Celebrating Local PTA 2022 Awardees!
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!
3/21/22 General Membership Meeting Recap
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!
Multiple submissions can be completed for multiple nominees!
Awards will be presented during our Spring Recognition Event.
Learn more about Council Awards or view our previous award recipients. Questions? Contact Council Awards Committee.
Join Our Spring Committees!
Be a part of Northshore Council's spring committees! We are searching for members to be a part of two committees this spring; one for our Spring Recognition Event and the other for our Council Recognition Awards. Read more about each of these committees below and find out how you can get involved!
Both of these committees play an important role in celebrating the accomplishments and dedication of our local PTAs and PTA Leaders. Volunteers are able to serve on both committees if interested!
Our Spring Recognition Event is scheduled to take place in June.
6/7 General Membership Meeting Recap
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!