the weekly bulletins.  In addition, I encourage you to visit our school website for more information.

Bon Voyage!

I look forward to a great year,

Cindy Laudato-Wong, 2012-2014 PTA President, La Mariposa School


La Mariposa to Welcome New Teachers & Principal for 13/14

La Mariposa welcomes six additions to our community this fall: one principal, four classroom teachers, and one resource specialist.

2nd Grade: Katrina Salas is our newest 2nd grade teacher.  She comes to us from Dos Caminos where she has worked the last three years as both a 2nd grade teacher and a Title 1 teacher.

3rd Grade: Devon Hanks will be joining the 3rd grade team.  She comes to us from CLU where she worked as the administrative assistant for the California Reading and Literature Project.  Prior to that, she was a 3rd grade teacher in Bakersfield.

3rd Grade: Shaun Blumfield comes to us from Dos Caminos where he was a 4th and 5th grade teacher for the past 6 years.

4th Grade: Kathleen Ruiz will be joining the 4th grade team, coming from Tierra Linda.  She began  teaching in California in 1996. She  taught in two other counties before moving to Ventura County to teach.  She began teaching in PVSD in 2000.    Most of her teaching within PVSD has been teaching math and science at the middle school level.

RSP:  Ceylina Duran is our new Resource Specialist.  She comes to us from Mesa Union School district where she was a Resource Specialist.

Principal: Erica Williams comes to us most recently as principal of Dos Caminos where she focused on staff and instruction to raise their test scores 56 points in one year.  Read more…