When Kelly Lenzkes’ twins, Kaitlin and Beckley, started kindergarten last year she knew adjusting to school would be a big transition for them. What Kelly was surprised to learn was how much of a learning experience it would be for her.

After about a month at the school, Kelly felt like she and the kids were settled. She knew the routine, and was getting to know more about the school. That’s when she started hearing everyone talk about a Turkey Trot.

Kelly, who grew up in South Africa and moved to the United States in 1998, was baffled. What is this Turkey Trot, she wondered, and what does it have to do with PBE?

“I had to research it!” Kelly said, laughing.

Once she got up to speed on the Turkey Trot, which is a jog-a-thon held in November, Kelly found out the prize for the top Turkey Trot fundraisers was a March Madness party. That prompted another question: what is March Madness?

Not everyone who comes to PBE is confused about the meaning of a Turkey Trot, but new parents still have a lot to learn.

Kelly understands new PBE parents have a lot of questions, and as Room Parent Coordinator she is dedicated to helping newcomers understand the ins and outs of the school.


“I had a ton of questions about various events and activities,” Kelly said about her first few weeks at school.

“I was Mrs. Galvin’s room parent, and I figured there were other parents who felt the same way… so I’d track down information from key players and then share with them. Having gone through a whole school year, now I feel like I finally have the inside scoop on how things work at PBE,” she said.

Being involved at the school allowed Kelly and her husband to forge many new friendships.

“A lot of my friendships at PBE have been built simply by spending time with other parents on campus at various volunteering opportunities, either in class or for the school in general,” Kelly said. She’s included a few tips for new parents below, but her number one suggestion is to get involved in whatever way is possible for you.

“I encourage every parent to make a concerted effort to participate in social events within the PBE community,” she said.

For more information about how to get involved, visit https://www.sandiegounified.org/schools/pacific-beach or send an email to pacificbeachelementary@gmail.com.


  1. Get to know the various fundraisers of the year, so you can plan your contributions and involvement. These are some of the bigger fundraisers, but there are events going on all year that need donations and volunteer help. Visit the school calendar (https://www.sandiegounified.org/schools/calendar/Pacific%20Beach/2016-10) for a complete list.
  • Contribution Drive – September
    Usually tied to Penguin Pride. PBE families contribute to FOPBE for ongoing funding of our programs.
  • Turkey Trot – November
    A jog-a-thon. Students are sponsored for running laps around a course for 30 minutes and they can win prizes based on meeting certain sponsorship milestones. “March Madness” is one of the big prizes. It’s a big party in March for the kids with a DJ, food, and more.
  • Annual Auction Event – April
    The big event for the adults. Food, drinks, music, class artwork to bid on, and more. There is also an online auction that precedes the event, which includes items and experiences available to bid on online
  1. Interact with PBE staff and FOPBE members at various meetings. You learn a lot just by attending. Here are some of the informational events:
  • New student orientation
  • Principal chats
  • Back to School Night
  • FOPBE meetings (monthly, childcare provided)
  1. Ask other parents
  • After school on the playground
  • At school events
  • During classroom volunteering