Kids! Enter The Zamboree Poster Contest

It’s now October and that means our kids’ favorite event of the year is coming up. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28th for the Zilker Zamboree!

Any budding artists in your house? Have your kids enter the Zamboree poster contest! Winners will get a free pass for this fun event as well as have their poster showcased across the school.  Here are the details:

  • pick up an entry form at the front office
  • turn the final poster design into your teacher or the office
  • we will choose 3 designs to be featured as flyers around campus
  • winners will receive a free pass to the event
  • deadline is Wednesday, October 11

Fall Campus Beautification and Garden Cleanup Day

Come out and help us beautify! We have lots to do after the summer vacation:
  • Remove materials and other trash from around campus, left over from summer construction and past projects
  • Prep Jabo’s Garden for fall plantings – weed, mow, and tidy
  • Clean up the library garden – weed and remove dead and overgrown plants
  • Weed and prep classroom garden boxes
More hands make for faster/lighter the work! And it’s a great chance to visit with your friends while helping our campus!
When: Sat, Oct 14 from 9a-12p
Where: Zilker Elementary, meet at Jabo’s Garden (behind the left wing of the main school building)
Bring: Garden tools, gloves, water bottle

Dyslexia Parent Group; Upcoming Dyslexia Conference

Did you know that Zilker Elementary has a Dyslexia Parent group?

We do and our mission is to connect with parents and caregivers of children with dyslexia as well as community members who want to support our effort to ensure our kids have the tools and resources they need to be successful in school and beyond. We meet every few months to share ideas and best practices, and periodically invite guest speakers and experts in the field of dyslexia and education. Click here to join our group and see the attached flyer to learn more about dyslexia:

Upcoming Zilker Parent Dyslexia Group Meetings:

  • Thursday, November 2nd at 7:50 am in room 403
  • Thursday, December 7th at 7:50 am in room 403

Register for the FREE Central Texas Dyslexia Conference:

Thursday, October 19th, 7:45 to 3:30

AISD Performing Arts Center

1925 East 51st Street

Austin, TX 78723


This year’s theme “Unlocking the Dyslexic Advantage”

Learn more at

Dyslexia Flyer

Support the Zilker Fund: Full STEAM Ahead!

What’s better than selling cookies and magazines to support your school?  The Zilker Fund!  This no hassle fundraiser allows you to make a gift that is right for you.  Your donation goes directly to your child(ren)’s school and benefits all students.  Consider a monthly donation or a one-time gift to give our kids the tools they need to be 21st century learners and the pioneers of tomorrow.  Our kids are worth it!  So skip the gimmicks and give because TOGETHER, we make Zilker a GREAT place for OUR kids.


Monarchs Are Coming To Zilker!

Our school has received a grant from the National Wildlife Federation, and we are so excited to announce that we will be building a monarch garden! This will take place in the grassy area between the kindergarten and 5th grade hallways. In order to ensure the success of this habitat, we need your help! At this time, we are in need of the following items:

  • large, broken-down cardboard
  • gardening soil
  • pebble rock
  • water hoses
  • 4 inch river rock
  • 2 foot by 4 foot large stone boulders
  • gardening tools/watering cans

If you are able to donate any of these items, please bring them in as soon as possible to Miss Phillips’ room 401! (If they are large, we can find a spot in the garden to store them.)

Please join us Saturday, October 14 from 8:00am- 11:00am, when we will be breaking ground and prepping our habitat site! We are in the beginning stages of this amazing project, and as we get farther in our planning, more information will be available. Stayed tuned for updates! If you have any questions, feel free to contact or Thank you for the support!

Zilker is a great place for butterflies!–

Zamboree Poster Contest

Zilker Kids’ favorite event of the year is coming up!  Mark your calendars for our annual Zamboree on Saturday, Oct. 28th!  We are holding a poster contest this year, so if your kids like art/drawing (and who doesn’t), make sure they enter!  Here are the details:

  • Pick up an entry form in the office
  • turn in to your teacher or the office
  • we will choose 3 designs to be featured as flyers around campus
  • deadline is Wednesday, 10/11


News From Principal Hill

Panther Parents,

Happy Monday! It is difficult to believe that in just one week, we will be welcoming October (and, hopefully some cooler weather as well). With the fall semester well underway, we wanted to be sure and let you know about a few things happening at Zilker Elementary.

District Leveling and Staffing Updates
Each year the district goes through a leveling process where staffing changes are made at campuses that are overstaffed and those that are understaffed. This year at Zilker, our first grade classes exceed the maximum number of students in each classroom that is allowed by Texas law. As a result, we were able to add an additional teacher to this grade level.

Please join me in welcoming our new first grade teacher, Ms. Eileen Vasquez. Ms. Vasquez previously taught second grade at Sanchez Elementary, and before that she was a first grade teacher in Round Rock ISD for four years. We are happy to have her join our wonderful Zilker community.

We have also learned through the leveling process that our special area allocations have increased. As a result, we will have our scheduled traveling special areas teacher at Zilker all day. For example, on A-days, our traveling music teacher will be at Zilker all day, instead of just the first three periods of the day. The three teachers will continue with the regular rotation of music, art, and PE. This new schedule will begin Thursday, September 28th.

We realize many of you have not had the opportunity to meet our traveling teachers. We hope with the additional time on our campus, we will have more opportunities to introduce these amazing teachers to our Zilker families. Until then, we have put together a brief written introduction from each of our traveling special areas teachers.

Michael Stephenson- Physical Education Teacher
My name is Michael Stephenson. This is my second year of teaching elementary school PE but my 7th year total. I am originally from Chicago where I taught middle school and high school. I have coached almost every sport at multiple levels. My wife and I moved down here a little over a year ago for her to pursue her doctorate at University of Texas. I have two daughters that are 3 years old and 3 months old. I love all sports but basketball and football are my favorite. I love being a physical education teacher and getting to play every day!

Laura Wohlfort – Music Teacher
My name is Ms. Wohlfort, and I’m extremely excited to be teaching at Zilker Elementary this year! Here is a little information about myself: I was born and raised in Houston, TX, and I attended Baylor University where I majored in choral music education. I’ve played piano since I was six years old, and I was a percussionist in middle school as well as on drumline in high school. Music has always been a large part of my life. This is my 3rd year as a teacher and my 2nd year in AISD. My main elementary campus is Brooke, but this year I’m traveling to Zilker as well as Travis Heights.

In my free time I enjoy wakeboarding, wake surfing, traveling, making friends, and making music! I look forward to teaching your children!

John Ousley- Art Teacher
I have been teaching students in Austin ISD elementary schools for over 12 years now. I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2005 with a degree in Art Education. I started teaching because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. I teach Art and enjoy sharing the knowledge I have learned with young students.

I have an art background in drawing, painting, filmmaking, graphic design, ceramics, and print making. The medium of art I enjoy working with most is painting. I have worked to organize fundraiser and art shows for AISD. I was selected 2016-2017 AISD campus “Teacher of the Year” at Brooke Elementary. In addition I work for Gigtown a music app company located in San Diego. I run sound, DJ, and book local Austin musicians for events as my side job. I work with my side employers’ to help with fundraising and events here in Austin. On what free time I have I spend with my wife and 5 year old son. I enjoy outdoor actives here in Austin.

I look forward to working here at Zilker Elementary this year as a part time Art teacher. My door is always open if you have any questions. I am honored to work with the children of this community. I have been a Texan all my life and am glad to be here in Austin Texas. Go Longhorns!

Thank You Garden Helpers
Thank you to all the parents who came out to Zilker on Friday to help weed and tidy up Jabo’s garden in preparation for our garden lessons beginning in October. We are looking forward not only to a bountiful harvest, but also to the many ways our students benefit from having a school garden.

Did you know that research has shown that students experience increased academic achievement when a school garden is integrated into their school curriculum? Studies also show that:
Gardening during childhood exposes children to healthy food, moderate exercise, and positive social interactions and can often lead to a lifetime of gardening.

The school garden serves as a “safe place” for students. Studies show that large numbers of students report “that they feel ‘calm,’ ‘safe,’ ‘happy,’ and ‘relaxed’ in the school garden.

Students involved with school gardens generally take pleasure in learning and show positive attitudes towards education
We know it takes a lot of hard work and effort to bring this experience to our students, and we are grateful for all of the support.

Zilker Fund
The Zilker Fund is a once a year “no hassle fund raiser” by the Zilker PTA. The funds raised through this year’s Zilker Fund will support our initiative to provide more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning opportunities for our Zilker Panthers.

Please consider a simple monthly sustaining gift or a one-time donation to ensure our Zilker students have access to innovative educational experiences and current technology and resources. Your contribution will make a lasting impact on all of our students at Zilker.


–  from Alicia Hill, Principal


Support the Zilker Fund: Full STEAM Ahead!

Thank you for helping making Zilker a GREAT place for our kids.  Together we continue to support our school through donations that provide access to innovative programs.  STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) is one way we can help bring new initiatives to Zilker so our students stay on the cutting edge of education.

WHY GIVE?  AISD sends billions of dollars away to support other TX schools, leaving us with little for our own schools. Without legislative reform, it’s up to US to give our school the things it needs most.  With your support, we can go above and beyond to provide Zilker students with the tools they need to thrive and grow.  We want our kids to become the visionaries of tomorrow.  Support them through the Zilker Fund!

Full STEAM Ahead!



Mark your calendars for ZFiesta!

Please bring lawn chairs, blankets and money to buy food and goodies!  It is going to be a fun event!!

A Few Things From Principal Hill

Hello Zilker Elementary Families,

It has been a great first month in Zilkerland!  In just these few weeks, we have had so much going on.  Our Panthers have been busy identifying sensory language in stories, crafting personal narratives, celebrating diversity, becoming physically fit, comparing fractions, tie-dying class shirts, learning about place value, creating beautiful art and music, chasing runaway gingerbread men, and so much more!  We are well on our way to a great school year.

It cannot go without mention that the great work we do here at Zilker would not be possible without the support of our parents and school community.  We want to thank you for all that you do to support our teachers, students, and our school.  We know that together, we will continue to keep Zilker…a GREAT place for kids.

Personally, it has been a pleasure to visit with many of you these past several weeks, whether at morning drop-off, lunchtime, and other times during the ordinary school day or at Parent Principal Coffee and Back to School Night. I welcome the opportunity to become better acquainted should you ever have questions or just want to chat.  Please know that my door is always open. 

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

We realize morning time drop-off can get crowded and backed-up right around bell time. Arriving even a few minutes earlier can make a big difference if you are in a hurry in the mornings. For the safety of our students, please do not drive into the teacher parking lot by the library to drop-off your students in the morning or pick-up in the afternoon. Our parking lots are for staff/faculty and handicap parking only.  We do not have enough parking for all of our staff so please do not, even briefly, park in a staff spot.  Thank you!  

Biking to School

If you children are riding their bikes to school, please remind them to wear their bicycle helmets. Remember, helmets must fit well and should be fastened securely. A well-fitted helmet does not move around on the head or slide down over the wearer’s eyes when pushed or pulled. Thank you for help in encouraging safe biking practices.

Neighborhood Parking

Due to limited parking space, we know many families must park on the street when they are dropping-off or picking-up their students.  Please keep our neighbors in mind if you are parking around Zilker.  Be careful not to block driveways when you are parking and also when you are in line to drop-off or pick-up.  Thank you for your consideration towards our neighbors.

Thank you all for a great start to our school year!

Alicia Hill