Thank you to everyone that attended our fifth and final membership meeting of the school year! This meeting was especially impactful as there were over 55 attendees from our local PTA’s and community partners in attendance.
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of May from the Council Treasurer, Liz Nord. May’s report reflected income from membership service fees, as well as expenses related to the Spring Recognition Event, Moneyminder software renewal, WSPTA scholarship funds, WSPTA convention registration fees and awards.
Next on the agenda was an update to the Northshore Council PTSA Standing Rules. Changes recommended were:
Our VP of Communications, Rachel Fitzgerald, then shared with everyone the importance of updating the contact information for positions being filled for next year in your PTA. If you are an officer next year, please update your contact information before July 1st, 2021. This information will be used to contact you by council board members that want to support your PTA. It is also how you will be on the list to receive communications from council, including the council newsletter, that will keep you updated on events and happenings in our district. Remember to update officers into memberplanet as well!
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan shared an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Lauren Lewis, acting NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
After the updates were given by the community partners there was a reminder to the local PTA attendees to please remember to fill out the end of year survey from Council. This survey lets us know how we can better serve your PTA with your valuable feedback. We will be taking survey responses up until midnight on Friday, June 25th.
Our Council President, Jane Chiodo, then shared a personal message of thanks to the council as well as the local leaders and community partners. Click here to read that message.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2020-2021 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by our Co-VP of Events, Mary Khouzam and Karrie Palis. The theme was "Thank You for Making Lemonade". This was such a fitting theme since all of our local PTA’s did exactly that this year, when handed lemons, they made some lemonade!
The event included performances from Skyview Middle School's symphonic band, orchestra, and choir as well as a performance from the Bothell High School Bel Canto Choir.
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs as well as the recipients of their Recognition Awards. Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards. Congratulations to:
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Natalie Campbell
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Cathi Davis
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Diya Gupta
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Golden Acorn: Lauren Lewis
🌟 Golden Acorn: Liz Nord
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Nancy Chamberlain
Click here to learn more about each of our 2020-2021 Council Award Recipients.
Thank you to our Council Awards Committee Members Diana Christiansen, Rachel Fitzgerald, and Karrie Palis for the beautiful awards presentation and speeches given during the event!
Thank you to all that attended this fun evening! It was a fun night with lots to celebrate for making it through this unprecedented school year! Looking forward to our next membership meeting in the fall. Have a wonderful summer and enjoy this much deserved time to relax with your families.
Each year, Northshore Council PTSA recognizes a few special people who have gone above and beyond in service to our community and who promote the well-being and education of children in our district and beyond. During our Annual Spring Recognition Event on June 7th, Northshore Council was proud to recognize seven amazing individuals. Learn more about them and why they were deserving of these achievements in the videos and stories below:
Dave Wellington, West Region Assistant Superintendent, when asked about Natalie had this to say, “Spend any time in any elementary and you will see Natalie’s work. Everywhere. In the happy faces of students participating in before and after-school programs. In the thousands of volunteer hours on a host of activities from Fall Prep to Reading Buddies. And in the beautiful student artwork, created under the guidance of Art Docents, that brighten classrooms and hallways. In every classroom you will see Natalie’s impact on an entire community.”
Natalie is not only a leader and educator who has made an impact in our NSD community, but a superhero too. Another colleague of Natalie had this to say, “Besides being friendly and caring, she’s a one-woman show of dedication, inspiration, and creativity. She has a passion for our District and [goes above and beyond] to implement new programs and events to better our school community. Her work over the past year has been nothing short of heroic!”
Cathi often quotes American Philosopher, Dr. Cornel West, who says “Justice is what love looks like in public,”. Cathi lives up to this quote every day when she wakes up determined to ensure that her work as a principal and leader is a manifestation of that commitment to create more just communities of learning as an act of love for her students and families.
More so than ever in our current state, advocating for our students and their needs is crucial. Cathi has made it her mission every day to do so and looks at the bigger picture in how to best support our students and families. One staff member at RBE said, “that even through this pandemic, Cathi has led the team with grace, humility, vulnerability, and above all a vision for inclusivity and belonging.” Because of her passion, this staff member looks forward to walking beside her in continuing to make this world a more equitable place for all the River Otters (Ruby Bridges’ students). From the beginning, Cathi has always made all students and families in the Ruby Bridges Community feel welcomed and championed for their voices to be heard. Our district is blessed to have a principal and leader who not only leads with a strong passion, but one with a big heart too!
With this unforeseen challenge, Diya started to rethink about how to still make this program happen. This school year, she presented a virtual idea to district leaders. She hosted information sessions, workshops, recruited student volunteers, created how to videos, and answered countless questions. Due to her advocacy efforts, more than 60 elementary students from across the district were able to participate.
The pandemic may have changed many everyday activities, but Diya got creative and still made this program possible. A parent whose child participated in the program had this to say about Diya, “One quality I'd particularly like to recognize is [Diya’s] dedication to inclusivity. My son is a unique learner, and from the very beginning, [she] embraced his needs and made him feel welcome in the competition. [Diya] sought answers when needed from [my son’s] local school and NSD staff. [Diya] paved the way to making sure his IEP supports were extended to the test-taking component of the competition. I remember one day when [she] wrote an email that said something like, ‘I want to learn how Olympiad organizers can better meet the needs of all IEP students in the future.’ WOW! Even amid all the other details of running this Olympiad, [Diya] took the time to make sure learners like my son were able to participate equitably. And [she] looked ahead and started blazing that trail for others to follow.”
Diya has a proactive attitude and is forward thinking. She is an inspiration to how the future can be better by the actions and voices of the next generation!
Additionally, she has spent her time this year, reaching out to other organizations to help make people aware of mental health resources in our communities and as well as helping to form Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee. Melissa has a positive, generous spirit and is one of those leaders that often leads from behind, making sure each need is met and each person is supported.
A fellow PTSA volunteer, when asked about Melissa, had this to say, “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Outstanding Service award than her! Throughout this whole year, Melissa has kept the well-being of the students in our district, especially those who are most vulnerable, at the forefront of her volunteer work. She is always striving to help others whenever needed. Her passion is what I admire most about her.”
Melissa’s commitment and dedication to the students and families of Northshore are always shown through her actions, and we are fortunate to have her in our NSD community!
"Her heart is truly with all of our kids. Grateful for her leadership!” and “She is always ready to step up and give a helping hand whether it's to the parents getting info from the school, providing the accurate resource when needed to our NSD families, or helping to deliver food bags by the district meal program and many more.”
Lauren served as Council’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Chair this year as well as president of North Creek High School PTSA. She has hosted FACE roundtables and spearheaded an equity inventory for council. Because of her volunteer work, families were connected to services they might not have otherwise known about, and PTA leaders were challenged to grapple with topics like racism and ableism. Lauren has helped move our community one step closer to being equitable!
Another person said, “I can honestly say I wouldn’t have chosen to be as involved as I have without her influence. She is an amazing mentor and advocate who is always willing to answer questions and share her expertise with new volunteer - no matter how many times she is asked. She truly wants to see our local PTA and all of its volunteers succeed.”
Liz has served at Lockwood PTA and has been strongly involved with the PACE program. She has been a dedicated Treasurer for Council this year while also serving on the Region 6 Service Delivery team as the financial specialist. She has also mentored and guided new PTA’s in their development as a recognized organization. Her commitment to her local PTA, our council, and region 6 PTAs is evident through all her contributions and involvement.
Liz is always making sure everyone feels welcomed and that no question is too silly or too small. Council is excited to have Liz serving next year as Area A Vice President for Washington State PTA where we are sure she will continue to shine!
“For as long as I have been involved in PTA there has been this person named 'Nancy'. At first, this "Nancy" person was just a PTA leader who knew everything and was active everywhere. If you had a question, you were directed to ask "Nancy". She was a local PTA superhero who everyone looked up to as a role model and mentor. Rumor had it that she was incredibly knowledgeable regarding all things education and PTA and passionate about advocating for children and families across our district and state.
"As time went on, I actually got to meet this 'Nancy'. All of the things I heard about her were true. But, I also learned that she lived up to the hype and more. Yes, Nancy is a tireless advocate, but she also volunteers time to assist our local PTAs, mentors up and coming advocates, helps to moderate discussion groups, fights against misinformation and for equity and transparency, is approachable, friendly, and caring and lots of fun. She is all that and a bag of chips.”
Nancy's dedication and leadership are nothing short of admirable. We have been lucky to have Nancy here in our district and are excited to have her serving as our next Washington State PTA President!
Please join us for our 5th and final general membership meeting of the school year on Monday, June 7, 2021 via Zoom.
In addition to our regular business items, during this meeting we will be holding our annual Spring Recognition Event. At this event we will celebrate the contributions and achievements made by Northshore PTA/PTSA’s best and most accomplished volunteers and supporters. We will also be announcing Council PTSA’s award recipients during this event.
**Attention Presidents: Please check your emails for additional information on the Spring Recognition Event. Response is needed by Friday, May 7th. Email email@example.com if you have questions.**
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. You can also request the passcode by emailing Council PTSA Communications VP, Rachel Fitzgerald.
Thank you to all that attended our fourth membership meeting of the school year! Each general meeting provides us with an opportunity to connect with our wonderful local PTA leaders and community partners and learn more about the great things happening across our district.
A little bit of fun:
We started off our meeting with a 30 minute “social” time. We invited all to join us to chat with Council and other local PTA leaders. We had great conversations and learned that “Flight” was the most desired superhero power in our fun poll!
Our guest speaker this month was Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid who graciously answered questions regarding the upcoming shift to hybrid learning in NSD. A great range of questions were asked including but not limited to: how PTAs can support the return to classrooms, the thinking behind the hybrid model, vaccination progress for teachers, when the learning model will be decided for Fall, what hybrid will look like for those 100% remote, and the latest updates on SBAC testing. We thank Dr. Reid for taking the time to join us during such a busy and stressful time.
After approving our minutes from our January general meeting, we moved on to hearing the Treasurer Report for the month of February. We then moved on to learning about our 2021-2022 preliminary budget. Our budget committee worked along with our Treasurer, Liz Nord, to evaluate what our needs would be for next year taking into consideration the decrease in memberships that we had experienced in 2020-2021 possibly continuing next year. A few changes were recommended, such as lowering our income expectations and cutting costs where we could (obtaining a smaller PO Box, lowering line items such as hospitality, grants, office supplies, etc.). We also added line items for our new DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) position and our new Mental Health committee. The preliminary 2021-2022 budget was approved by a unanimous voice vote.
Next up on the agenda was electing our 2021-2022 officers! Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Grace Jurado and Liz Nord, for putting together a rocking slate for next year! Liz Nord read the Nominating Report. The self-nomination period was held with no others submitting their names for nomination. The election script was followed with a reading from the WSPTA bylaws. A motion was cast to accept the slate as presented, seconded, and unanimously approved by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our incoming 2021-2022 officers!!
Tracy Jokisch, our Emergency Prep and Safety Co-Chair, gave us an update regarding the bulk purchase of Stop the Bleed kits for district schools. There will most likely be over 500 kits ordered in total, which will include 2 kits per school contributed by Council. In conjunction with the Stop the Bleed effort, Clark Combs, district Eprep specialist on the district Safety and Security team, has been offering virtual ACT training to staff.
Diana Christiansen, our Council Vice President of Advocacy, gave us an update regarding the exceptional attendance by WA State PTA members at this years National PTA Legislative Conference. It was great to see big representation especially at “Hill Day” when attendees met directly with legislators and their staffers. Check out our NPTA LegCon recap here!
We got an update on the Reflections program. 55 pieces were forwarded to the state competition and we were waiting to hear results. (Results now in - check them out here!) The Council Reflections Celebration website was a big hit allowing many families – as well as family and friends around the country! - to experience all the works of art from artists all over the district. Next year’s theme was announced as, “I Will Change the World By…”.
Diana Christiansen and Karrie Palis announced that our Council Recognition Awards Nominations were open. They are looking for nominations for the following awards: Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Advocate, Outstanding Student Advocate, Outstanding Service, Golden Acorn, Honorary Life Membership. They are also looking for members to join their committee to review nominations and select winners.
Melissa Kline gave an update regarding membership. Three (3) PTAs had reached 100% staff membership and, in total, we have reached 4,826 members which is 62% of last year’s number. Melissa also gave an update about the newly formed Mental Health Committee. The committee had their first meeting recently, at which they discussed goals and things they would like to work on which included communicating about mental health awareness programs.
Lauren Lewis, our Council F.A.C.E. (Family and Community Engagement) Chair, talked about the Equity Inventory Committee, which was established to assess where our Council stood in regards to equity and diversity. The goal of the committee was to look at all facets of our operation through a DEI lens and then to make suggestions on areas that we could improve on. Lauren was also working on finding a presentation about how to navigate the US high school system that could be offered to families in our district that speak other languages or who have moved here from other countries. Natalie Campbell, the District Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, said that we could partner with her and Elizabeth Meza to bring something like this to the district. It was also noted that through the Council Educational Speaker and Community Events Grants program, Woodin Elementary was offering "Guide to Helping Your Children Succeed in Elementary and Beyond", presented by Sistema Escolar, USA, to district parents.
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan presented an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Natalie Campbell, NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
Carmin Dalziel of the Northshore Schools Foundation gave updates regarding her organization and their work to support NSD:
Our last guest was Patsy Treece of the Citizens for Northshore Schools group to talk about Bond and Levy support. Her group’s purpose is to give citizens information about the bond and levies on the ballot and to urge them to vote. Bond and levy votes only happen every four years. Bonds need 60% to pass and levies need 50%. She was looking for volunteers to serve the group and was particularly interested in adding diversity so that all voices could be heard. She also asked if PTAs could add a line item to their budgets to help support the Citizens group. Learn more about Citizens for Northshore School here.
Our next membership meeting will be held on Monday, June 7th. We hope to see you there!