Category Archives: Washington

School Is Now In Session: Do You Know Your Site Director?


It’s back to school again and your BCE Site Directors have been busily preparing for the fall season.  Your school’s site director is a wealth of information about what BCE is doing for your kids. Stop and say hello!


Malinda Pauly, BIS Site Director

Victoria Terry, Franklin Site Director

Carolyn Way, Hoover Site Director

Lisa Mudd, Lincoln Site Director

Liz Anderson, McKinley Site Director

Kristin Flenniken, Roosevelt Site Director

Margaret Burke, Washington Site Director



Your BCE Representatives

Each school has a BCE site director who serves as a liaison between their school community and BCE. If you have questions about how BCE works, want to know more about the impact that BCE has at your school, or would like to get involved, this is the person to talk to.

Get to know your site directors:

BCE Logo


Get to Know Washington Site Director Margaret Burke

This fall Margaret Burke will start the second of her two-year term as BCE Site Director at Washington. She has a fourth grader at Washington and an eighth grader at BIS.

Margaret Burke, Washington Site Director.

Margaret Burke, Washington Site Director.

So Why Burlingame?

We moved to the Bay Area in 2010 from San Diego for my husband to pursue a new job. We landed in Burlingame partly due to the excellent public school system.

Why did you become involved with BCE?

As parents, we want to provide the best education we can for our children. We want them to have art, music, science, math, technology, and physical education – and smaller class sizes. But we know that public funding is not enough to cover all of this. BCE provides the financial resources to create the education we want for our children, beyond what is possible with public funding. I want to be part of this mission and the role of site director provides a great opportunity for me to contribute.

What makes Washington special?

Washington is a small school with a wonderful community feeling that lends itself to getting to know one another, building friendships inside and outside of school. Washington families are great volunteers and make so much happen at our school. Our Dad’s Club is a great example of this spirit — they get so much done while having a lot of fun in the process. We have great events at Washington. A personal favorite is Family Lunch Day on the first Friday of each month – my daughter is always thrilled to have a special lunch treat and I love to sit and chat with her and her friends, and other parents. I also love Open House at the end of the school year – the kids are always so proud to show off their work from throughout the year and it’s a great opportunity for the families to see the contribution and dedication of the teachers.

What three words do your children use to describe you?

Caring, fun and snuggles with me.

— Jaime Smith, Washington New Family Representative

About Jaime

Jaime is one of the BCE new family representatives at Washington. She has a daughter in kindergartener and son in second grade, plus a preschooler.




Mary Poppins Pops in to Read at Washington

The BCE Read-a-thon is in full swing at Washington. It all started off with a great kick-off event at Books Inc. with our principal Mrs. Julie Eastman reading to eager listeners.

In order to get everyone even more excited about the BCE Read-a-thon, we tried something new this year: a “come to school dressed as your favorite storybook character” day. Rumor had it that our principal and teachers were going to participate…and they did! More than 100 students and teachers came to school dressed as storybook characters. Mrs. Eastman came as Mary Poppins and read to the entire school.

Dress Up2Remember to use the online minute tracker to track all minutes read through Friday, and sponsor a reader by February 3. We are eagerly waiting for the results of the total minutes read and donations collected for BCE!

— Ruben and Michelle Hurin, Washington BCE Read-a-thon Coordinators


Get to Know Your BCE School Site Directors

Jen Liebhaber, VP Site Directors

The BCE site directors at each Burlingame school serve as the liaisons between parent volunteers and the overall BCE organization

Jen Liebhaber, VP Site Directors (and the former Franklin BCE Site Director), described the role as being the primary leader and face of BCE at each of the school sites.

“The site directors work tirelessly to achieve BCE’s mission: providing the Burlingame School District with financial resources to create a rich and inspiring education for our children beyond what is possible with public funds,” she said.

In addition to being the “go-to” person for BCE questions, each site director is in charge of local outreach efforts and develops personal relationships with donors over a two-year term.

Two site directors are entering the second year of their terms — Delyn Simons (Washington’s BCE Site Director) and Kristen Schwager (Roosevelt’s BCE Site Director).

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to the rest of the site directors:

Stay tuned for more…


Physical Education in Burlingame

Bodie Dressler, Credentialed PE Teacher

Bodie Dressler photo

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the Burlingame School District’s Physical Education teacher, Bodey Dressler, aka “Mr. D”. What was apparent from the start is that he is a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle for our kids and that there is something special about the Burlingame Community that contributes to the passion he has for his job.

When asked why he commutes all the way from Dublin every day, even with a new daughter at home, Mr. D didn’t even hesitate. “There are plenty of other PE jobs… but the support of the teachers, the district, the parents, and BCE is incredibly unique. For example on field days, parents email to ask if they can help! That just doesn’t happen elsewhere.”

Mr. D came to this profession naturally as the son of two PE teachers and himself a collegiate athlete. This combined with his passion for working with children and his education in Kinesiology simply make the job a natural fit.

Mr. D joked when asked about the perception of the difficulty of teaching PE saying, “It’s interesting because many peer teachers and parents many times think that when you teach PE ‘Oh, you just play games with kids each day.’ However, we do a teacher swap day each year and the other teachers who get PE are surprised at how hard it is to teach PE. You simply have to love PE to do it!” He went on to add that it’s truly about helping kids understand that physical fitness and eating right can have many positive ripple effects. Not the least of which is the much-documented research showing the direct effect of academic achievement being tied to a healthy lifestyle.

Mr. D is a “credentialed PE teacher” which means he took required courses that the State of CA deems necessary to not just teach, but to specialize in PE. He has also taken his education further and is certified in Adapted PE (APE), which allows him to work with students with special needs. What many may not realize is that in fact not all school districts have credentialed PE instructors due to budget constraints. Thankfully, our school district values having this specialized credential for all BSD students. Thanks to our generous donors, BCE Foundation’s grant helps fund credentialed physical education instruction.

When asked about what he’d like parents to know about their kids’ PE skills, Mr. D suggested that a kids’ attitude towards PE directly stems from home. He noted that the more parents can do to keep their kids in regular physical activities, eating healthy foods, and paying attending to healthy sleep habits, the better overall students they will be AND the better attitude they will have towards PE. He’d also ask that part of this is encouraging them on days they have PE to have the proper clothes and shoes so they can fully participate and truly enjoy the activities.

Mr. D’s goal is for kids to look at exercise and health as FUN! And that it can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle. He even joked that “even though I’m a football player, I can still have fun dancing around even though that’s just not my thing.”
–Christine Ardito, Washington School parent


Washington Elementary’s Continues Its Read-a-thon Tradition

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Sponsor a student now
Washington Elementary 5th graders letter to BCE

Washington Elementary 5th graders letter to BCE

As part of its BCE Read-a-thon tradition, Washington Elementary holds an annual Recycled Book Fair that not only increases the availability of high quality books to its students but also raises money for BCE! This year, 5th grade teacher, Brian McManus organized the recycled book fair and encouraged the entire school to turn in used books. His class then held a book fair during lunch and recess and sold all items for $1 or less, priced to give all kids access to lots of books to read. It was a roaring success; the class raised $320!  The class handed the check to BCE this week (their touching note is above).

Felicia Ng – BCE Administrative Staff

Washington Elementary kids reading!

Washington Elementary students, the Conways, getting into the spirit of Read-a-thon this year.


DELYN SIMONS: “Sending our children to public school was… important.”

As part of a new “I am BCE” series, BCE managing editors Kathleen Larkin and Sophia Chiang will be profiling members of the BCE community and learning first-hand what makes Burlingame schools so special.

Our first profile is of Delyn Simons, Washington Elementary’s BCE Site Director. Delyn has two children in Burlingame schools.

"I am BCE" - Delyn Simons, Washington BCE Site Director

“I am BCE” – Delyn Simons, Washington BCE Site Director

So why Burlingame?

As 15-year residents of San Francisco, we were pretty committed urban parents. Sending our children to public school was something that was important to both my husband and me. We moved to Burlingame on Memorial Day Weekend 2010 — nine weeks after we went 0/7 in the San Francisco Unified School District first round lottery on March 16, 2010.  We wanted to relocate to somewhere with great public schools close to San Francisco where we both worked, but also adjacent to the Valley since we both work in tech. Lastly, we wanted a walkable neighborhood with walking access to downtown shopping district like we enjoyed in The City, and to see some sun after being shrouded in fog for 15 years.

Washington kids!

Washington kids!

Why did you become involved with BCE?
My mom is a 30-year veteran of California public schools as a credentialed teacher and librarian, (before and after Prop 13 — she is a killer grant writer as a result!!) Plus, both of my parents attended California public schools throughout their childhoods in the 50s and early 60s. Add on that my father is an Air Force veteran, and suffice it to say that civic duty, honorably serving your country and society, and giving a fair deal to families wanting the best for their children were frequent topics of dinner conversation at my childhood dinner table. Volunteering for BCE is a natural extension of the values I was raised with as a 2nd generation California public school student.

What makes Washington special?
The Washington neighborhood is the Noe Valley of Burlingame. Families walking strollers and pets to the coffee shop, Farmers Market or Off The Grid, sunny flat streets, kids riding bikes to the park, plus lots of ex-city types and techies. My husband and I love it. Just a few more delicious and affordable ethnic takeout options on the Avenue, and it would be perfect. 🙂

Washington kids!

Washington kids!

Burlingame students have comprehensive art, PE, drama, and music classes. Are there moments when this hits home?
I posted short videos of my daughter’s 3rd grade and my son’s Kindergarten Spring choir concerts last Spring. The comments on my Facebook page from my friends who send their kids to private school in Berkeley, SF, Marin and Virginia were full of compliments not just at the cuteness of the performance (there were also those), but just as many compliments were directed at the quality of the music instructor plus live piano accompaniment for a public elementary school in California. “Those music teachers are money!”

What three words do your children use to describe you?
Joy of my heart (My daughter’s birthday card to me. It’s 4 words, but I have them posted at my desk at work when I need some perspective.)

Delyn Simons-Washington BCE Site Director

Delyn Simons-Washington BCE Site Director