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Principal Brewster says “Welcome back, Mathews!”

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

Happy Back to School! The staff and I are eagerly awaiting August 20th, when our students fill the hallways and classrooms on the first day of school; we can’t wait to see our returning kids and to warmly greet our new students! At Mathews, we are committed to welcoming all of our students and families into our beautifully diverse community and creating a safe space for each student to learn and grow.

This year, we will frame our work around the ancient art of weaving, which has roots in many cultures. Our goal is to weave together academic learning (including Bridges, our new math program), social emotional learning, Making, design thinking, diversity and creativity into the fabric of our vibrant learning community. All of us who enter the building have unique strengths, skills, interests, and experiences. This is a beautiful thing. When we weave these individual strands together, the result is powerful. Weaving allows us to combine unique pieces together in an intricate pattern while never losing sight of the individual fibers that represent who we are and what our students are learning. I am so looking forward to watching this fabric unfold throughout the year and to seeing how each person contributes to the beauty of a year full of learning and growth.

We will continue to build our community with our 3rd annual school-wide read aloud, assemblies, special academic days like the Most Magnificent Day of STEAM and special events like Octoberama, Fine Arts Night, and International Festival, to name just a few. This year, I am thrilled to announce a new way for us to build connections between grade level classes and across grade level teams. As I met with various students last year to ask them what we could do to make Mathews an even more amazing place to learn, a recurring theme came to light. Our students loved it when we planned ways for them to learn with others across the school. Out of these discussions, our new House System was born! Without giving too much away, (we want our kids to hear about it first) we will have three amazing houses and every student and staff member will be a part of one. I am enthusiastically looking forward to the big reveal when the students return.

Every year, we are joined not just by new families, but by new staff members as well. I love the energy these talented folks bring to the campus. Please help me in cheering on the following staff who are joining our school or moving to a new position: Max Ferguson is our new Assistant Principal and he’s already hit the ground running! Chad Rackowitz and Amy Skoczen have joined our 2nd grade team. Cindy Lopez, an experienced educator, will be taking over 3rd grade math. Melanie Zabludowski made the jump to 4th grade Reading and Health and Kirstie Osten will now be teaching Writing and Social Studies. Faye Holland is our new 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher and Sydney De la Garza is teaching 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. We round things off with Jane Reichle who will be working with us as a teaching assistant. Together with the rest of the staff, we have a strong and dedicated team to serve our students.

New and Important! This year the tardy bell rings at 7:40 am so set your alarms five minutes earlier. Here’s to a fantastic year celebrating the strength and beauty we’ll create when we weave our unique stands together.

All the best,

Grace Martino-Brewster

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30 X 30: $30k for Mathews in 30 days!

Mathews 30X30 Annual Fund!!

Designed to be a simple way for families to support Mathews quickly and directly, our Mathews Annual Fund is what helps pay for important things that the school district budget does not cover!

  • Extra supplies for maker projects ranging from iPads to play-doh
  • Emergency support for Mathews families in need
  • Special training sessions for our teachers
  • Technology Teacher Salary

Participation is easy. Simply complete and return the Annual Fund Donation Form below with your cash contribution or check made payable to Mathews Elementary PTA.  Or, you can donate online using the link below.

Donate Online

Please include in the notes: your family’s name, and your child (or children’s) name(s) and classroom(s).

Click here to donate via the Mathews Elementary secure server 

Donate Via Mail

Please drop off at the school office or send payment to:

Mathews Elementary
906 West Lynn Street
Austin, TX 78703

2018 Annual Fund Donation Form (PDF)


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Principal Brewster says “Welcome back, Mathews!”

August 2017

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

Welcome back to school! The staff and I are so excited to begin the next century of teaching and learning at Mathews. Here, all students and families are welcomed and supported. It is our continued goal to ensure that our beautifully diverse community is celebrated and that school is a safe and nurturing place for all. The staff and I have been busy preparing for the year, and we are so looking forward to having our students stream through the hallways and fill the classrooms with their smiles and enthusiasm.

This year, the theme for our work is centered around Mathews Superheroes. The staff and I are strengthening our skills so we can better help our students discover and grow their own super powers. We are committed to providing a rich and relevant education for our students and will continue to build on our project based learning and opportunities to Make, experiment, and travel outside our walls on field trips and build community through assemblies. Our community will read, explore and discover together all year. We’ll weave in the six core skills that have always been a part of what we do and are now embraced by all of Austin ISD: Collaboration, Communication, Connection, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Proficiency. We’ll also continue to incorporate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in all we do in order to help our students regulate emotions, solve problems, be culturally proficient, and build strong relationships. Our focus with SEL this year is the culturally proficiency lens. As a staff, we are diving into the work of Zaretta Hammond, studying her book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, which pulls in neuroscience research to help us reach all of our students. We’re fortunate to be able to use materials created for us by Dr. Hammond for this study. I’m truly excited about this work and the application of it in our classrooms.

As with every year, there are new and talented people joining the Mathews team. Please help me in welcoming everyone to our community. Sandra Velazquez is our new librarian. Erica Lish, Chau Tran, and Amy Skoczen have come on board to teach first grade when Sharon Briceno and Suzie Plyler moved to second grade. Kelly Bach joined our third grade team when Claudia Neal moved to preK. Ashika Ganguly is our new fifth grade science and math teacher, taking over for Diana McGuire who is now on the third grade team. Jud Thomas is now teaching math and science in sixth grade, Austin Leach will be our new sixth grade orchestra teacher, and Glen Weideman, who took over last spring, is now officially our sixth grade band teacher.

We are all eagerly looking forward to school on Monday morning. Here’s to an amazing year with a super community!

All the best,
Grace Martino-Brewster

Welcome Back to School – 2017-2018 (PDF)

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Mathews is Turning 100!!


*Parking will be difficult, please plan to walk, bike, carpool or rideshare to this can’t-miss event!

All are welcome to celebrate our Downtown, One of a Kind, Award Winning, Nationally Recognized, International PUBLIC Elementary School.

Please tell your friends & alumni to join us for CAKE! And also a whimsical and fun “History of Mathews” presentation by current Mathews Elementary students. No “stuffy” speeches allowed!

WHEN: Friday, September 23  @ 9am

WHERE: Mathews Elementary School Blacktop

Mathews former teachers and staff will have a reunion on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Threadgill’s South. Contacts for this event are Susan Bell and Amy Kincaid

Plans for a big celebration on September 23rd are well underway!

Here’s a sneak peek:



8 – 9 AM


9 – 10 AM

Program and Pageant of student performers including a historic plaque presentation

10 AM

Cupcakes for all students, then students return to classrooms

10 – 11 AM

Reception in library for grown-ups with a big birthday cake

11 – 12 PM

Alumni visit classrooms, students interview them

11- 12 PM

School tours


  •  The program and pageant lasts 45-50 minutes, including the speaking, singing, and dancing. It will be performed on the shaded area behind Mathews. 
  •  Current students and alumni, and current and former staff of Mathews will receive a small keepsake.
  • There will be a photo booth and video booth for recording memories that may be included in a book about the history of Mathews. The book will be ready by Dec. 2016. Alumni are encouraged to contact Mary Baughman before the celebration if they have photos or other items of interest for the book. Photos will be copied and returned to the owner.
  • Mathews students, parents and teachers are preparing a time capsule. The neighborhood community is invited to participate. The time capsule will be sealed at a date to be determined, after the Sept. 23rd 100th birthday celebration. 

For more information about this event, please contact Ted Barnhill: or Mary Baughman