Wendy Giss,  3rd Grade Teacher |

Dear Hollywood Schoolhouse |

When we met four years ago, I knew it was kismet. The moment I stepped onto your campus for my interview, it was palpable. It was the summer of 2017 and though I was interviewing for a 4th Grade lead teaching position, I did a demo lesson in a JK classroom with some of the sweetest little faces and warm hearts. They welcomed me into their space with open, loving arms. The moment I sat on the floor, I knew I had arrived in a very special place. I loved being housed in the upstairs nook of your newest wing, perched above the pool. For three years, I listened to the sound of laughter, and sometimes tears, as kids splashed and learned about the importance of water safety. Although we have been separated for the past year due to the pandemic, I am anxiously awaiting my return to you- in my new home in third grade above the yard- where I will once again listen to the sound of laughter when children reunite.

The HSH community is unique in many ways. Metaphorically, you are a shelter from the storm. The world can be fast paced and cruel- you on the other hand, allow us to slow down while in your gentle yet firm embrace. Three words I use to describe you are accepting, nurturing, and inclusive. You accept all who walk through your doors, you nurture, care for, and love everyone equally, and you include those who might have felt like outcasts elsewhere. All children at HSH are known, valued, and encouraged. I love and appreciate that you meet people where they are, not where you think they should be. In the short amount of time we have spent together, I have seen you grow and blossom while changing with the times.

In my sixteen years of teaching, you have been the most instrumental. I, too, have grown and blossomed in your care. My past was spent primarily in rather traditional schools. You are progressive and fostering and I have never felt more at home than I do with you. 75 years is quite a track record. I would be honored to see what happens during the next 75 years. You are a very important part of my life and I look forward to our future together.

Thank you, Hollywood Schoolhouse!

In gratitude,    

Ms. Wendy