Building Our Don Benito Community

Bobcat Families,

Now that the school year is underway and our normal day-to-day routines are taking shape, it’s time to reflect on our Association for the year and what lies ahead.

For some of you, your child’s experience at Don Benito is just beginning and we warmly welcome all new families with open arms. We are so happy that you made the choice, not only to entrust Don Benito with the education of your child, but to embrace public education. We are better because of you.

IMG_0164In August, we gathered together at our Welcome Back Fair and we remembered what it was like to be in the presence of a truly caring community of dear friends, new and old.

IMG_0162I’ve been thinking about this notion of “community” a bit lately, especially as it pertains to Don Benito. First off, we are a marvelously multi-cultured school with such beautiful diversity and fellowship. One walk of the upper playground during morning assembly and you can feel the energy, excitement and promise of every school day. Children not only attend from our surrounding, supportive local neighborhoods but from across all of Pasadena. They come from all walks of life and from all backgrounds and heritages. But when they arrive to school they are one Bobcat family. Don Benito is a reflective tapestry of our wider world and we give our students a glimpse of a world view that will guide them them to love the compassionate future that they will shape. We are a special place; a laboratory for great ideas and a foundation for great people.

DSCN6759Each year, I like to look toward an “operating theme” that helps inspire us as we do the work we do. Last year, we honored our parent volunteers for their tireless work at our school and the programs that serve our children. That fine work continues, stronger than ever, but if we look beyond the unbelievable parents and outstanding teaching staff, we realize that there are even more contributors and supporters of our school. We are situated in the dynamic neighborhoods of Lower and Upper Hastings Ranch, of which we’ve recently become neighborhood school. We have much support from wonderful programs like Reading Partners and Pasadena LEARNs. We have great involvement from extended families and friends. And so, it seems only natural that we dedicate this year’s theme to “Building Communities” and to honoring the great ways all Don Benito supporters, on-campus or off, can support our school and become a contributor to quality learning.

IMG_8221 (1)This is my second year of having the honor to serve you all as Don Benito PTA’s Association President and it’s humbling to have had such great support of this school and all our Bobcat families. For those of you whom I have yet to meet, a little about me… I am the father of two wonderful Bobcats who soften my heart every day. My eldest daughter, Autumn, is in the 4th grade. My youngest, Yura, is in 1st. Sora Kim is my wife and business partner, and together we run a small digital design practice in Pasadena. Like you, I celebrate the joys and work through the challenges of being a parent. But I cherish the fact that, because of all the wonderful support I’ve gotten, I have the wind at my back in this job. And that makes all the difference.

But I have a secret for all of you… I’m hardly the reason for our Association’s success.

IMG_4897Serving along with me are some phenomenal people. They are our 2016-2017 executive board. The talent and energy they possess to drive us forward is staggering. They are artists, authors, attorneys, chefs, filmmakers, electricians, aerospace engineers, firefighters, painters, carpenters, teachers and so, so much more. With talent like this, the best thing I can do is to empower them and then get out of the way. They run toward challenges, not from, and it humbles me to be in their midst. I know that together we’ll take our association, and our school community, to greater heights. When you see them on campus, please do take a moment to stop and thank them for their hard work.

Don Benito PTA’s mission couldn’t be simpler: We love our school and we love our children. Those are simple principles that help focus our drive to providing quality programs for Don Benito students, teacher support and community engagement with our school.

IMG_4172This year, we plan to carry the theme of building community as far as we can. Our After-School Enrichment program is underway this fall with 4 clubs, and many more on the way. Our 7th Annual Don Benito Autumn Carnival will be even bigger and better, attracting all from the greater Pasadena Area. IMG_4183We’ve got social events planned to honor our multi-cutural heritage. We will continue to grow our award-winning Art and Science Docent programs, and our Room Parent program will continue to serve as a IMG_7879model for parental support in the classroom.

Now it’s time for you to become a part of that story. For you and your children’s sake, don’t stand on the sidelines. They will only be this age for a short moment and that moment will disappear as fast as it arrived. Regardless of your time and availability, there is a place for you in this Association.

If you haven’t already, consider joining Don Benito PTA as a member. It’s easy, and it only takes a few minutes. Become a part of the conversation that drives our school community to be one of the most dynamic in the district. Spread the word; whether you are a parent, grandparent, neighbor, business owner, teacher or friend, we want you to join us. It’s how we build our Don Benito community, and support the children and the school we love.

Here’s to our continued partnership, and to your good ideas for ensuring that we all have another fantastic year at Don Benito.

Go Bobcats!
Scott Harden
Don Benito PTA