Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

April 6, 2022

Dear Charger Families,

I want to retroactively thank all families and students for your support and participation in the Cherry Crest Walkathon last Friday.  Sadly, I was out of the building all week and missed the Walkathon when my father became quite ill and unexpectedly passed away on Friday.  As much as I wanted to be at our Walkathon, it was important and special for me to be with my mother and brother in my dad’s presence as he peacefully passed from this world.

Since I couldn’t see you or thank you all in person, here is a short video thank you and song I’m calling Cherry Crest Principal Grati”tune”.

Reminder – Donate ( by this Friday, April 8 to count towards fundraising prizes for students! If you donate via a corporate matching website, please e-mail your receipt to [email protected]. Remember many companies match volunteer hours too!

Thank you for taking a few moments to read the important dates and announcements in the parent newsletter below.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


8          Walkathon Donations Due
11-15    Spring Break: No School
22         Yearbook Pre-order due date
29         Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Please remember to regularly visit the Cherry Crest & PTSA websites for the most current information.

It is Time to Enroll New Students. New student enrollment (including incoming kindergarteners) for the 2022-2023 school year is now open at While you may enroll your students later, enrolling now helps the district ensure we have the correct staffing to support your students with the smallest classes possible.

If your student is already enrolled in a BSD school, you do not need to submit a new enrollment. They will automatically move up to the next grade.

BSD Preschool Registration is now open! Please click here to register! Contact [email protected] with questions.

  • Convenient locations in BSD elementary schools
  • Qualified and caring BSD educators
  • Tuition assistance for qualified families
  • Spanish and Mandarin curricula
  • Preschool – K curricula alignment for kindergarten readiness
  • A fun first school experience that promotes adaptive and social skills

*Prior to COVID, Cherry Crest Elementary provided on-site preschool classes.  Depending upon preschool enrollment and demand, the Cherry Crest site may open again for 2022-23, but we don’t know yet if Cherry Crest will be offered as one of the preschool sites.  Reach out to BSD Early Learning for more information.  [email protected]

Cherry Crest students fight landfill waste at lunch.  Sixteen Elementary Schools – in partnership with City of Bellevue- have switched from single use plastic utensils to durable, metal, reusable utensils.  The weight of the plastics reduced each year exceeds 8,000 pounds, more than one Orca whale! Thank you to BSD staff and students for making this program a huge success!  Check out the infographics on this Waste Reduction Poster.

Mrs. Stedman is expecting.  We are excited to announce that assistant principal Erin Stedman is pregnant.  A baby girl, set to arrive in early September 2022, will join siblings, Brooklyn (8) and Zane (3.5).   Mrs. Stedman plans to work through the summer and kick off the new school year with students until her due date in September. Once baby arrives, she will take leave through February 2023.  She looks forward to a different change of pace and caring for her own children without the stress of a busy work schedule…at least while that lasts!  We have yet to identify a substitute for Mrs. Stedman in her absence and will let families know as soon as we do.  In the meantime, please join Cherry Crest in congratulating Mrs. Stedman on her growing family.



Attendance Matters.  With spring break approaching, we’d like to remind you of the process of notifying the school for a pre-arranged absence. Each student in the Bellevue School District is given 5 Pre-Arranged absence days per year, which are excused.  Parents may use these, for example,  for extra-curricular sports, family events, private school interviews, or extended weekends or breaks.    For an absence of one or two days, we ask that you email [email protected] at least one school day in advance.

If a student will be absent for 3 or more days, parents are required to fill out a Pre-arranged Absence form.   You must submit the completed form at least 5 school days before the absence.   Download and fill out the Pre-arranged Absence form and email it to [email protected]  or have your student pick up a paper copy from the main office.  This form can also be found on the Cherry Crest Elementary School website under “Report an Absence

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Principal Chat on Friday 4/29 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA presidents Reetika Saxena & Jocelyn Tu.  All chats will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams and include information from the principal as well as ample time for questions and comments. Use this form to submit a question or topic for the next Principal Chat.
Chats are scheduled on the following Fridays from 8:30 – 9:30 am:  Apr 29, Jun 3

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Running Club at Lunch Recess. Thanks to a Go! Grant from AMPED awarded to Cherry Crest Elementary in 2020, this FREE club is offered every day at lunch recess (except Wednesdays) at the Cherry Crest track until Friday, June 17.  To participate students should bring their Walk-a-thon badge to lunch recess.  Scan your badge one time this week and be entered to win Otter Pops for your class!

Students will earn a running charm for completing 5K, 10K and Half Marathon milestones. Certificates will be presented by Principal Steere or Assistant Principal Stedman to students who complete a Marathon (26.2 miles)!  Volunteers are needed to setup the self-scanner, help kids as needed and put everything away at the end. Sign Up as often as you are able!  Questions? E-mail [email protected]

Counselor Comings and Goings at Cherry Crest.   With Mykela Fantone due to deliver a baby girl any day, I’m pleased to introduce Masha Oreshnikova as our interim school counselor for the remainder of the school year.   

Hi Families.  My name is Masha Oreshnikova (Ms. O to the students), and I am thrilled to have joined the Cherry Crest Comm(UNITY). I have been a Bellevue School District employee since spring 2018, first working as a Site Supervisor for the District’s Early Learning Program, later on supporting the district’s teachers and department leaders and in the role of a Test Proctor and a General School Assistant, and currently providing services to students, parents, school staff, and community as an Interim Elementary School Counselor. I’m currently a senior school counseling graduate student at Seattle Pacific University, and I am thankful (and excited) for this opportunity to act as your school counselor for the remainder of the school year.

I earned my degree in teaching English as a second language from Moscow State Pedagogical University (Russia), and after that, I earned my M.S. in mental health counseling from Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia, AR.). So, technically, the degree I am working on right now is my third one (yes, I call myself a nerd every now and again😊).

Being able to build loving and caring relationships has always been my priority, and I am thrilled to use this amazing  rapport I form with students to support them, guide them, help them navigate through this overwhelming world of school, social-emotional decisions, life choices, friendship tasks, interpersonal challenges, and everything else they might need counseling with. My mission as a professional school counselor, as I see it, is to design and implement an exceptional, equitable, and comprehensive school counseling program that will challenge each and every student to achieve their highest academic, social, and emotional potential possible.

I look forward to working with your students and getting to know them better.  You can reach me via email at [email protected]

Travelling to/from Cherry Crest Elementary by Car?  Read this. Student health and safety is a top priority at Cherry Crest and nowhere is this more important than in the parking lot and neighborhood surrounding our school.   Thank you for reviewing and following the these safety protocols for arrival/departure.

The Bellevue Virtual Academy (BVA) is officially our district’s 30th school! Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, BVA will be renamed and offered as a permanent online learning option for BSD students in grades kindergarten through 12. It will be a choice school, and students will need to apply to join the program. Families may apply to the program for the 2022-2023 school year by completing this form. Applications are due back by the end of the day Sunday, April 10, 2022. Once accepted, students will be able to stay through graduation and receive a diploma from the new school.


Bellevue Schools Foundation’s Spring for Schools.   Join us in person at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, on May 13, 2022, or from the comfort of your home for a premiere event that’s unlike any of the 31 events of years past. We are keeping your experience and health top of mind as we prepare to celebrate our stars—students and educators in all 29 public schools in Bellevue. Throughout this school year, over $800,000 in distributions from the Foundation directly support the academic, artistic, social, and emotional development of almost 20,000 students. Spring for Schools is a fundraiser to ensure critical programming provided by BSF continues; donations will be leveraged to transform public education in our community.

While registration for Spring for Schools is free, it is our hope that attendees celebrate our students, educators, and mission by making a donation at this time here.

Cherry Crest Elementary prepares all students to become life-long learners through inquiry, collaboration, and discovery.  Each student will feel a sense of belonging in our Comm(UNITY) while learning social-emotional and academic skills to be successful in an ever-changing and diverse society. 

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.