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!