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January 1, 2023



Dear White Oak Families, 

Happy New Year!


We hope everyone had a safe and wonderful winter break. As a reminder, there is no school on Monday. Students return on Tuesday, January 3. 



Welcome New Explorer Staff!



Lynda Burise - Arts in Motion

Hi!  My name is Mrs. Lynda Burise (Mrs. “B”).  I am so excited to be joining the staff at White Oak Elementary.  I will be teaching a new special called Arts in Motion beginning in January.  This special will enhance music, art, and movement using poetry and literature. Creativity and diversity will be emphasized and encouraged. 




Kathy Hensinger - ESL

Hi, my name is Kathy Hensinger and I am very excited to be returning to White Oak in January as the part-time ESL teacher.  I started teaching in Wake County in 1999.  I have taught a variety of grades over the years, and for the past 15 years I have been teaching English as a Second Language. I retired at the end of last year with the hope of returning to teaching part time in January.  I’m very excited to be able to come back to White Oak. I look forward to returning to such an excellent school with great teachers and families, and I am so excited to see the White Oak students in 2023. 




Ann-Marie Taranto - AIG

Mrs. Taranto is returning to AIG after a short retirement from 16 years of teaching many different grade levels. Most recently, she was the AIG teacher at Salem Elementary School. She loves doing project-based learning and hands-on STEM challenges with her students. A proud graduate of Virginia Tech, she enjoys football, knitting, painting, and traveling to new places. (This picture was taken in front of a castle in Ireland, where she visited last spring.) She has three adult children who live in Apex, Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles, and she lives in New Hill with her husband, Michael, and their goofy dog, Hudson.





Afterschool Clubs in January


We are pleased to be able to offer these afterschool opportunities through the variety of clubs listed below. If you have questions about registration, payment or attendance, please contact the club organizer. In the event of an early release due to inclement weather, the club will be canceled for the day.


If your child is participating in a club, they will be dismissed from the classroom to the meeting location at the school on that day. Please note that families are expected to communicate with their child's teacher about going to the club afterschool. This is considered a change in transportation, as if you are changing from bus to carpool. 



Triangle Chess

Tuesdays, January 10 - February 28


The competitive chess team returns to White Oak on Tuesdays after school. Please check the flyer for registration details. 




TGA - Golf & Tennis

January - March - Mondays (Golf) & Thursdays (Tennis)


TGA returns to White Oak to provide the opportunity for students to develop golf and tennis skills. Note: This year the programs will be separated over two different days with different registrationsVisit the TGA flyer for registration details. 






Snapology of Raleigh is back for a winter session - Mini-Figure Mania - from January 25 - February 22. The club will take place on Wednesdays from 3:45-5:00. Classes are limited to 25 spaces. Click here to Register.







Positivity Project - Character Strength of the Week


The Positivity Project (P2) is a character education program dedicated to empowering America's youth to build positive relationships by seeing the good in themselves and others. We hope you enjoy using the character strengths vocabulary and have meaningful conversations at home that support your child's learning here at school.


This Week's Character Strength: ENTHUSIASM



Classroom Updates


Please make sure you check your child's class newsletter sent each week on Friday: 


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade




Upcoming Dates


WCPSS Calendar


Tuesday, 1/3

First Day of School after Winter Break

Wednesday, 1/11

School Tour - 10am

Monday, 1/16


Thursday, 1/26

End of 2nd Quarter

Friday, 1/27

NO SCHOOL - Teacher Workday





THANK YOU for all of your support! 


Robin Swaim, Principal

Kevin Boynton, Assistant Principal 

& all of the Explorer Staff 


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Facebook: @WhiteOakES

Twitter: @WhiteOakElem