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Principal's Message

Good Morning McGaugh Families, 

Let’s give a big Thank You to Project SEEK & LAEF!
Project SEEK works each year to secure the funding necessary to support the McGaugh art teacher and art supplies, the Innovation Lab teacher and supplies, and the Media Center Specialist and supplies at McGaugh. In spite of this challenging year, Project SEEK has provided McGaugh with over $121,000 in forward funding and an additional $5000 in supplies to ensure these programs are available to our students for the 2021-2022 school year.
Project SEEK held a variety of fundraisers including the Fall Donation Campaign, Kids are First, Virtual Bingo Night, Art Show, Sees Candy, and of course, The Event to reach their goals.
The Project SEEK Officers and Board Members deserve special recognition for their tremendous leadership during these difficult times. President Julie McMahon, Vice President Lisa Johnston, Treasurer Yolande Davies, Secretary Lisa Carl, and the Project SEEK Board had to reinvent fundraising efforts due to the pandemic and rose above the obstacles to find solutions for the benefit of every McGaugh student.
The Los Alamitos Educational Foundation (LAEF) is also a necessary partner to ensure that the Art Program and STEM education continue. LAEF has partnered with Project SEEK for the last four years to provide McGaugh with an Art Teacher by serving as the direct employer of our Art Teacher and by providing the additional funds for employee costs, benefits, and supplemental pay to total nearly $7,000 yearly.  Earlier this year, LAEF also presented McGaugh with a check in the amount of $5,000 to support STEAM, which furthered our efforts in the Innovation Lab and Media Center.
On behalf of McGaugh, we would like to formally thank our friends at Project SEEK and LAEF for their continued support in making the Art Lab, Innovation Lab, and Sea Lion Lab/Media Center possible for all Sea Lions in grades TK-Five.
We are truly grateful for the continued support and look forward to another great year of excellent art instruction, Innovation Lab experiences, and Sea Lion Lab adventures at McGaugh. Again, thanks to the hard work and passion of our Project SEEK parent volunteers, partners at LAEF, and the generous McGaugh community.
Here are a few things to keep in mind this week: 

That's all for now. 
Dr. Issaic Gates
J.H. McGaugh Elementary School
Rah, McGaugh!

Missed the May 6 PTA General Meeting? We’ve got you covered!

PTA Board Elections: We elected a new PTA Board for the 2021-22 school year. These are the parent volunteers who will help guide PTA programs for the next academic year. Please join me in congratulating the following PTA Leaders:

EVP – Emmy Harris
Parliamentarian – Valeria Dropkin
Treasurer – Jenni Deselm
Financial Secretary – Arwen Miller
Auditor – Jackie Dominick
1st VP – Jeannette Andruss
2nd VP – Steve Miller
4th VP – Jennifer Katz
5th VP – Stephanie Pearson

In-Person June Meeting? The PTA is exploring possibly holding an in-person PTA meeting next month, which will be the final PTA meeting of the year. Stay tuned for details!  

Dr. Weichman Webinar: PTA President Farnaz Pardasani talked about the positive feedback she received from parents during and after the second social and emotional well-being seminar put on thanks to the PTA. The latest webinar, Transitioning Kids Back to Sports, School and Social Events, happened this past Tuesday and was again hosted by Dr. Jerry Weichman, a clinical psychologist affiliated with Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Dr. Weichman offered helpful advice and tools for parents looking to boost their child’s mental health.  
Here are some highlights of the mental health tools he offered:

  1. Control: Direct kids to focus on things that are in their control – how they react to things.
  2. Get kids to practice 3x3x3 breathing. That means inhaling for 3 seconds, exhaling for 3 seconds and doing it 3 times in a row.
  3. Smile! Just smiling for 5 seconds will make you feel better.
  4. I’ve got this’ Mindset: Encourage your kids to engage in positive self-talk.
  5. Actions vs. Thoughts: Thoughts can create emotional responses to problems, but actions are what can fix them. Instead of thinking about a problem, ask: what can I do to fix it?  

Safety First Dr. Gates and Seal Beach Police Department Lt. Nick Nicholas reminded parents about the need for kids to wear helmets when riding a bike. The reminder comes after a 13-year-old bicyclist was hit by a car right next to McGaugh on May 5. The good news is the child is going to be OK.

T-shirt design contest winner Congratulations to 4th Grader Ben Aragon in Mrs. Duncan’s class for the winning design for the McGaugh T-shirt for 2021-22 school year (see attached). Still haven’t bought this year’s shirt? Buy one here

McGaugh Book Fair Recap Thank you to all who made our Book Fair with Barnes & Noble a success. You helped raise $3,700 in in-person sales. We’re still waiting to see how much was earned in online sales. Big shout out to PTA volunteers Jessica Kouzoukas and Steve Miller for making the Book Fair happen!  

Imagination Machine is returning to McGaugh (virtually!) This PTA-sponsored program brings our own Sea Lion’s imaginations to life. Students submit a story idea and the talented actors then bring that story to the stage! Pre-COVID, the performers would come to the Auditorium, but this year it will be a live virtual performance on May 27.  

California PTA Convention Interested in finding out more about PTA? California PTA is hosting its annual convention on May 13-15! It’s all virtual. Details are here

Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Project SEEK Board & Officers!

Thank you, 2020-2021 Officers & Board: Julie McMahon, Lisa Johnston, Yolande Davies, Lisa Carl, Kristen Alves, Andrea Bigler, Rosette Nehme, Amber Nichols, Vanessa Reynolds, Kelly Stratmann, Joy Wadleigh, & Claudia Wille.
Welcome 2021-2022 Officers & Board!
President: Claudia Wille
Vice President: Angela Gregory
Treasurer- Lisa Carl
Secretary: Vanessa Reynolds

2021-2022 Board:
Kristen Alves
Andrea Bigler
Yolande Davies
Lisa Johnston
Julie McMahon
Rosette Nehme
Amber Nichols
Kelly Stratmann
Beth Pearson

We welcome new members at any time so please join our next meeting to learn about ensuring the Art Lab, Innovation Lab, and Sea Lion Lab/Media Center education continue at McGaugh year after year! These programs would not be possible without the work of Project SEEK. Join us!

Join Us! Project SEEK’s Next Meeting is May 11th!

Learn more about Project SEEK working to preserve enrichment programs at McGaugh. Come and meet new friends and fellow parents at McGaugh. Please email Julie McMahon at for more details or questions. We hope to see you there!
Tuesday, May 11th at 8:30am
Zoom Link:


Order 2021-2022
School Supplies Now

Kits are customized by your teacher for each grade level and include the supplies your child needs for the next school year.
Each kit will be individually packaged with your child’s name and grade labeled right on the box!
Kits will be conveniently shipped to your home prior to the first day of school!
NEW! Disaster Kits will be available to purchase and will be sent directly to your child’s classroom!

Avoid the hassle of the stores this summer and support Project SEEK!
10-12% of proceeds go to Project SEEK to help 100% fund the Art Lab, Innovation Lab, and Media Center at McGaugh!
Order Online Only. Deadline to order is July 1st

Looking for Volunteers to Join the PTA Exec Board!  

The McGaugh PTA plays a vital volunteer role in the support of students and teachers by providing a wide-range of functions, fun, enrichment and representation for our school community.

We welcome you to join our PTA Executive Board!  The following positions are OPEN for the 2021-22 school year:

  • President - Leads the McGaugh PTA
  • Recording Secretary
  • Historian
  • 3rd Vice President
For questions or more information, please contact our PTA Parliamentarian, Joy Wadleigh ( 

McGaugh Needs a New Connect Coordinator!

The McGaugh PTA is looking for a volunteer to take over coordination of the Connect newsletter for the 2021-2022 school year. The coordinator of Connect consolidates articles for the weekly newsletter in partnership with the Presidents of the PTA and Project Seek along with Dr. Gates and Ms. Wood. The commitment requires ~2 hours a week but does NOT require technical skills!!

If interested please reach out to

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! In celebration of the far-reaching history & impact of the AAPI community, the McGaugh ICC will highlight an influential Asian American in American each week. Born in 1912, Dr.Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese-American nuclear physicist who has been dubbed "the First Lady of Physics," "Queen of Nuclear Research," and "the Chinese Madame Curie." While she was born in China, she set off for the U.S. in 1936 to attend the University of Michigan for her Ph.D in nuclear physics. However, when she learned that women weren’t allowed to use the front entrance at Michigan, she changed her plans and attended the University of California, Berkeley instead. Her research contributions include work on the Manhattan Project and the Wu experiment. During her career, Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu earned many accolades including the Comstock Prize in Physics (1964), the Bonner Prize (1975) & the National Medal of Science (1975). In her later years, Wu became a champion for women’s rights. Her book Beta Decay (1965) is still a standard reference for nuclear physicists. Wu died in 1997 at the age of 84. Learn about Dr. Wu here: Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, The First Lady of Physics .
To learn more about AAPI American Heritage Month click HERE. For a wonderful & comprehensive list of children's books celebrating AAPI American culture from the NYPL click HERE. 
And lastly, please don't forget to join the next ICC Book club at 6:30 pm, Thursday, May 27th! We will be discussing How Much of These Hills Is Gold, a critically acclaimed novel by C Pham Zhang. Please email: with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!


Don't forget to visit the McGaugh PTA website regularly for the latest information on all things McGaugh! The home page is updated frequently with details on up-and-coming events. McGaugh PTA is working hard to give you all the information you need in one place. That includes details about PTA programs, a calendar, links to McGaugh Connect and more. And don't forget to sign up to become a member of PTA while you're there. If you want to see something on the PTA website, email

Enjoy a delicious dinner at Simmzy’s while supporting Project SEEK!

Simmzy’s has generously partnered with Project SEEK to support the Art Lab, Innovation Lab, and Media Center Sea Lion Lab at McGaugh! Place your order online, anytime using the code JHM15 and 15% will go to Project SEEK.

Join the LAEF STEAM Contest! 

Visit for all the details.

  • STEAM gift certificate prizes for TK-2 and Grades 3-5:
    • 1st place = $300, 2nd place = $150, 3rd place = $75
  • Projects are due by May 10, 2021
    • Students can enter individually or in groups, but the prize will not be duplicated
    • Check out video lessons on (1) how to develop your project idea; (2) how to do research, collect data and draw conclusions; (3) presenting your project/how to submit
    • Science Experiments or Engineering Design projects will be accepted.
  • Grade level groupings for judging/prizes: TK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
  • The top 5 projects per group will present to a judges panel on the evening of Monday, May 24.
  • Winners will be announced on May 28.

LAEF Summer Enrichment! 

LAEF is offering fantastic enrichment opportunities for Los Al Kids this summer!  The 12th annual Summer Enrichment Institute (SEI) will take place over two sessions – June 28 to July 9 (no class on July 5) and from July 12-23 – with classes available between 8am and 4:40pm.  Kids entering grades TK-5 will be on campus at Rossmoor Elementary.
Register now at! Early bird pricing is available through June 9, but classes fill up quickly. 
Jumpstart classes will be available to sharpen skills in math and language arts, plus there are classes in STEM, the arts, world language, athletics and much more!  Class size is 7-15 kids and will be taught by credentialed teachers and highly-qualified instructors.  Find class descriptions, teacher bios and policies/procedures at
Multi-class SEI discounts apply to families and individual students across both sessions – the second class is 25% off, and 50% off any class thereafter!  Scholarships are available to families with financial needs.
Middle school and high school classes are also available.  Summer Camps with LAHS Coaches and Directors are also in the works, with information posted to once they become available.

In This Issue   
Principal's Message
PTA Meeting
Project SEEK Board
Project SEEK Meeting
School Supplies
PTA Volunteers
ICC Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Connect Coordinator
PTA Website
Simmzy's for Project SEEK
LAEF Summer Enrichment

Attendance Hotline
Please make every effort to report your child's absence by calling the Attendance Hotline at (562) 799-4571 prior to 9:00 am on the day of the absence. If the absence is reported after 9:00 am, it may take up to 24 hours to clear and you may receive an automated call in error. Any questions, contact the school office at (562) 799-4560.
Quick Links
McGaugh Website
Project SEEK
Los Al School District
Los Al Ed Foundation
ST Math (JiJi)
Farnaz Pardasani
PTA President

Julie McMahon
Project SEEK President


visit the McGaugh website
Copyright © 2021 McGaugh PTA, All rights reserved.

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