During the Spring Recognition Brunch on June 6, 2023, Northshore Council PTSA recognized a few special people who go above and beyond in service to our community and promotes the well-being and education of children in our district and beyond. Below is this year's Northshore Council PTSA Recognition Awards Recipients.
A special thank you to this year's Awards Committee members, Grace Juardo and Melissa Kline.
Learn more about PTA Recogntion Awards and how your PTA can recognize those who go above and beyond in your school community.
On Monday, May 15th, Council held their last general membership meeting of the 2022-2023 school year. Council members were joined by local leaders, community members, and parents from across the district.
Continue reading below for a recap of the meeting.
Parent Education Presentation
The evening started with a presentation from Lake Washington Institute of Technology and Cascadia College titled “Community & Technical College: Preparing Students for Their Future”. This parent education event was organized by Brenae Brix, Council’s VP of Secondary Support, and included a Q&A session. For anyone wanting more information or to bring this presentation to their school community, email Brenae at email@example.com.
Following the presentation, Council business was accomplished. We approved the March 20,2023 General Membership Meeting Minutes, presented the April 2023 Treasurer’s Report, reported that our Annual Corporate Renewal was completed, and updated our membership that we had sent in a donation to the Washington State PTA College Scholarship Fund in accordance with our budget. We also held an election for Council’s 2023-2024 Office of VP of Events. We are excited to announce that Melissa Bennett was elected to this role! We are still looking to elect a Secretary as no nominations were submitted. To find out more about this position and other volunteer opportunities for next year’s Council, visit: http://www.northshorecouncilptsa.org/council-blog/council-volunteer-opportunities-for-2023-2024.
Council Co-President, Rachel Fitzgerald, then gave the following updates and reminders to the membership:
The next part of our meeting was our Council Committee Reports.
Spring Recognition Celebration: Updates from Mary Khouzam. This event will be held on June 6th from 10:30-12:30 at Brightwater Community Center. Updates included reminding local PTAs to contact their President in order to RSVP and to submit their award recipients for recognition at the Council level. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSekeNRBGfw7qzuQNA1alhcZq4DZkQirh3Ht8vJSgpWIkFVSQw/viewform
Special Education Chairs: Laura Staneff reported on their recent meeting with Assistant Superintendent Obadiah Dunham discussing supports for neurodiverse students and gave an update on where they were at in the process of forming of a new Special Education PTSA in NSD.
Membership: Kim Ortiz announced that Membership across Northshore PTAs is at 101% of last year with a total of 5521 members! There were special shoutouts to Shelton View PTA, Bothell High School PTSA, and Frank Love PTA for having the highest percent increase of members. We also gave a reminder to local PTAs to utilize the end of the year database checklist provided by WSPTA: https://www.wastatepta.org/pta-leaders/leader-resources/leadership-guides/
Advocacy: Jennifer Drury reported on her recent meeting with fellow Council board member Melissa Kline and School Board Directors Amy Cast and Sandy Hayes where they discussed overcrowding and communication between city and county councils and the school district. There were updates about the upcoming school board elections including working with the incoming Co-VPs of Advocacy on hosting a candidate forum. Jen also let us know that Washington State PTAs Legislative Session Scorecard is available to see what passed and what didn’t and that a draft of the conclusions of the Student Wellness and Safety Task Force from Northshore Schools is available to view.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Chair: Cherry Holmes gave a recap of our parent ed event “Northshore Panel Discussion: Beyond Black and White” in partnership with RARE. Feedback from attendees was that they really appreciated the event.
We ended the meeting with some timely calendar reminders.
We want to thank all the volunteers, district employees, and community members who attended this meeting and all the previous meetings held this year. We hope you will continue to join us for our General Membership Meetings in the 2023-2024 school year.
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 for this school year!
Learn more about local PTA/PTSA awards.
Questions? Email Jenn Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Many PTA's do this through WSPTA's formal volunteer award recognition program which allows for local PTAs to award for outstanding educator, advocate, student advocate, and volunteer (Golden Acorn), as well as the honorary life membership award.
Because volunteers are at the heart of everything PTA, Council is excited to share in the celebration of our local Northshore PTA Award Winners!
Please note, we know this is a busy time of year and many PTAs have not yet had the chance to submit their award winners to us for recognition. If you would like to add to our list, email email@example.com.
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March 21st general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of April from Council Treasurer, Serena Xu.
Next on the agenda were updates from Council President, Jane Chiodo, which included:
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, 2022. 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 in memberplanet as well!
The Council business portion of our meeting ended with a farewell for Dr. Michelle Reid who will be leaving Northshore School District at the end of June to serve as the Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.
Jane Chiodo read a letter with messages of appreciation from Council leaders for all that Dr. Reid has done for our district over the years. Click here to read the thank-you letter.
District and Community Reports:
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 17th.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2021-2022 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by First Vice President and Awards Committee Chair, Mary Khouzam.
The event included performances from the Woodinville High School String Quartet and the Canyon Park Middle School Advanced Drama Class. Two of Northshore's Reflections artists were also able to showcase their submissions which received awards from National PTA!
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs that make us #PTAProud. Council would also like to celebrate the local award winners in a future blog. To include your local recipients, please complete this form.
During our Spring Recognition, Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards.
Congratulations to the following eleven (11) individuals:
🌟 Golden Acorn: Diana Christiansen
🌟 Golden Acorn: Jennifer Drury
🌟 Golden Acorn: Rachel Fitzgerald
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Steven Hopkins
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Peter Schurke
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Clark Combs
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Esther Kim
🌟 Outstanding Service: Jane Chiodo
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Outstanding Service: Pauline Wray
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Tracy Jokisch
Click here to learn more about each of our 2021-2022 Council Award Recipients.
Special thanks to Council Members Jane Chiodo, Jennifer Drury, Rachel Fitzgerald, Mary Khouzam, and Claudine Miller for their work to make this event a success! Many volunteer hours were spent reviewing nominations, selecting recipients, organizing the slideshow, arranging for student entertainment, and surprising the award winners - all to make our 2022 Spring Recognition Event a memorable one!!
We want to thank all the volunteers, district employees, and community members who attended this meeting and all the previous meetings held this year. We hope you will continue to join us for our General Membership Meetings in the 2022-2023 school year.
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
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 May 16th, Northshore Council was proud to recognize eleven amazing individuals. Learn more about them and why they were deserving of these achievements in the videos and stories below:
These two showed us the meaning of "PTA Flexible" by instead organizing an in-person candidate forum before the election took place, and got every school board candidate to attend. They even figured out a way to record the proceeding for community members to watch later. It was so important to them to ensure the community could hear from the candidates. We admire their determination and grit through all of the ups and downs during that chaotic time!
Jennifer and Diana didn't stop there.
It’s hard to imagine the time spent and the organization it takes to accomplish what she makes looks so easy. Queen of juggling everything, Rachel constantly thinks about how to best serve our local PTAs and in turn the students and families that they serve. She is a fountain of PTA knowledge and knows how to put that knowledge to good use in helping our local PTAs and Council navigate problems and issues that arise.
Besides serving council, Rachel is a dedicated volunteer at her kids schools. She volunteers in the library, supervises lunch, and helps with other various events & tasks for her local PTAs and schools. She is always thinking about how to best help kids whether that is through volunteering, advocating, or helping our local PTAs get the information they need to succeed. Simply put, Rachel is amazing!
With Mr. Hopkins leadership, Sunrise opened HiCap classrooms as planned for the year despite the pandemic. He made safety a priority. His communication style is impeccable - giving timely, detailed, and pertinent messaging which is a boon in these times of isolation for the last 2 years.
Mr. Hopkins is the biggest strength to the Sunrise community. He made the students’ learning environment fun and safe. He nurtured values in children, made Sunrise Elementary a community of diversity, and helped kids learn to know and respect all cultures. The families at Sunrise are so fortunate to have an untiring advocate at the helm, whose vision and values have taken their school to great heights!
He is constantly working to get the word out about this amazing new high school focused on mastery learning by hosting webinars, going directly to local middle schools, talking directly to students about the school during their lunch periods, and more. His optimism and excitement about learning is contagious. Mr. Schurke is always open to feedback - from parents and students, listening to others’ ideas, often responding with a "let's see how we can make this work". He is forward thinking and willing to push the envelope when it comes to his students’ experiences and opportunities.
Mr. Schurke has been described as passionate and a visionary, though he is also responsive to his school community. It’s known that if kids are having problems, see an issue, or need to talk through something - they can always find Mr. Schurke.
Peter Schurke is the heart and soul of Innovation Lab High School!
Mr. Combs also helped schools organize and prepare in case of emergencies. Mr. Combs has been instrumental in explaining and working to implement full scale reunification drills with the help of volunteer PTA parents so that the district could practice response and work out the kinks. Most notably, Mr. Combs has taught close to 1,000 students, staff, and community members in the ACT (Antidote/CPR/Tourniquet) since the start of the Covid-19 closures. His willingness to bring this presentation to schools, city halls, and anywhere he can lay down the CPR dummies is admirable. He is helping make this community safer. This past year, he was also tasked with coordinating the District PCR Covid testing at sites including Pop Keeney. His willingness to take on this task and the success he has shown in doing it is a testimony to his commitment to our community and well worth recognizing!
Additionally, Esther reached out to North Creek's PTSA as she was working on a project at school to provide sanitary products to the students at NCHS. Esther wanted to be able to also deliver these to students who are in need as well. To further that cause, she has teamed with the North Creek/Skyview PTSA Food Pantry since November 2021 and has been providing 20 packs of the sanitary products to ensure it gets included in the food pantry bags that go out to families in need. Esther pays for these products from her weekend job. No doubt she has been a positive influence in her community and an outstanding student advocate!
Some of the things Melissa and Pauline were able to accomplish through their work on the Mental Health Committee include:
Pauline and Melissa also spend their time meeting with district administration to discuss issues surrounding access to mental health counselors for students among other topics. They have continually advocated to district admin and at school board meetings for better access to resources, more information for parents, and training for teachers. Pauline and Melissa work tirelessly for all students in our district. We are in awe of their passion and dedication regarding the advocacy surrounding the topic of mental health!
At the local PTA level, Jane has been involved at Canyon Park Middle School and Innovation Lab High School, where she serves as the current Communications Chair. Her professional monthly newsletters are full of information, easy to read, thoroughly edited and all-around top-notch. Although Jane has an official PTSA title in each of these organizations, she does
not hesitate to dive into projects wherever there is a need, no matter if it's in her job description or not. Just some of the ways she has served her local PTAs include:
Jane also finds time to volunteer at her children's schools. She is a wealth of information; always willing to help solve problems, find answers, and suggest ideas. She does a great job of advocating for student needs as well as teacher needs. Jane can always be counted on to promote programs, and PTA as a whole, or to help educate those not involved in PTA to learn about what PTA does as a child advocacy organization. Jane cares for the NSD schools, students and community and it shows in her work!
Tracy has helped to run the monthly E-Prep meetings, providing an invaluable resource for our local leaders. She was also instrumental in working with the district to bring together a Stop the Bleed effort that spanned the entire districts PTAs and made all of our students and staff members safer in the process.
Tracy is kind, approachable, and always willing to lend a hand. When a new E-Prep Chair recently started at Canyon Park Middle School and discovered many of their supplies out of date, they reached out to Tracy for help. Tracy volunteered to meet at the school in order to walk through what CPMS would need and how much so that they could bring the school’s emergency supplies back up to par.
Tracy serves our Northshore community in so many ways. She frequently jumps in to help on Council committees, recently serving on the Grants Committee and the Budget Committee. We are so fortunate to have gotten to know Tracy and our district is so fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer!
Check out the video below showcasing some of the AMAZING things our local PTAs & PTSAs have accomplished this year!
Guest Presentation by Northshore School District Ethnic Studies Framework: NSD Assistant Director of Equity and Pedagogy, Melissa Riley, and Northshore students shared a presentation on ethnic studies in the Northshore School District. This presentation answered the questions "What is ethnic studies, why is it important, and what will it look like for kids?" The curriculum will be for grades Pre K-12 and more information can be found here: https://bit.ly/pesbccdei.
Approval of the January 20th, 2022 Meeting Minutes which were accepted with minor changes. Approval of the preliminary budget for the 2022-2023 school year.
Election of our 2022-2023 officers:
Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Diana Christiansen, Cherry Holmes, and Jasmine Lee Fry, for putting together the slate of candidates! Diana Christiansen read the Nominating Report. The self-nomination period was held in accordance with our e-voting policy 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 approved by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our incoming 2022-2023 officers!!
*Please be advised that by the time the self-nomination period closed, no candidate had come forth for either Secretary or VP of Events. Council will continue to seek volunteers for these positions with the goal of holding elections for them at a future General Membership Meeting. If interested in serving in either of these roles on an interim basis, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you will join us for our next General Membership Meeting on May 16th, 2022 @ 7pm. This meeting will also include our annual Spring Recognition Event!
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
Please join us for our 5th and final general membership meeting of the school year on Monday, May 16, 2022 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 our amazing Northshore PTAs/PTSAs this past year and the dedicated volunteers who made it all possible. We will also be announcing Council PTSA’s award recipients during this event.
**Council is looking for what makes you #PTAProud of your PTA. Please take a few minutes to share with us via this online form an event, program, story about your PTA. There's nothing too small or too big to share! Response is needed by Friday, May 6th. 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.
We all know people within our community who give a little extra, work a little harder, and who are always volunteering!
Now you can help us recognize these people by nominating them for a Northshore Council PTSA Recognition Award!
To Nominate someone, please complete our
2022 Northshore Council PTSA Awards Nomination Form.
Nominations are due by Friday, April 22, 2022!
Every year, we look for nominations for the following awards:
Fill out an online nomination form TODAY!
Nominations are due by Friday, April 22, 2022!