School News



Mad Scientist Day

In October and December, first and second graders at Ekstrand Elementary School studied the messy side of science during the school’s Mad Scientist Day. Taught by Kendall Kraiss’s 5th grade students, the younger students spent time at each of seven stations to learn about science.

“Because the 5th grade students did so well as assistants in October, Ms. Kraiss gave them the responsibility to write the lessons for the December event,” Principal Lucinda Newton said. “They did a fantastic job!”

October’s Mad Scientist Day topics included: 1) Frankenworms, focusing on the scientific method, 2) baking soda and vinegar ghost experiments to explore chemical reactions, 3) walking water using paper towels as a conduit, 4) the scientific method and the importance of control and consistency throughout your experiment, 5) Pop Rocks and Soda chemical reactions (this group also fed a cricket to Spider-Man, the pet tarantula), 6) M&Ms in water, focusing on the scientific method, and 7) viscosity, making slime.


Teacher Marissa Ford said, “The kids had a messy blast doing the experiments. The fifth-graders were a huge success and work great with set up, mixing and cleaning up.”




Walk-A-Thon 2015

Annual Walk-A-Thon Raises Funds for Technology, Library, and Campus Beautification

On October 8, 2015, the students, staff and parents of Ekstrand Elementary School will come together for the annual Walk-A-Thon to raise funds for technology, the library, and campus beautification. While families raise money for the cause, the school is also seeking donations from local businesses.

“We have set a goal of $10,000—support from local businesses would make such a difference in reaching that goal,” Principal Lucinda Newton said. “We are working toward a 1:1 student to technological device ratio, and Walk-A-Thon funds will help us get there. We want to purchase new books for our library and complete some beautification projects for our campus.”


Donations can be made from using the PayPal Walkathon link on the right side.


Ekstrand Welcomes 5 New Teachers

Jeremy Gibbons recently moved from the Bay Area, having taught for 14 years in Cupertino. He is energetic, excited to be at Ekstrand, and can't wait to get the fitness program up and running at full speed. He’s an avid tennis player, bowler, and loves spending time with his wife (also a teacher) and his two daughters, ages 5 and 2.

Brittany Adams is excited about joining the Ekstrand team and fulfilling a lifelong calling to teach. She has a Master of Arts in Digital Teaching and Learning and is passionate about students utilizing technology to create and contribute instead of to consume. She worked in the District previously as a long term substitute for fifth grade and kindergarten at a neighboring school. Brittany lives with her husband and two dogs.  

Kendall Kraiss is new to the Ekstrand team as she begins her first year teaching. She is so excited to be part of such a great school, District, and community. After growing up in Huntington Beach, she made her way to the University of La Verne where she played volleyball and track and field. She developed her love for teaching and met her fiancé there! She loves spending time outside, but most of the time you will find her in the classroom planning new and exciting lessons for her 5th graders! 

Ronalea Freeth is from San Dimas. She attended Bonita Unified schools from kindergarten to high school and is a proud Saint. She graduated from Washington State University with her bachelors in Business Administration and has since earned her Master degree in Special Education and Reading & Literacy. She loves to travel with her husband and spend time with their dogs. Ronalea is thrilled to be a part of the amazing Ekstrand team and looks forward to a wonderful year full of learning in first grade.


Stephanie Waterman is a teacher who is passionate about actively engaging students in the learning process.  Her first job in Bonita Unified was over twelve years ago, as a Kindergarten Instructional Aide.  It wasn’t until moving out of state with her family, to live in Alaska for six years, Then Stephanie went back to school and obtained her degree and teaching credential.  She began her teaching career as a third grade teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, and recently taught Transitional Kindergarten at Allen Avenue Elementary.  This school year, she is thrilled to be starting a new adventure teaching first grade at Ekstrand Elementary. 

Subscribe to this RSS feed