2016-17 Letter from Dr. Anzalone
  August 2016



 “The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” 
―E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web


My Dear Families of Ogden Elementary School,


As I am writing my fifth annual welcome back-to-school letter, I am hoping that the crickets that live beneath your windowsills are chirping glorious melodies that make you realize that although summer is coming to an end another season of beauty is about to begin. I always look forward to the coolness of fall after a sweltering, hot, and sticky summer.


My summer was filled with “mommy” duties and as tiring as that can be, I enjoyed every single second. However, I am ready to begin our journey together this year as we continue to help your child evolve as learners, as thinkers, and as human beings. Let’s make this the year of making mistakes and growing from them! I have been doing a lot of reading about the miracle of making mistakes. In one Harvard Business Review (2010) article, the author suggests that innovation flourishes when people are given the space to make mistakes. Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle? How many times did you stumble before pedaling to triumph?  I want each of you and your child to relive the exhilaration of riding free after attempting to do it so many times before. Let’s help pick your child up this year if they fall and get them right back on the seat again!


We have many reasons to celebrate at Ogden this year! Mrs. Santanastaso gave birth to beautiful Olivia Ryann on August 7, 2016. Ms. DiDominica was married on July 29, 2016 and Ms. Cussen was asked for her hand in marriage. We were very fortunate to have hired several new staff members, including a special education teacher, a general education teacher, and teacher assistants. I am also very excited to welcome back our very own full-time social worker: Mrs. Gina Carrillo. I thank you all for your support in being sure that Ogden’s students have all of their needs met.


On a professional level, I am looking forward to breathing more creativity into Ogden.  Some of the items are classroom walk-throughs, a Maker Space, blogs, podcasts, Twitter, and more. I believe that this is the year to begin “branding” Ogden and showing the world what makes this such a special school.


Ogden will continue to remain dedicated to providing unique experiences for our students. This year our grade 2 will welcome back WT McRae for Circus Minimus; Grade 3 will experience modern dance with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company; Grade 4 will sashay into elegant ballroom dancers with Dancing Classrooms of Long Island and Grade 5 will enjoy the festivities that match their many accomplishments. All of this is courtesy of our PTA and their strong partnership with our school! We are so fortunate to have the support of our new PTA President, Mrs. Gina Page-Nelson and Co-Vice Presidents: Mrs. Lisa Ruta and Mrs. Allie Sanchez. I am convinced that with their support, Ogden will continue to elevate our joint success!


I ask that you remain or get active at Ogden this year. We try our best to keep families apprised of events at Ogden by sending home reminders, text messages, e-mails, calendars, as well as updating our Website with the most current information. You can access the Website at https://www.hewlett-woodmere.net. Be sure to select Ogden Elementary School from the drop-down menu of schools. Under “Upcoming Events,” you will find a calendar filled with important dates. Please make it part of your weekly practice to check the online Virtual Wednesday Folder for flyers, handouts, updates, etc. The monthly PTA meetings are also a great way to remain current with all Ogden and District events. Please try to use one of these many forms of communication to keep in touch with the Ogden school community.


We hope that you will take part in one of the many family events we host, such as Bagels and Books, Family Literacy Night, Family Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts in Mathematics (STEAM) Night, and parent sharing sessions. In addition, our partnership with the PTA has allowed us to add some extraordinary events, such as Mother-Son Paint Night, Father-Daughter Dance Night, and Artastic Art Gallery. You can view all of these events and more on the District Calendar which can be accessed from the District’s Webpage or picking up a hard copy at Woodmere Education Center. There are many opportunities for you to get involved both during the day and in the evening. We hope that you partake in many of these unique experiences and embrace what makes Ogden such a special school. We value your time and input and welcome you to work with us to strengthen what already exists.


Let’s have a positive year that is filled with optimism about the impact we have and about the power we hold in our hands. Let’s do this the only way we know how – TOGETHER!


Please take some time to revel in the last lazy rays of sun that peak through your window and coerce you out of bed each day. I always look forward to welcoming you and your child back at Ogden on September 6, 2016.




See you soon,




Dr. Dina M. Anzalone