Congratulations to Kerys P. of Leota Middle School, whose video production entry won an Award of Merit in the National PTA Reflections arts competition.
Kerys, an 8th grader, crafted a stop-motion film entitled Be Yourself. She was among the 200 national winners who were honored for their creative interpretations of the theme Show Your Voice, in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts as well as a special artist division.
View the list of all National PTA Reflections 2022-2023 winners.
View Northshore Council PTSA's 2022-2023 Reflections Art Showcase.
Free and Open to All Community Members.
Questions? Contact Council's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Chair, Cherry Holmes at email@example.com.
Northshore Council PTSA, as part of its advocacy efforts, Northshore Council PTSA holds candidate forums ahead of upcoming elections, including school board elections. This year, we are beginning our advocacy work earlier by providing information about the role of school board directors to the community so that potential candidates can be informed ahead of filing deadlines.
What is a school board?
Each public school district is governed by a board of citizens who are elected to serve as school board directors. School board directors work together to oversee the school district. As a board, their primary responsibilities are:
How do you run for school board?
The WA Secretary of State’s website provides guidance and resources to guide you through the process of determining what positions are up for election, whether you are eligible to run for office, and how to navigate the process.
In Northshore, we have 5 school board directors, each serving a term of four years. Board members represent the district at large although they must reside in specific geographical areas of the district. Check out this map to see which director district area you live in.
In November 2021, voters elected School Board Directors for seats 1, 4, and 5 with terms ending in 2025. This November, School Board Directors seats 2 and 3 will be up for election for terms ending in 2027.
For election and candidate filing information, check out these additional resources:
What is it like to be a school board director in Northshore?
While there is a lot of general information available on the role of school board directors, we wanted to hear from our current school board. Here are some of the questions we asked them and how they answered. Note: The answers below have been summarized and anonymized from the current board’s responses to a poll and is not meant to promote any specific candidate. Northshore Council PTSA’s goal is to provide the community with general information about the role of a school board director.
Highlight over each question and click to expand to read the answers.
Question: On average, how many hours per week do you spend on school board business?
Answers: It depends on the week, but in general, between 10-20 hours. Those hours will often be split between different duties, such as community engagements, reading materials/meeting preparation, study sessions, and meetings.
Question: Is it possible to hold a full-time job and also serve on the school board?
Answers: Yes, but flexibility is the key. The board will do their best to work around work schedules as much as possible, and most required meetings will be 4pm or later. However, know that if you have a traditional 9-5 job there may be times you won’t be able to be there, so it helps to have a supportive boss.
Question: How much travel outside of the district is required for someone to serve as a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: There is none required, however, there are a few travel related opportunities throughout the year. One being the Annual WSSDA Conference which is held every year and rotates between Bellevue and Spokane. While not mandatory, this is an important event to attend, especially for anyone new to the role of school board director, as it provides training, professional development, and an opportunity for team building. Other opportunities that could require travel include regional board meetings and travel to our state capitol in Olympia for advocacy, however some of these things may be offered virtually as well throughout the year.
Question: What previous experience does someone need in order to run for a School Board Director seat?
Answers: There is no required previous experience. However, its beneficial if school board directors have a basic understanding of Northshore schools and programs as well as an understanding of what it’s like working in teams with long-term goals. It could be also useful to have a background in some aspect relevant to running a district, whether education, finance, program/management, legal, etc. Additionally, having experience in Northshore schools, such as being involved in their local PTA or volunteering in the classroom, is helpful because it allows for a perspective beyond just their own child.
Question: What skills do you think it takes to be an effective School Board Director?
Answers: There are many skills our current school board sees as beneficial to the role, including:
Question: What do you enjoy the most about being a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: Here are just a few of the things our current school board find most rewarding:
Question: What has been the most difficult part about being a NSD School Board Director?
Answers: School board directors shared that it’s not always easy to do this work and it can be stressful. it’s not always easy to do this work and it can be stressful. Being in the public spotlight you often have to deal with animosity and personal attacks. Northshore is a large district, and not everyone gets along or agrees with the decisions you will make. The time commitment to properly prepare for meetings can be challenging and it can be hard to balance the duties of school board director, personal life, and other commitments.
Question: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is considering running for a NSD School Board Director seat?
“Do it. It will be the most important contribution you can make to the people in your community.”
“It is a bigger time commitment than it appears but completely worth it. Being able to admit that you don't have the answers actually makes you a better board member than believing you have all the solutions.”
“Learn all you can about the role and responsibilities, have a plan to manage the time commitment, and plan your favorite stress management regimen (you might not need it all the time, but there will be a time when you will need it).”
“Standing for election is a very different thing from serving as a Director. This community is amazing and committed to our students and they will recognize and support a candidate who shows that commitment. Focus on the good you hope to do, if only just to serve the community, education and our students. Make it a conversation. Be willing to listen but also willing to turn the topic back to students.”
“To be aware that the Board is not a legislative body or executive agency that runs the daily activities of the district or makes decision on how things are run. It does not make employment, classroom, or school building administrative decisions. That is the job of the Superintendent, the Board's only employee. The Board is similar to the Board of Directors of a company. It provides oversight, advice, and sets goals, values, and aspirations based upon community and educator input.”
Question: Is there anything else we didn't ask about that you feel someone who is considering running for a NSD School Board Director seat should know?
Answers: Overall, our current board emphasized how this is the most rewarding work they have ever done. Serving as school board director will expand your understanding of how a complex organization functions and empowers you to be a part of making education better for students and staff. However, it’s important to note that being on the school board can make it harder to be an advocate for your own child or to express concerns about a teacher or other student when you are in the public eye than when you are not on the board.
Most importantly, our school board wants to thank those who are considering running for a school board seat; for taking the time from work and family to serve our community's children.
Thank you to the current school board directors who took the time to answer our questions.
We hope you have found this information to be both helpful and insightful to anyone considering running for a school board seat. Please make sure to share this article with your school community.
If you want to learn more about running for school board or how to get involved in advocacy, check out the additional resources below or email Northshore Council PTSA VP of Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election of our 2023-2024 Officers
Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Jane Chiodo, Cherry Holmes, and Laura Staneff, for putting together the slate of candidates! At our March 20, 2023 General Meeting our 2023-2024 slate of officers were elected.
Congratulations to Our Incoming 2023-2024 Officers!!
For the Office of President: Rachel Fitzgerald
For the Office of First Vice President: Grace Jurado
For the Office of Secretary: OPEN
For the Office of Treasurer: Brenae Brix
For the Office of VP of Events: OPEN
For the Office of Co-VP of Advocacy: Holly Muenchow
For the Office of Co-VP of Advocacy: Terra Droney
For the Office of VP of Communications: Jennifer Snyder
For the Office of VP of Elementary Support: Diana Christiansen
For the Office of VP of Secondary Support: Jennifer Drury
Council will continue to seek volunteers for the OPEN positions of Secretary and VP of Events with the goal of holding an election at our General Membership Meeting on May 15, 2023. Click link below to learn more about the open positions and consider self nominating to join the 2023-2024 Executive Board.
Northshore Council will be holding a virtual election for its open board position of VP of Events at the General Membership Meeting on Monday, May 15, 2023.
The slated candidate is as follows:
VP of Events: Melissa Quinonez Bennett
Please be advised that no nominations were received for the position of Secretary. Council will continue to seek volunteers for the Secretary role with the goal of holding an election for it at a future General Membership Meeting.
Virtual nominations for these positions closed on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
Since the position of VP of Events was not contested, the election will be held by voice vote at the next General Meeting on Monday, May 15, 2023, at 7 PM.
Questions? Email Co-Presidents at email@example.com.
Council meetings will build your PTA knowledge, give you the opportunity to network with other PTA, school district and community leaders, and they can be a lot of fun, too. Each PTA may send up to 4 voting representatives - but we encourage ALL who are interested to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
*A meeting passcode is required to join. It will be sent to local leaders via email prior to the meeting. You can also request the passcode by emailing Council PTSA Communications VP, Jenn Snyder.
Elementary Art 4 Northshore
A group of parents, educators, and visual artists began an awareness and action effort to secure consistent and frequent visual art instruction from certified art educators for K-5 students in Northshore School District. Schools across the country and in Washington state already offer this instruction. Visual Art is important: the benefits on both well-being (mental health, social-emotional learning, reducing stress) and on future positive outcomes (higher engagement, success in school and life, creative future, and the global economy) are well documented.
The catalyst for this effort was the passing of SB 5878, March, 2022. This bill requires visual arts and performing arts in Washington State's education systems, especially in elementary schools. Visual arts taught by certified art teachers in elementary schools was eliminated in 1967. A volunteer Art Docent program has filled this gap. With certified visual art educators providing a consistent and frequent foundation, the Art Docents will be able to further enhance the artistic experience of all students.
This group has met with NSD district leaders, community groups, and individuals about this cause. A Statement of Support was developed and is available for individuals to endorse and find further ways to engage in this effort. The creation of a Facebook Page allows people to be informed and connected. The group has also led a letter writing campaign, invited individuals to speak at school board meetings, presented at multiple elementary school PTA meetings, and attended legislative and district meetings.
Facebook Page: Elementary Art 4 Northshore: Support the Implementation of Senate Bill 5878
Statement of Support: https://forms.gle/kLv7f1y2mdj1zHRC7
Senate Bill 5878: SB 5878, March, 2022
Do you have an advocacy effort you would like highlighted in our blog?
Email Council's VP of Advocacy, Jennifer Drury.
Nominations Now Being Accepted!
2023 Northshore Council PTSA Awards Nomination Form
Click link to complete form.
Nominations deadline extended to Monday, May 15, 2023!
Multiple submissions can be completed for multiple nominees!
Every year, we look for nominations for the following awards:
Learn more about Council Awards or view our previous award recipients.
Questions? Contact Council Awards Committee.
Open Board Position: Secretary
Secretary: Keeps an accurate record of meetings, which become part of the permanent history of the PTA. Also responsible for taking attendance and monitoring quorum at meetings.
Learn more about the secretary role. Full job description here.
Council will continue to seek volunteers for this position with the goal of holding an election at the May 15, 2023 General Membership Meeting.
Per the 2022-2023 Council Standing Rules:
Complete Self Nomination Form by Thursday, April 27th. Election will be held on at our General Membership Meeting on May 15, 2023.
Want to learn more? Contact Council Co-Presidents, Rachel Fitzgerald and Mary Khouzam for more information.
Other Open Board Position - VP of Events
Or maybe you like planning events and celebrations? The Council's VP of Events is also open. Learn more about the VP of Events role.
Council is gathering messages of gratitude to share with the many Northshore School District Administrators and Staff who work behind the scenes every week to make NSD the great district that it is!
Complete this form to leave a message to let NSD Staff know how much you appreciate them and all that they do for our district. Messages will be shared by Council PTSA with NSD Staff. Please make sure to submit your messages no later than Friday, April 21st.
Note: Northshore School District will be recognizing May 8 - 12 for 2023 Teacher Appreciation Week and Teacher Appreciation Day will be recognized on Tuesday, May 9.
Click to complete form.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Does someone in your PTA deserve a shout out?
WSPTA has a formal volunteer award recognition program allowing local PTAs to award honors for outstanding educator, advocate, student advocate, and volunteer (Golden Acorn), as well as the honorary life membership award.
Awards are a great way for PTAs to show their community how much they appreciate them and to celebrate the dedication of those who support your PTA's mission and goals!
Local PTAs should appoint an awards committee who will gather nominations, review them, and choose the award recipients. This can be done during a meeting or some PTAs even choose to have the previous year's award recipients chair this committee. Check your Standing Rules as it may say who is on the committee. When the awards committee advertises for nomination submissions, it can be done via social media, newsletters, website, email, or even school flyers. To make it even easier for members to submit nominations, the awards committee can create an online submission form using tools like Google Forms or Survey Monkey.
For recognizing the award recipients, your PTA can hold a volunteer recognition event or take time during a Membership Meeting to celebrate them. WSPTA offers a variety of items your PTA can order online to celebrate your award recipients including certificates, pins, plaques, and even yard signs!
Local PTAs may award the following within their local community:
Share Your List of Local PTA/PTSA 2022-2023 Recognition Award Winners with Council!
Does your PTA give out a Golden Acorn award? Maybe an Outstanding Educator, or an Outstanding Advocate award? Or more? Please let us know by completing this form.
We would like to create a list of all of our local PTA award winners to share with the community. These volunteers deserve to be celebrated!!!
If possible, please let us know your award winners by Thursday, June 1st so they can be celebrated in our last eNews of the school year!