2022-2023 SFES Welcome Back Letter

August 9, 2022

Dear Snowden Farm Families,

Welcome to the new school year. We look forward to the many opportunities and connections that a new year brings. We are excited to add clubs and other activities that are catered to student interest to our instructional program. These activities/clubs include, but are not limited to Girls on the Run, Steadfast Stallions, TV Crew, Historian, Patrols, Library Club, STEM club, Newspaper/Yearbook Club, etc.  More information to come on these amazing possibilities.

Our academic, behavioral and social emotional program is aligned to the priorities of Montgomery County Public Schools: Building Relational Trust, Health and Social Emotional Wellness and Equitable Teaching and Learning for ALL students. During Back to School night you will hear about how we have aligned our PBIS, Restorative Justice and Leader in Me programs to foster a community of learners who recognize their leadership abilities, and develop skills that include problem solving, visioning, stewardship, etc. that will prepare them to have a positive impact at SFES and in the future.  We will also discuss adjustments to the instructional program that will cultivate stronger reading and writing skills among our students.

We are delighted to welcome the following new Stallions to embark upon this journey with us:

  • Mrs. Arielle Bushnell - Kindergarten Teacher
  • Mr. Bien Gazmen - Building Service Assistant Manager
  • Mrs. Claudia Hood - Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Joy Maier - Paraeducator
  • Ms. Naja McAdam - SESES Teacher
  • Ms. Karen Oakley - Paraeducator
  • Mrs. Allison Pena - Counselor
  • Mr. Nicholas Sefcik - Third Grade Teacher
  • Mr. David Spitzberg - Instrumental Music
  • Mrs. Kayleigh Thomas - First Grade Teacher
  • Mrs. Danielle Walsleben - Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Mr. Michael Wills - Art Teacher

While we are thrilled about the new year and the onboarding of new staff, we will miss our Stallion family members who have moved on to other opportunities.  

We would like to extend well wishes to:

  • Mrs. Nicole Allen - Leave of absence
  • Ms. Dakota Bucci - Exploring options outside of education
  • Ms. Rebecca Delaney - Leave of absence
  • Mr. Chris Jansson - Cedar Grove Elementary School
  • Mrs. Marissa Hill - Exploring options outside of education
  • Mr. John Gillenwater - Instrumental Music Teacher, Rosa Parks MS/Sherwood HS
  • Ms. India Harrison - Transferred to another district closer to home
  • Ms. Monet Herbert - Attendance Secretary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
  • Mrs. Megan Meertens - Special Education Teacher, Cedar Grove Elementary School
  • Mrs. Laura Tervo - ESOL Teacher at South Lake Elementary School
  • Mrs. Stephanie Yu - Third grade teacher at William B. Gibbs, Jr. Elementary School

We know that you all will do amazing things for students and your communities in the future. Once a Stallion always a Stallion!

Our day begins with morning announcements and instruction promptly at 9:00 a.m., therefore, all students should arrive no later than 8:55 a.m., so they have time to unpack and prepare for the day. Keep in mind that supervision of students is not available prior to 8:45 a.m. Please monitor the time that walkers leave for school and ensure that car riders remain in your vehicle until an adult is on duty to prevent students from being unsupervised. The traffic pattern is included in the Parent Handbook (link below)  for your convenience.  Bus schedules, school lunch prices and the first week menu will be posted on the school’s website. 


Students are very excited to find out who their homeroom teacher will be for the upcoming year. Each teacher will send a postcard to the students based upon the address on file. Postcards should arrive no later than Wednesday, August 24th.  During our Open House on Thursday, August 25th from 4:00-5:00 p.m., signs will be posted as well as staff members stationed throughout the building with class lists to ensure that students know where to go on the first day of school. Open House is a time to visit the classrooms, meet teachers as well as classmates for the 2022-2023 school year. At that time, families will have the option of taking a tour of the building. 

Our New Family Orientation will occur on Friday, August 19th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  This meeting will be facilitated by our counseling team, Ms. Pena/Mrs. Luckett and serves as an opportunity for families (in grades 1-5) new to Snowden Farm Elementary School to get acclimated to the building prior to Open House.  We look forward to connecting with our new families on August 19th.  (This is for new families of students in grades 1-5 as we have welcomed our Kindergarten families through a separate orientation)

Here  are some additional dates to mark on your calendar now:

  • Friday, August 19th @10:00-11:00 a.m. New Family Orientation Grades 1-5
  • Thursday, August 25th @ 4:00-5:00 p.m. Open House Grades K-5
  • Wednesday, August 31st @ 6:00 p.m. Back to School Night- Grades 3,4, and 5
  • Wednesday, September 7th @ 6:00 p.m. Back to School Night – Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2
  • Thursday, September 8th @ 5:00 p.m. Back to School Picnic

In addition to this letter, we have created a Snowden Farm Parent Handbook that has many other items of importance. Please click on this link to view the handbook: Parent Handbook 

If you have any questions concerning policies and procedures outlined in this document please contact our main office at 240-740-5800.

Each month we will take time to honor and recognize the diversity of our community.  Our first celebration is Hispanic Heritage Month.  Families of Central American, South American, Spanish, and Caribbean backgrounds: we would love to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of your families.  Please send in photos that showcase your amazing culture. We will share it on the screen hanging in the main entrance of the school building. 


Cindy Dembnicki: cynthia_l_dembnicki@mcpsmd.org

Amy Hunter: amy_hunter@mcpsmd.org

In closing, we extend a special welcome if you are new to our school community. We look forward to establishing a partnership with your family. Please let us know how we can support you and your family during this transition.  We pride ourselves on building an inclusive environment where all students and families feel welcomed, establishing positive relationships, delivering high quality instruction and having a commitment to continuous improvement.

Enjoy your last days of summer. We will see you at the Open House on August 25th.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Yolanda Allen, Principal

Kristi Ricca, Assistant Principal

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