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!