May 15, 2014

Faculty & Staff News: The time of year is here again when we are able to share exciting news regarding our faculty and staff.

We were unable to keep Ms. Alexandra Jacobson’s talents a secret! She has been offered and accepted an administrative position at a Catholic school in Marin – we wish her special blessings on this important transition in her career as a Catholic educator. We are so grateful for her contributions to our school during her time here, particularly for her success in developing the common core math program in the first grade, and in mentoring our new first grade teacher, Mr. Ben Poland. Mr. Poland has been working at St. Finn Barr as an instructional aide for the past two years. From his first weeks on campus, he distinguished himself by making a significant impact with our early readers, developing strong relationships with students in all grades, and by contributing to the overall learning environment with his commitment to the art of teaching. He will be working closely next year with our dynamo primary teaching team of Mr. O’Reilly & Mrs. Naber, plus our primary instructional aides Mrs. Gregory, Ms. Johnsen, Mrs. Bruce, volunteer Ms. Sahagun, and our new Student Learning Coordinator and Literacy Specialist, Mrs. Patsy’Dargenio. Mrs. D’Argenio, who comes from a family of Catholic administrators and teachers, will complete her second year of her Masters of Arts In Education at San Francisco State with a concentration in language and literacy. She will continue to lead the middle school teachers as middle school coordinator and social studies teacher, while taking over the role developed this year by Mrs. Elizabeth Faherty as our Reading Specialist and Student Learning Coordinator. Mrs. Faherty has made such an impact with her work in developing young readers that she was offered a full time position at her other school site -- Mission Dolores Academy. We are thrilled for her and grateful for the work she accomplished during her many years here – we are excited that Mrs. D’Argenio will continue to collaborate with her as we develop our own St. Finn Barr reading program.

The role of 6th grade homeroom teacher will be taken over by none other than our beloved Ms. Katie McHugh. Ms. McHugh joined our community during the 2012-2013 school year as an Americorp volunteer (she is a native of Chicago). Besides endearing herself to student, parents, faculty and staff alike with her unbridled enthusiasm and “go getter” attitude, she managed to complete her CA Teaching Credential in time to step in and share the role of middle school science teacher with Mrs. Bertko. Ms. McHugh and Mrs. Bertko have worked closely this year in developing our FOSS curriculum throughout the school, and we are grateful that our growing program allows us to keep both teachers on staff (Mrs. Bertko will stay on as Science Program Director and 8th grade science teacher) so that our science learning can continue to flourish.

Last but not least, Mrs. Jackie Herzstein will be transitioning in the new year out of her role as Extended Care Director to focus on her work as a primary grade instructional aide and Spanish teacher. Due to the rapid growth of our Extended Care program, we will be developing a new staffing model that will include a Director and larger team of staff members to support our student needs. Again, Jackie’s presence and impact on our community has been invaluable, and we are thrilled that she has embraced the transition towards instruction so enthusiastically.

Two SFB Girls Basketball Teams Headed to CYO Championships! Our 4th and 8th grade girls’ basketball teams have made it to the CYO Championships!! Pile on your spirit wear and come cheer on the teams this weekend. The 8th graders will play on Friday, May 16th at 5pm and the 4th graders will play on Saturday, May 17th at 4:45pm. Both games will take place at St. Emydius.

Parent Leadership Thank You’s: We all know that partnership with parents in all aspects of school life are one of the cornerstones of mission. The unbelievable success and growth of our school events and fundraisers are due in so many ways to the tradition of strong parent leadership in our school. I want to thank the following parents for their labor of love throughout the 2013-2014 school year:

All Men’s Club Members: President: Roberto Carrasquilla

Room Parents: Marilyn Nepomuceno, Jessica Hamman, Renee Espinosa, John Eggert, Charlyne Basada, Jen Hudon, Jennifer Moran, Brenda Solorzano, Melissa Guajardo, Sinee Halladay, Margaret Ramos, Vania Braz, Karla Carrasquilla, Alicia Perdue, Natalie Lloyd, Angela Maestas, Heather Morcillas, Mariana Romero, Marta Vega, Janell Yates, Carolina Clifford, Monique Macaraeg, Patty Merlos-Lopez, Jackie Hertzstein, Cher Soto, Jeanine Wiater. 

Executive Parent Board: John Cosmas, Priscilla Agbunag, Michelle Schneider, Lynda Taschek, Chrisoula Novo, Elizabeth Ristaino, Tricia Gregory, Dustin Novo. 

New Parent Board 14-15: Congratulations and Welcome to the Executive Parent Board for the 2014-2015 school year: 

Tricia Gregory (Chair), 

Michelle Schneider (Vice Chair)

Marilyn Nepomuceno (Volunteer Coordinator)

Carolyn McNulty (Recording Secretary)

Linda Taschek and Sarah Morales (Scrip)

Ed Campos (Plant Coordinator)

Elizabeth Ristaino (Treasurer)

 Priscilla Agbunag (Auditor),

Mary Jo Schleicher (Enrollment)

SFB Burmese Food Festival will be celebrated on Saturday, June 28th at Jefferson High School in Daly City. This fundraiser for Burmese Community will support the St. Finn Barr Catholic Burmese Community from 12pm -6pm @ Jefferson High School. Burmese food and entertainment will be shared!

Spring Music Showcase: Congratulations to all of the students from choir, guitar, piano, and drums for their beautiful presentation at the Spring Music Showcase…our progress in developing the musical talents of our students is coming along! The show included some beautiful collaborations and even a solo vocal/drums cover of Bon Jovi’s “Livin on Prayer” by our student council president Melissa Herzstein. Special thanks to the music teachers and directors who prepared them: Caryn Matter, Richard Elliott, Katie McHugh, Linda Bulgo, and Lawrence Paul.

*Clips of the performance are available in the news section of our school website.

May Cooking Recipes Posted: Our May recipes -- Lemon Bars and Pesto Pasta – have been posted on our school website.

The St. Finn Barr Spanish Festival was a terrific success. Thank you to all of the parents who helped prepare and serve during the event, and congratulations to Ms. Iglesias and Mrs. Herzstein for their beautiful preparation of the children.

Registration Packets for the 2014-2015 school year (including the calendar for the year and updated tuition rates) were sent home last Friday. Thank you to everyone who has submitted their Intent to Return forms with their $500 registration fee. If you plan to return and have not submitted your forms, please notify Mrs. Richardson in the school office as soon as possible.   

FACTS Tuition News: The accounts for the 2014-15 school year have been set up.

Please note the following:

   If you used auto pay for tuition for the 2013-14 school year, your account is ready for the new school year. Note: If you want to make any changes to your account for 2014-15 (ie. Payment date, payment plan), please notify Mrs. Richardson ASAP. FACTS cannot make any changes to your account.

   If you used invoices to pay for the current school year, you will need to change your account information to auto pay. This must be completed by May 26th.

   If you indicated, on your intent to enroll form, that you wanted the $500.00 registration fee added to your FACTS account, it will be applied on May 30th.

   If you set up a payment plan for the registration fee, please continue to send in payments to the office. Payment plans can not be added to your FACTS account. All payments must be completed by June 1st.

   If you have an 8th grade student you may enroll in any plan, except the 12 month plan. If you are enrolled in the incorrect plan, your account will be changed.

School News Page: Our talented librarian Mrs. Marilyn Nepomuceno has stepped in to help with our website updates as the Development Assistant for the school. We are working on a private photo sharing system for next year, but if you have any photos, videos, or good news to share with the school community, please feel free to email the details directly to her at

Talent Show May 21st: Thank you to our team of parents (Alison Mulderig, Collette Gumm and Kathy DiNicola for stepping in to plan our Talent Show. Please refer to the news section for the flier, permission slip, and ticket pre-order form. Please contact Colette Gumm with any questions  at A few dates of note:

May 16th       Rehearsals during lunch.

May 21st       6:30 pm Final event in Goode Hall.

SFB Tuition Raffle: The final mandatory fundraising event is here, with the exciting possibility that a family or friend of St. Finn Barr can find the Pot o’ Gold at the end of the rainbow! While parents can expect a fundraising packet in the school mail soon, a few details worth noting are here:

Tickets are $5/each, with each participating family expected to sell a minimum of 20 tickets ($100).  If you would like the prize money to be applied towards tuition for one St. Finn Barr student during the 2014-2015 school year, please list the SFB student’s name on the ticket (if your student is a current 8th grader and would like to be eligible for the $5K cash scholarship, please list his or her name). If a non-SFB student’s name is listed on the ticket, the prize winner will receive a $2500 cash prize, subject to state and federal tax laws. Goooood luck to everyone!

Volunteer Opportunities: Please remember, 30 volunteer hours for all families paying the “participating” tuition rate are due by the end of May. If you have an idea for how you can help, please notify the school office. Otherwise, consider the following opportunities:

GARDEN SUPPORT: Ongoing help is needed to cover our weekly tree watering for our new Friends of the Urban Forest trees. Parents can earn two hours per week for this task, which can be done at any time outside of school hours. We will be needing this support throughout the summer months, so if you’d like to get a head start on 14-15 hours, please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator ( or Parent Garden Leader Lucy Redmond (

CHOIR ASSISTANT for 2014-2015 school year: Seeking an adult volunteer (no choral skills needed) on Mondays, from 2:45 – 5:00 p.m. to help with the collecting the students after school, escorting them to the convent, taking roll, copying music, and contacting parents. Please contact Caryn Matter ( if you are available.  

MATERIAL DONATIONS: You can earn up to ten hours in material donations, from playground equipment to copy paper, art supplies, etc.


Fri 5.16         Kindergarten Welcome Day 9am-10am

                        Middle School Spring Dance 1pm-3pm

Sun 5.17        630pm SFB Sports Night Awards (Goode Hall)

Mon 5.19       12:30pm Dismissal (Faculty on-site AMDCS meeting)

Wed 5.21       1:45pm K-4th Grade Music Class Concert (Goode Hall)

                        630pm SFB Talent Show (Goode Hall)

Mon 5.22      1:45pm 5th-8th Grade Music Class Concert (Goode Hall)

3pm 7th Grade Ice Cream Sale (Proceeds to Unity Retreat)

Mon 5.26      No Classes, Memorial Day

Fri 5.30         Final CYO Cooking Class Day

9am Graduation Mass, 5pm Graduation Ceremony


Tues 6.3        Minimum Day, 12:30pm Dismissal

Wed 6.4         Minimum Day, 12:30pm Dismissal

                        Last Day of School

Sun 6.8          SFB Parish Pentecost Mass (All are invited to wear something red)

Sat 6.28         SFB Burmese Food Festival (fundraiser for Burmese Community) 12pm -6pm @ Jefferson High School. Burmese food and entertainment will be shared!