Thoreau Matters - August 30th Issue

Message from Mr. Azimi

Dear Thoreau Community:

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year.  We opened our front doors on Tuesday to welcome over 1,200 seventh and eighth graders to Thoreau.  I am glad to have our returning families back and I extend a warm welcome to the new families of our community.   As I enter my fourth school year at Thoreau, I remain honored to serve as the principal of this fine school where students are respectful and eager to learn, our teachers and staff dedicate themselves to putting kids first, and our parents provide unwavering support.  It may sound like a cliché, but Thoreau really is a special place.   

I hope you will become an avid reader of Thoreau Matters throughout the school year.  This is the primary method by which I communicate school-wide news to the community.  You can expect Thoreau Matters to be published every two weeks and we archive all of the issues on our website if you ever miss an issue and want to keep up with the news.  Speaking of our website, I would encourage you to bookmark it as it is updated on a frequent basis so that you can rely on the latest dates and information; the address is  I hope that you will find both Thoreau Matters and our website to be two dependable and consistent ways in which to stay on top of news at Thoreau.   

Finally, Back-to-School Night will be held next Wednesday, September 5th from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.   I cordially invite our parents to come that evening to have the opportunity to meet the wonderful teachers and staff who help make Thoreau a school of which we can all be proud.   I wish everyone a successful year! 


Yusef Azimi

Upcoming Important Dates

  •   Wednesday, September 5th, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Back-to-School Night
  •   Monday, September 24th, First day of after-school programs and late buses 

Thoreau staff get ready for students 3

Thoreau staff get ready for students during teacher opening week!

Back-to-School Night Information

Back-to-School Night will be held on Wednesday, September 5th, from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. In order to alleviate traffic in the Thoreau parking lot, we will offer parents a shuttle bus between Cunningham Park ES and Thoreau MS.  The shuttle bus will run a continuous loop from Cunningham Park ES to Thoreau MS from 4:50PM - 5:45PM. At the conclusion of BTSN, the bus will run again at 7:30PM from Thoreau and will loop back and forth until all parents have been returned to their cars at Cunningham Park ES.

Parking is also available in the back parking lot of the Church For All Nations.  This is the lot further down on Amanda Place.  Note:  Any cars parked at the church in the lot that borders Cedar Lane are subject to towing.

ESOL Parent Meeting @ BTSN

Prior to the start of Back-to-School Night (BTSN), there will be a parent meeting for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students from 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM in room A101.  Plan to attend to learn valuable information about Thoreau's ESOL services.

After-School Programs and Late Buses

After-school programs and buses will begin at Thoreau on Monday, September 24th.  The preliminary list of activities and a schedule for the first week will be available during the week of Monday, September 17th. The information will be available in three places: our website, FCPS 24-7 (Blackboard), and will be published in future issues of Thoreau Matters.

Thoreau Theatre Department News

International Thespian Society

Join the International Thespian Society (ITS) which is open to all students. The mission of the Thespian Society is to honor student achievement in theatre arts. The Thoreau theatre society recognizes and rewards excellence among students in the theatre arts program and is a valuable addition to college and employment applications. As members of ITS, students will be honored on an international level and have access to resources beyond those in school.  

Any Thoreau student may join ITS at any time throughout the school year.  ITS meetings will be held on alternating, scheduled Mondays at 2:15 PM in room C107.

International Thespian Honor Society

There will be an interest meeting on Monday, September 24th, from 2:15 PM - 4:30 PM, in room C107.  See for more information.

Auditions for Game of Tiaras Are Coming Soon!

When the aging king of a Magical Kingdom (England) decides to split his empire between his three daughters, Cinderella, Belle, and the Snow Queen (who in no way resembles a copyrighted character), terrible tragedy ensues, terrible, hilarious tragedy. 

Combining the gut-wrenching plot twists of Game of Thrones and the soul-numbing despair of Shakespearean tragedy, this adaptation of King Lear will leave you dying with laughter as the body count mounts.

Auditions will be held after-school on Thursday, September 27th and Wednesday, October 3rd. (This is open only to Thespian Society members.)  See for more information.

2018-2019 Thoreau Yearbook

Our yearbook is on sale now. There are two places to purchase a copy:

We strongly advise placing your order sooner rather than later as the cost increases with time.   

Of the 835 available copies, 97 have been sold as of Tuesday, August 28th.

Questions? Please contact Thoreau yearbook sponsor Ms. Galeet BenZion at  

Thoreau staff get ready for students 2

(L-R) Mr. McNamara, Ms. Oehm, Mr. Smith, Ms. Yacovissi, Ms. Sliter, and

Ms. Galus prepare for the first week of school.

Thoreau Book Fair

Thoreau's book fair will be held Tuesday, September 4th - Friday, September 7th. The fair will be open daily from 7:10 AM - 3:00 PM, and it will close on Friday, September 7th at 12:00 PM.  The fair will also be open the evening of BTSN on Wednesday, September 5th, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Students will visit the book fair with their English classes on Tuesday, September 4th and Wednesday, September 5th.  Parents are able to set-up eWallet this year for students to purchase books. This link shows how to set-up eWallet and view the online book fair which is open from now through Saturday, September 8th. 

PTA News and Announcements

On behalf of the Thoreau PTA, I would like to welcome back returning families and extend a warm welcome to new families!  This is an exciting year for Thoreau as we add many new students and new staff.  We have an active and open PTA and invite all of our families to get involved.  The Thoreau PTA hosts a dinner for 7th grade students and their families around the Thanksgiving holiday, operates the school store, treats the Thoreau staff to special goodies throughout the year, provides volunteer and financial support to the school as needed, sponsors Crosstown Hoops and the Spelling Bee, and celebrates the 8th graders with a party at the end of the school year.

We hope you will consider joining the PTA and making a donation to our no-fuss fundraiser.  We raise almost all of our funds through direct donations, so we appreciate your support.

If you aren't already receiving our PTA newsletter, you can subscribe on the PTA website.  Following the Thoreau PTA on Facebook is the best way to stay connected and the fastest way to find out about new volunteer opportunities.

Our first meeting of the year will be held at Thoreau on Thursday, September 20th, at 9:30 AM.  We hope you will be able to join us!


Emily Korff

Thoreau PTA President

2018-2019 PTA Board Members

    Emily Korff, PTA President

    Stacey Leimbach, Vice President

    Amanda Dixon, Treasurer

    Debbie Gardner, Secretary 


Thoreau Food Program

In partnership with the PTA, Thoreau Student Services will be packaging and sending home weekend food bags for families in need.  We are looking for donations of non-perishable food items as identified on this Amazon shopping list. For your convenience, these items may be ordered from Amazon and delivered directly to the school. Donations may also be purchased and dropped off in the Thoreau front office to the attention of Director of Student Services Rebecca Aguilar.  Gift cards are also greatly appreciated.

Thoreau School Store

Consider signing-up to help with the school store.  The School Store provides a service to the students and raises funds for the school so your help is greatly appreciated.  Huge thanks to school store chairs Tana Keefe and Pinar Turhan for their efforts!