November 17, 2014

Congratulations, CYO Champions! Congratulations to our St. Finn Barr Shamrocks 4th grade girls’ volleyball team on their exciting victory in a hard-fought game versus St. Anne’s School on Saturday. Look out for their trophy in our lobby this week! 

Shamrock Shuffle Thank you to everyone for making our 5TH ANNUAL WALK-A-THON such a success!! I am so proud that our first mandatory fundraiser fits our schools focus on health, wellness, and fun so perfectly. It proved the beautiful day to enjoy the sunshine and good company, all while getting some exercise and raising valuable funding for our school…weren’t the bibs and t-shirts just awesome this year?! Very special thanks to:

·      Our Walkathon Coordinators Natalie Haymond and Lynda Taschek

·      Carol Junsay for securing the SOTA Track for the day

·      Dr. Samira Ahmed for creating a health booth for our families

·      All of the parent volunteers and participants who helped prepare and work at the event

·      Our prize sponsors:

o   Iyengar Yoga

o   ANTS (America’s Next Tennis Stars)

o   Hit Fit SF

o   O2 Body Fit

o   Pure Barre West Portal

o   Bay Area Discovery Museum

o   San Francisco Exploratorium 

·      And event sponsors:

o   Caudle Immigration

o   Classic Limo

o   DiNicola Insurance Services

o   L.J. Kruse and Company: Plumbing Heating Cooling

o   Ken and Amy’s Eagle Pizzeria

St. Finn Barr Christmas Show: The St. Finn Barr Christmas Show is Thursday, December 18th at 7pm at the Archbishop Riordan High School Auditorium. All students are expected to participate in this showcase of their singing and dancing talent – they should arrive by 5:30pm dressed in their “Sunday best.” If your child is unable to participate, please notify his or her homeroom teacher as soon as possible.

Men’s Club Thank You Our Men’s Club is unstoppable! In addition to the lovely (and successful) Halloween pancake breakfast they hosted, they returned to campus again last weekend to paint the interior of the schoolyard to match our new building paint. The cheerful yellow makeover really brightens up our day….Thank you!!

Faculty/Staff Updates: We are proud to announce that Nancy Rechsteiner (grandmother of Mia Diaz, 6th) has joined our team as a part-time receptionist and administrative assistant. You may have noticed her in the front office during LaChon Richardson’s absence. She brings many years of experience as a medical receptionist to our community, along with the care and familiarity with our students and families that make her role as the school’s “first face” so important.

We are likewise thrilled to introduce Mrs. Jackie Herzstein as our new lead Spanish instructor. After a planned maternity leave, Mrs. Iglesias brought her beautiful new baby Alba to school and shared that she will be staying at home with her daughter for the remainder of the school year -- we will miss her presence and the important role she played in building our curriculum and resources over the past two years.

The decision to promote Mrs. Jackie was a no-brainer -- she is a natural-born teacher and so passionately committed to continuing to build the program to meet the language needs of all of our students, who love and respect her. While Senora Herzstein is currently working with a USF graduate student volunteer (our dance teacher, Lindsey Pothast who is a fluent Spanish speaker), we are also recruiting a part-time Spanish aide to provide differentiated small group support to our students. If you know someone who might be a good fit for the position, please notify me at

CYO Day Before Thanksgiving Cooking Camp with Chef Matthew…Last Chance! We are finalizing our roster of students signed up for our first ever CYO Cooking Day Camp on the day before Thanksgiving (Wed. Nov 26th) from 9am -3pm (no school that day). Flyers went home the Friday before last with registration details. The day will begin with a field trip to the San Francisco Zoo, followed by a raw vegan nutrition lesson in the afternoon (2 appetizers & a main course) in Goode Hall. If you are interested, please call the school office immediately to secure a spot – open to students in all grades.

Chef Matthew will also be offering a 3-Day Cooking Camp during Christmas vacation: Mon, Dec. 29-Wed, Dec. 31st from 9am-3pm. This camp is also open to students in all grades. Each day will begin with a field trip (DeYoung, Asian Art Museum, Maritime Museum, Chinatown) and conclude with an afternoon in the kitchen of Goode Hall. Registration forms will be sent home in early December.

Spanish Program News: We are excited to share that we’ve added a new learning resource to our Spanish programRockalingua.  Senora Herzstein has introduced Rockalingua – a program that uses cartoons and music to enhance language learning – during the past few weeks on campus and the children loved it. Now all students can access Rockalingua at home to reinforce some of what they are learning in Spanish class. They will be able to learn new songs, new vocabulary and do some extra practice ( username: stfinnbarr password: shamrocks). If you have any questions feel free to email

Service Updates: On Tuesday, Nov 25th, all students who have participated in one of several service learning opportunities can earn free dress pass:

One Warm Coat: Coat drive benefitting St. Anthony's Foundation in San Francisco, ending Friday, November 21st. 

San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive: Unused & unwrapped toys for Bay Area children.

Thanksgiving Food Drive canned and non-perishable food items to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank – feeding thousands of local families year round. Last day to donate: Nov. 19th.

Thanksgiving Day Mass: All families are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving Day Mass at St. Finn Barr Parish on Thursday, November 27th at 930am. Participants are invited to bring a loaf of bread & wine (or cider) to be blessed at Mass and enjoyed as part of your Thanksgiving meal.

Save the Date to enjoy an Advent Concert featuring all of St. Finn Barr Parish’s choir groups (including our own SFB school choir) on Sunday, December 7th at 6:30pm.

Thank you for supporting our SFB Family: Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of generosity for our school family who lost their home and all possessions to fire. Over $2200 in cash and gift cards were collected from the school and parish second collection.


ANTS Winter Session: 12/3/14 - 2/19/15 ( No Class 12/22 - 12/31)

Wednesday: (K) 3:30-4:00pm/(1st-2nd) 4:15-5:15pm

Thursday: (3rd - 6th) 4-5pm

After School Spanish 2014 Winter Session: 8 Weeks, Thursdays 3-4pm

November 13th, 20th

December 4th, 11th, 17th

January 8th, 15th ,22nd

St. Finn Barr is on Smug Mug! We are happy to announce a new common space for St. Finn Barr parents to view the many photos of our students and events: To view photos, click “Browse” to access the photo folders. From the folders, enter the secure password (look out for an email from room parents with the pass code) to access various event galleries. You can use our Smug Mug page to view, download, or purchase photos. If you would like to share your own photos with the St. Finn Barr parent community, please email access to them to Marilyn Nepomuceno (

IMPORTANT Calendar Update: Our WCEA accreditation visit has been confirmed. We will be hosting the WCEA Committee from Wednesday, February 25 through Friday, February 27th. On the following Monday, March 2nd, the school will be closed for a Pastor’s Holiday.

Enrichment Volunteers Needed: Our SFB school Choir is seeking a volunteer parent to help with administrative tasks for choir practices (Tues & Friday, 4pm-530pm). If you are available to help (no choral experience needed!)

Also, we are recruiting parent volunteers to work with our Journalism Club. The journalism club meets every other Wednesday after school to build our wonderful school newspaper – The Shamrock Gazette.


11.25              Free Dress for all Service Learning participants (Food drive, Toy Drive, One Warm Coat


12.7                10am Family Mass: Sacramental Preparation

                        11am Men’s Club Breakfast w/Santa

                        630pm Parish Advent Concert


12.8                9am School Mass: Feast of the Immaculate Conception


12.12              930am School Mass: Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass (Bilingual)


12.15              AMDCS Minimum Day – 12:30pm dismissal


12.18              7pm St. Finn Barr Christmas Concert (Student call @ 530pm)


12.19              Minimum Day (Class Christmas parties) – 12:30pm dismissal

Christmas Vacation Begins


1.5                   School resumes – Happy New Year!


3.2                  WASC Holiday – No School