Story of the Woodlin Wizard Weather Vane

By Phil Termini

Skip back to end of the school year 2002. What happened to the Woodlin Wizards weather vane on the cupola atop our elementary school? It seems to have vanished! Bummer, “the pump don’t work cuz the vandals took the handle.”

My and my wife Patricia’s son Tony was finishing his last year there, and our two daughters attended there as well. So I got the notion to try to do something as a tribute for the school and the wonderful principal, Emily Kesser, like making a new weather vane to replace the one taken by the vandals. Having been around the block a few times in my youth, I had an idea. Signs went up around the area offering a no-questions-asked $100 cash reward for the weather vane’s return or its simply being put in our yard. Wishful thinking. No takers. These kids today don’t need any money. Too affluent a neighborhood, I suppose.

I learned that the Woodlin PTA was instrumental in getting the first Wizard weather vane made by a local metal artist, David Hubbard. I visited David and lo and behold, he still had the original full-size drawing of our Wizard. Piece of cake!! I got ahold of some stainless steel sheet metal and started cutting and welding. Metalwork is one of my hobbies—go-carts and minibikes and such. When I installed this new Wizard on top of the school—completely ignoring what the school maintenance staff said to me about going up on the roof (it’s my nature)—where it now lives, I got advice from metalworkers on how to install it in such a way as to make it just about impossible to steal again. One-way screws and a detent in the shaft did the security trick. I may have to go back up there to remove it for the rebuild if the contractors and construction personnel can’t handle it. What a fine old Wizard we have. I hope the new school has a spot planned for it.

Beacon Editor’s note: Woodlin Elementary School’s PTA President reports that the school’s cupola (including the weather vane) is to be incorporated into a “learning lawn” that will face Luzerne Ave.

Support Woodlin ES: Snider’s Gift Card Match and 2021 Receipts

New! Snider’s Gift Card Match

For the month of December, Snider’s is running a gift card special “Buy One, Get One, Support One” where you can purchase a $100(+) gift card, get a free $10 gift card, PLUS Snider’s will match and donate all $10 gift cards to the school of your choice, including Woodlin Elementary School. This is a new program they are starting that, if successful, will continue every year as a way to support local schools and their programs. So get your holiday shopping done at Snider’s and gift it forward to Woodlin!

Snider’s Receipts from 2021

The Woodlin PTA is now collecting Snider’s Receipts from 2021! Did you know for every receipt we collect, Snider’s donates 1% back to Woodlin? We are now collecting all Snider’s receipts dated from 2021 – please drop them off at 1914 Stratton Road (on the corner with 2nd Ave), or email woodlinPTA.fundraising at gmail dot com to arrange a pick up.

Help us out and collect receipts from your friends and neighbors!
**All receipts from 2021 must be submitted by February 4th, 2022.**

Presentation on Historic Homes in Lyttonsville and North Woodside

A historic home in North Woodside

Graduate students in the University of Maryland’s Historic Preservation program have spent the last semester researching the history of eleven houses in Lyttonsville and North Woodside (and one in Woodside).

You are cordially invited to attend the capstone presentation of this historic house and local community research project, which will take place on Wednesday, December 15th at 7 pm, at Woodlin Elementary School. The students will give brief presentations on the histories of each of the twelve houses in the larger context of the history of these communities, with an emphasis on the most useful historic resources for conducting house histories. This event is sponsored by the Talbot Avenue Bridge Committee.*

Location information:
Woodlin Elementary School (cafeteria/multi-purpose room)            
2101 Luzerne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910            
Note: Use entrance at left side of building (next to school parking lot)

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Masks will be required, as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the event).

Questions?  Contact the Talbot Avenue Bridge Committee

* This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.

2021 North Woodside Graduation Parade

The 2020 North Woodside Graduation Parade proceeds up Hanover St. Photo by Rebecca Doran

The 2021 North Woodside Graduation parade took place on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Kids graduating or being promoted – all levels – participated, most traveling in decorated cars, with two riding bicycles. The parade started at Woodlin and ended at the parking lot across from Sniders (see parade route below).

Thanks to Heather Lair for organizing!

Took any good photos of the parade? Please email them to NWCA Communications Coordinator.

Well-Attended Annual Meeting Held At Woodlin

The North Woodside Montgomery Hills Citizens Association convened its annual meeting at Woodlin Elementary School on Wednesday, May 17.

One of the main orders of business was electing association officers. By voice vote, the following roles were approved: Geoff Gerhardt, president (left); David Cox, vice president; Anne Kennedy, secretary; Jim Mannion, treasurer; and Scott Hensley, editor of The Beacon. Geoff Gerhardt gave an update on the activities of the association and led a discussion about the various construction projects and traffic issues in the neighborhood, including the closure of the Talbot Avenue bridge. (See page 1 for more information.) Jim Mannion reviewed the association’s finances and encouraged people to pay their annual dues.

Our guest speaker was Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Service Center. Rodriguez is an enthusiastic advocate for our neighborhood and downtown Silver Spring. He talked about how increasing residential density downtown is leading to more foot traffic and a livelier feel, day and night. He acknowledged that the construction that is transforming downtown can also make it difficult at times to navigate the streets by car and to find places to park.

The association has inquired about the possibility of getting a Capital Bikeshare station located in the county owned parking lot across Seminary Road from Snider’s Super Foods. Rodriguez was supportive of the idea. After the meeting he suggested in an email to a county official that a bikeshare station shouldn’t be contingent on a revised sector plan for the Montgomery Hills business district along Georgia Avenue.

With Rodriguez’s encouragement, the association is exploring the idea of holding a food truck fair in the parking lot. Local merchants would also be encouraged to participate. The association still needs to find out if the idea is feasible.

Woodlin Welcomes New Principal

North Woodside’s neighborhood school, Woodlin Elementary, welcomed Craig O. Jackson as its new principal this fall.

Mr. Jackson has worked in education for over 20 years. Most recently, he was principal intern at Cannon Road Elementary School in Silver Spring. He also served as assistant principal at Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary School, assistant school administrator at Sligo Middle School, technology teacher at John F. Kennedy High School and as a health and physical education teacher in the DC Public Schools system.

Though he has worked in both middle and high schools, Mr. Jackson says he was drawn to elementary school administration because,  “You can have that first crack at getting kids to love school.” He is focused on meeting each child where he or she is, he says, and doing what is needed to move that child forward. Since so many of Woodlin’ s children are beyond school ready when they enter kindergarten, Mr. Jackson will offer more enrichment and acceleration opportunities for kids who need more challenges.

The members of the Woodlin interview panel selected Mr. Jackson as principal, in part, because they were impressed with his track record of building relationships and collaborating with key stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers and community members. For example, during his tenure at Cannon Road, Mr. Jackson created a community partnership with senior citizens in the neighborhood, who became regular volunteers in the school’s classrooms.

Mr. Jackson is getting to know Woodlin’s Parent Teacher Association and says he is impressed. He is working closely with PTA leadership to determine where the administration and parent leaders can best focus their advocacy and school improvement efforts. Above all, he says it is important to him that the administration and the PTA stay in close communication and send unified messages.

Mr. Jackson and his wife have children ages 16, 14 and 2. They live just over the border in Washington, D.C. He grew up as a student in Montgomery County schools.

Snider’s, Our Neighborhood Grocery Store

By Lisa Sanders

Save your Snider’s receipts! Find out why below.

Dave Snider has been in the grocery business for three-quarters of a century. The son of Lillian and Louis Snider, founders of the eponymously named grocery store located at Seminary Road and Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Dave and his brother Jerry began helping with the family business while in elementary school, after school and weekends. His dad ran the meat department and his mother worked cashier, says Dave, who turns 83 this year, while he and his brother “…did anything, everything. We unpacked boxes, bagged groceries, stocked items. When we got older, we drove trucks and delivered groceries – the sort of thing that Peapod does today. There was no set job; we just worked.”  

After school-and-weekend work morphed into their lifetime vocations. “Our family is not immune to work,” says Dave, noting that Jerry, who passed away four years ago at 80 years of age, went to the store his very last day.  Because Snider’s Super Foods is independently owned, located in the heart of Silver Spring, it has been very closely connected to the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Save Your Snider’s Receipts

Jerry created the Snider’s Receipt Donation Program as a way to generate business and to give back to the community, explains Dave. His three children attended Montgomery County Schools, including the former Montgomery Hills Junior High (now the Greater Washington Area Torah School), just up the street from Snider’s. The program has grown by word of mouth over the years to include 25 schools. But our neighborhood school, Woodlin Elementary, is the largest participant. This year Woodlin received $2,804 from Snider’s – a significant donation that will help pay for such PTA-sponsored efforts as buses for after-school clubs. “It was a way to say thank you to our customers, to give back to our community,” says Dave, a longtime North Woodside resident until a few years ago.

More Men Shopping

Chatting with Dave offers a  peek into our community’s changing tastes and cultural habits. “We never saw men  shopping, back then,” he says of his early days as a grocer. “Now men and women  both are in the store. We’ve always been known for the quality of our meat; we buy nothing but USDA choice [a cut that’s like prime, but with less fat]. Still, in our store, as in most, the meat counter is about half the size of what it once was. Back then, people built their meals around meat. In contrast, the dairy department is larger today.” That’s because the variety of milk, yogurt, and cheese has exploded. Other favorites?  “You can’t keep things on the shelf in pasta and beans,” says Dave. Snider’s carries around 20 different brands of sauces today. Wine, similarly, occupies much more shelf space – in 1946, when Snider’s got its beer and wine license, the store carried only six different types, and pints were big sellers. Beer choices were either locally made brands (Senate, from D.C., and National Bohemian, from Baltimore) or nationals like Pabst, Schlitz, and Budweiser.  

“Still changing,” says Dave, of customers’ tastes and the products appearing on store shelves. While Snider’s can be more flexible than many big companies in sourcing specific items if enough people request them, he notes, “even for us, there are some we can’t afford to carry.”  And some costs, he says, cannot be passed on to consumers. Consider a jar of Hellman’s Mayonnaise. “People have an aversion to paying more than $5.00 for it, even if because of inflation it costs us more than that.” Snider’s sells it for $4.95. 

Good Business for Benefits Woodlin

“It’s a good business,” says Dave, “but it’s a hard one. It’s been good to me and to my family.” It’s also been good to Woodlin Elementary. 

Next time you are shopping, please say thank you to Dave and many Snider’s employees (including his longtime bookkeeper, Liz) who help to keep the receipt program going. 

Donate your Snider’s receipts! List of neighbors collecting them