Friday, June 8, 2018

A Place to Play

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! You may have heard from your child that Buchanan has many new pieces of playground equipment (including swings!). This is something we have been waiting for all year, but it certainly was worth the wait! The students have been so excited and have been putting the equipment to good use. One of our goals at Buchanan is to make learning fun and the new playground equipment helps us do just that!

We would like to thank our community for supporting the 2013 bond initiative, which has provided the funding for our new playground equipment. We greatly appreciate your support!


Monday, June 11: 4th Grade Celebration in the afternoon (Circus Amongus), Yearbooks go out
Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Concert/Celebration in the afternoon
Wednesday, June 13: Yearbook signings during 2nd Recess
Thursday, June 14: All-School Assembly in morning, Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM
Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out at 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM for Summer Vacation!!

Wednesday, June 20: Report Cards mailed home! 

  • Yearbooks will be delivered to classes on Monday, June 11. We have a few extra yearbooks for sale in case you missed the deadline for ordering. They will be sold in the office for $15.00
  • We had a GREAT time at the Buchanan Family Tiger's game!! 
Please make sure to check our items in the Lost & Found! All remaining items after the school year, will be donated. Thank you!

Did you know that Buchanan is being renovated this summer? As soon as the student leave, work crews will be in the building throughout the summer to install new lighting, new paint, and new sound systems. Each classroom will also receive a short throw projector and smart board. Our students and staff will walk into a beautiful, high-tech school! Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

A Moment in Time

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! On Friday, we had a very special ceremony at Buchanan. It began with a re-dedication of our Buchanan Oasis Garden. For the past several months, our PTA, staff members, and volunteers have been working to restore the garden to its original state when it was created nearly 20 years ago! Our goal is to use the area as an outdoor classroom and learning area for students as well as support native Michigan plant life. During the ceremony, we also presented our very special project...a time capsule! In this time capsule, will be placed a video production from all our classrooms, picture collages, a yearbook, newspaper articles about our school, spirit wear, and several other items from our Buchanan team. This is a very special year for our school as we blend communities and we wanted to commemorate it with a special event. The time capsule will be sealed and set to open again in the year 2038. At that time, I hope to come back with old Buchanan friends and meet new Buchanan friends as we revisit a very special moment in time!


Thursday, June 7: Final PTA Meeting at 7:00 PM in the Library
Friday, June 8: Field Day!

Monday, June 11: 4th Grade Celebration in the Afternoon
Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Concert/Celebration in the Afternoon
Thursday, June 14: All School Assembly at 10:00 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out at 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM for Summer Vacation

Did you know that the former Buchanan students who are graduating from Stevenson High School visited our building? After a photo shoot in front of the building, the graduating students had a "Clap Out" from our Buchanan students as they paraded the hallways in their caps and gowns. It was a wonderful event. It celebrated our graduates and gave our younger students something to aspire to. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Summer Shave

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! You may have noticed that I started sporting a shaved head last week. While it is convenient for the summer weather, I had a more important reason for the shave. For the past two years, I have been a part of the St. Baldrick's event to raise funds to fight childhood cancer. Each May, participants raise funds by asking friends and families to donate as we "Brave the Shave". I have become personally involved as the child of a friend is battling cancer. I had the honor of being shaved by this incredible child and our own PTA president, Nikki Watson also donated her time for the day as she helped shave my head along with others. While we were fortunate to raise over $130,000, the real joy came from seeing the smiles of the children we came to support!


Monday, May 28: No School for Memorial Day
Wednesday, May 30: Kindergarten Round Up
Thursday, May 31: Stevenson High School Graduates Clap Out 11:15 AM

Thursday, June 7: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
Friday, June 8: Field Day

Monday, June 11: 4th Grade Celebration in the PM
Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Concert & Celebration in the PM
Thursday, June 14: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM

Loretta Zimes - School Social Worker

Hello Buchanan Community,

My name is Loretta Zimes. I have been a social worker for more years than I would like to admit. 😊 I graduated from U of M with a Masters in Social Work. Prior to LPS, I worked in the hospital setting in various capacities (e.g., medical social worker, psychiatric social worker, chemical dependency social worker, day hospital social worker, etc.). I was hired into LPS  20 years ago.
I am a mother of three -Kyle, Kevin and Michael- ‘yes’ all boys, all young adults.  My husband, Jim is the most supportive, encouraging person I know. We have been married 27 years. We also have a brown lab, Coco.  I am blessed to have such a great, supportive, close family.  I service four schools in Livonia. This is my first year at Buchanan and ‘yes’, I am the new kid on the block. I truly love working at Buchanan. The staff have been nothing but kind, helpful, and warm.  

With only a few weeks of school left, we need to remember to practice caution in the parking lot. Please remember to come to a FULL stop at both crosswalks and be sure to drive slowly and keep an eye out for crossing families. Together, we can make sure that Buchanan is a safe place for students and adults! 


We are looking for volunteers for next year's events and activities!  In order for the PTA to offer events, we need your help! If you are able to help or be part of a planning committee, please clink on the sign up genius below. 

Did you know we LOVE our volunteers at Buchanan? We were so happy to recognize our volunteers with a breakfast this week and tell them how much we appreciate them. Without our volunteers, there are so many things that would not happen at our school. From reading buddies, to classroom helpers, to event organizers, our volunteers make school a fun place to learn. Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kindness Boomerang

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! This month, our Buchanan students are focusing on the theme of kindness. During our Celebrate Monday Assembly, we talked about how the real magic of kindness is how it spreads from person to person, community to community, and hopefully throughout the world. It also comes back to those who share it. Below is a video that we watched to show how kindness spreads and eventually returns. I hope you like it as much as the students did!


Thursday, May 24: 3rd Grade Students to Lansing
Friday, May 25: Volunteer Breakfast in the Library 8:15 AM
                          Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM

Monday, May 28: No School for Memorial Day
Wednesday, May 30: Kindergarten Round Up!
Thursday, May 31: Former Buchanan students graduating from Stevenson High School visiting Buchanan for a Clap Out 11:15 AM

Thursday, June 7: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
Friday, June 8: Field Day!

Mrs. Cory - Literacy Coach

Hi Buchanan Families! I am thrilled to join LPS this year as a literacy coach. My goal is to support teachers and students as we strive to increase academic achievement for all students.   Prior to coming to LPS, I worked for 25 years as a classroom teacher, Title I teacher, and literacy coach. I received my undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University and my Master of Arts in Reading from Oakland University.

I live in Livonia with my husband and two children.  Olivia is a junior and attends Stevenson and Alex is a freshman at Churchill.  When I’m not working in the schools, I love just hanging out with my family. Hiking and biking are two things we enjoy doing together as a family.  Of course, one of my favorite things to do is curl up with a great book!

Five words I would use to describe Buchanan are: Welcoming, positive, fun, caring, and dedicated!

  • We are selling spree vouchers!! Pre-sale vouchers are $16.00 and Buchanan PTA receives $1.50 for every voucher sold. Please make checks payable to Buchanan PTA. All orders are due by Friday, June 1. Vouchers will be sent home in backpacks. Flyers with information came home last week. Any questions, contact Meg O'Neil at

Did you know our 4th grade students visited Riley Upper Elementary this week? Our students had a chance to visit their future school, meet the staff, and have an orientation of the building. Livonia Public Schools really does a nice job of helping students transition from one level to another and its nice to know that our students will be taken care of and supported on their educational journey. Great things are happening at Buchanan!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

You Are Appreciatied

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! Next to the words, "I love you", some of the most inspiring words that can be said to another human being are "You are appreciated". People who are appreciated will ALWAYS do more than is required and go above and beyond. This week, our Buchanan community let the teachers and staff know how much they are appreciated. From breakfasts and lunches to gift bags and positive notes, we really were spoiled this week! I even got to show my appreciation for our incredible staff through a song I wrote. May is an extremely busy time of the year and can be stressful for educators. However, events like this help take away the stress and restore the joy. Thank you for helping make our Buchanan staff feel so special!


Thursday, May 17: 4th Grade Students to Riley

Friday, May 25th: Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast in the Library!
                              Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM
Monday, May 28th: No School for Memorial Day

Friday, June 8: Field Day!

Mrs. Wutka - School Psychologist 

I am the School Psychologist at Buchanan Elementary.  I have been part of LPS since the 1991-92 school year and came to Buchanan in September 2006. I work at several schools in the district every year.  I work to support educational teams and students to help determine the best ways that they learn so that together our Achievement teams can support successful educational growth & learning along with positive social & emotional development for school success.

I have been married for 31 years and have 2 grown daughters who both attended Livonia Public Schools. Over Spring Break this year, we all traveled to CA to explore San Francisco on bikes and Yosemite National Park -hiking mountain, enjoying amazing views and beautiful waterfalls. 
My husband owns his own business, My older daughter, graduated from OU (Dec 2015), recently married (Nov 2017) and is a Manager and Coach at Orangetheory Fitness.
My younger daughter, graduated from GVSU (Dec 2017) and is currently in Tanzania, Africa (studying, teaching & earning Graduate Credits in Elementary Education) 

My goal this year at Buchanan has been to work together with our returning staff along with the new principal, new staff and new students~to all become one and feel the positive and exciting Buchanan Bears team continue to develop as we all help and support Buchanan Elementary and learn together.

5 Words to Describe Buchanan: Encouraging, Supportive, Motivating, Positive, and Friendly

  • We hope all of you enjoyed our Spring Fling on Friday!! We had many activities, great food and awesome raffle baskets! Huge thank you to all our families who donated items to the baskets- they looked amazing!! Thank you to all our volunteers and Stevenson students who helped make the event successful!
  • Our final PTA meeting will be on Thursday, June 7 at 7:00 PM

Did you know that we are hosting a VOLUNTEER BREAKFAST on Friday, May 25? We are looking forward to the chance to say thank you to our wonderful volunteers. The event will be in our Library before school. For those volunteers in need of childcare, we will be opening Mrs. Stromberg's kindergarten classroom to assist. Thank you to our volunteers and Great Things are Happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

What do you Remember?

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! All of us have moments that we remember from school. It might be our graduation, sports we played, or our favorite teacher. I think it's also safe to say that most of us don't remember too much from our day to day classes (especially in elementary school). Instead, we remember the special moments that really made an impact on us. It might be a field trip or a special project that we worked on. Our second grade students recently had one of those special projects at Buchanan. We hosted our "Talking Zoo" program, where students dressed up and shared with a large audience, all that they had learned about their animal. This was the culmination of weeks worth of research and they really shined at the event! This is one of those special moments that I believe they will remember for many years to come. Our goal at Buchanan is to make many special memories and moments for our students to prepare them for all the wonderful things waiting for them in their lives! What do you remember from your school days? 


Friday, May 11: PTA Spring Fling 6:00-8:00 PM

Thursday, May 17: Fourth Grade Students to visit Riley in the afternoon
Thursday, May 24: Third Grade Students to Lansing
Friday, May 25: All Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM

Monday, May 28: No School for Memorial Day

Mrs. Trubak - School Aged Child Care (SACC) Instructor 

Hi Buchanan!  My name is Amy Trubak and I am the SACC instructor.  I have been working for Livonia's SACC program for 17 years now, 11 of those years  here at Buchanan.  I am a Livonia girl at heart . I was raised here and continue to live here with my family.  A fun fact about me, is that I went to Buchanan as a child!  It is very rewarding to come back here to work after all those years!  And it is just as wonderful 😁

I have have a wonderful husband, 2 children and 3 funny dogs.  My son attends the 6th grade At Riley, and my daughter is in the 3rd grade at  Hoover.  They are the loves of my life and keep me very busy.  In my free time, I love spending time with family , swimming, scrapbooking, and going to the movies.  But my favorite thing is taking vacations to Disney World, it is my favorite place!

A goal for this year:  My Goal for the SACC program this year is to create a fun, friendly, and safe place that kids are excited  to come to before and after school.  I enjoying getting to know each and every student and creating crafts and fun activities for all ages.

5 words to describe Buchanan: Caring, kind, positive, safe, fun!

  • Our Spring Fling is next Friday May 11, 6:00-8:00pm! We have a huge evening full of activities planned! We need your help in making this event successful and fun for all our families. Please click on the sign up link below if you are able to help.
  • Spring Fling reminders-
- Pre-sale wristbands and raffle tickets will go home Thursday May 10. Wristbands will need to be visible, we will check upon entry and at activities.
- Please write your name on the back of each of your raffle tickets, we do not call out numbers on the ticket. If there isn't a name on the back, we will pick another ticket for the raffle baskets. 
- Huge thank you to all our families that donated items to the raffle baskets!! They look amazing and we couldn't have done it without your support!

- We will have 2 food trucks on site, Drunken Rooster ( tacos with a middle eastern twist) and Hero or Villian (gourmet sandwiches). Drunken Rooster has a pork shwarma taco, beef brisket consuela taco, green chile chicken taco, loaded tatar fries ( seasoned fries). They were at last year's Spring Fling and everybody loved the food. Attached is Hero or Villian's menu. We hope you come hungry!

Did you know our fourth grade students had a special "Taste Fest of the Southeast" event? This is the second time the fourth grade students have put on an event like this to bring Social Studies to life! It was a great turnout for both students and families and nobody left hungry!!  Once again our teachers made an event that students will remember for years to come:) Great things are happening at Buchanan! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

One Day a Year

Hi folks, Jon Wennstrom here! You may have seen from the posts on social media that last week was Administrative Professionals Day and we celebrated our very own Mrs. Pepple. Even though we may shower her with posters and accolades one day each year, she does her outstanding work EVERY day of the year. She is always ready with a kind word, a sincere smile, or sound advice. She comforts our students, supports our staff, and keeps me organized. She also manages to do all these things while tending to every situation that arises in the office at the same time! Want to know how special Mrs. Pepple is? Just ask your child. I guarantee they will respond with a smile and probably a heartwarming story. Let's make sure that we spend more than just one day a year letting Mrs. Pepple (and all the special people in our lives) how much we appreciate them!


Monday, April 30: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM

Friday, May 11: PTA Spring Fling 6:00-8:00 PM
Friday, May 25: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM

Monday, May 28: No School for Memorial Day

This week our 3rd Grade Students will begin their M-STEP testing for English Language Arts. Classroom teachers will be sending home specific testing dates. Please be sure that students are well rested and in attendance each testing day. Our 4th Grade Students will begin testing the following week.  I'm confident our Buchanan students are going to do a great job this year!!

  • The deadline for turning in money for the Family Tigers Game is Monday, April 30! 
  • We are looking forward to our Spring Fling on Friday May 11, 6:00-8:00pm! Flyers went home last week with information. Payment for pre-sale wristbands and raffle tickets is due April 30th. Please include form and payment, cash or check made payable to Buchanan PTA. All pre-sale wristbands & raffle tickets will go home Thursday May 10. Adults & children under 2 years do not need wristbands. Wristbands & tickets will be sold at the door also but we encourage pre-sale in case of long lines. 
  • Spring Fling basket donations are due April 30th- themes are listed on the flyer and classes were assigned themes. We are also accepting cash donations if you are unable to shop. We will accept donations through Wednesday May 2, we need time to assemble all the baskets and shop if some baskets need more items. 
  • We will be selling spree vouchers this year- a flyer with more information will be coming home mid-May. 
  • Join us for our PTA meeting on Monday April 30, 7:00pm- we will be voting in our new board officers for next year.

Did you know that we had two events to showcase the great things our students do last week? On Tuesday, we had our "Youth Making a Difference" ceremony to recognize our Buchanan students who worked on service projects. On Thursday, we had our Art Fair, Science Displays, and Music Showcase (grades 1&2). They were wonderful events and a chance for our students to shine. Great things are happening at Buchanan!