Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin Featured Speaker at Convention --
The Washington State PTA, sincerely appreciated Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin, as the keynote speaker at our 101st Annual WSPTA Convention. He spoke candidly about his teachers, family and the influential people in his life. Additionally Baldwin answered questions from attendees. When asked how to help kids cope with losses, he responded that he learns from losses and enjoys the challenges they bring. "You never really lose, you win and you learn," he said. Video clips from this presentation are coming soon!
Katie Brown 2014 Teacher of the Year --
Katie Brown was in Washington DC for the National PTA Teacher of the Year program at the time of the WSPTA convention, but sent a video message to PTA leaders since she couldn't be there in person. As Washington State Teacher of the Year, Brown hopes to advocate for needs of parents as well as students. As part of the Washington State Teacher of the Year program, teachers submitted a short story about students who inspire them for the OSPI publication, "From Seed to Apple." Brown decided to write a poem about all of her students and she shared her touching poem, "If You Really Knew Me" with convention attendees at the conclusion of her presentation. To view her presentation, go to the You Tube link: http://youtu.be/yJWX6rHlbB8
To view a copy of the OSPI publication, “From Seed to Apple,” click
Olympic Swimmer Wendy Boglioli Encourages Convention Attendees to Take Advantage of Opportunities --
Olympian Wendy Boglioli, the featured speaker who kicked off the convention in the first general session, spoke of a defining moment in her life in 1976, when her relay team won an Olympic gold medal, and how that moment lives on in her life to this day. Boglioli also spoke of the years of preparation, taking advantage of the opportunities she had, and the significance of the encouragement of her parents and teammates as contributing factors in reaching her dreams. She urged attendees to encourage one another, and their children and to take advantage of opportunities that come their way. An audio recording of her presentation will be available on the website soon.
National PTA President Otha Thornton Highlights NPTA Family Engagement Programs --
National PTA President Otha Thornton encouraged and challenged PTAs to increase family engagement at their schools. “When we talk about family engagement, it can save us so much money in schools. For every parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent that is engaged, it saves us about $1,000 per student,” he explained. Thornton pointed PTAs to the National PTA website,
www.pta.org/programs, for programs to jump start efforts to increase parent engagement. He also urged PTA leaders to look into family engagement grants provided by the National PTA. One of the best examples of a parent engagement program is the National PTA Schools of Excellence program. This involves going online and completing a survey, which is assessed by the NPTA, and provides customized suggestions for PTA units to increase parent engagement. Another example is the PTA Reading Experience program, which helps to build literacy rates for Title 1 schools. A video clip of Thornton’s message will be available on the WSPTA website soon.
Pre-Convention Growth and Development Session a Success --
Delegates who arrived early to convention had a choice to attend one of two pre-convention sessions on Friday morning, April 25th.
Laura Katen, president of a NY-based training company shared strategies for strengthening communication and building rapport with others; and facilitated interactive exercises and discussions to help attendees more fully understand, practice, and apply key techniques presented. There were numerous positive comments on how the speaker’s remarks truly resonated with the members, and that Laura’s presentation “was truly outstanding.”
JP Pohl, Teen Truth's Executive Producer & Co-Founder challenged attendees to think about how they treat others and empower you to find ways to be the difference in your school community to prevent bullying. These sessions were well received by attendees as evidenced by many comments, including the one that follows:
“Heard (JC Pohl) speak and got to see the video….This can potentially change and SAVE lives. It’s real, the video has some raw moments from Columbine and it’s definitely not set up for us here at the elementary level, but I will tell you what, my daughter WILL see this movie and hopefully witness the tour (Teen Truth) when she is old enough to process the footage and the reality of what went on there.”
For more information on the Teen Truth program, go to
WSPTA 2014 Annual Report -- PTA is doing great things across the state! Here are some highlights of some of the great things that were accomplished this past school year. Thanks to the grassroots efforts of local PTAs, councils and regions, PTA is making a difference and helping to make every child’s potential a reality in many ways across Washington state!
Click here for the 2014 WSPTA Annual Report
Convention Awards: Outstanding Local Unit of the Year -- In selecting award-winners, the Outstanding Local Unit award committee looked at type of school, how many students it has, whether it is a title one school or not. How well the PTA has established a working relationship with school staff and how they engage families. They draw from their own experiences in the field when considering the uniqueness of the situations (for example, elementary vs. middle vs. high school, urban vs. rural, etc.) They also consider the unit’s ability to identify their strengths and where they can improve based on their own research of their school community.
This year’s outstanding local units are: for the primary division, Meeker Elementary 5.7.30; and for the middle/secondary division, Kenmore Jr. High 6.10.60.
Meeker Elementary 5.7.30 -- The award committee stated about Meeker PTA, “This PTA obviously understands the concept of school and community. We found they are an outstanding local unit that serves a Title 1 community and thinks outside the box doing new and inventive things to serve them!”
For more information on Meeker PTA, click here.
Secondary - Kenmore Jr. High 6.10.60 -- The award committee remarked about Kenmore Jr. High PTSA, “This PTSA’s focus on advocacy and the diversity of their programs serves their school and community well. Wonderful outreach and advocacy, and stellar involvement, especially for a secondary school!”
For more information on Kenmore Jr. High PTA, click here.
Seattle Council PTSA Named 2014 WSPTA Outreach Champion --
Seattle Council PTSA received the WSPTA’s Outreach Champion award, in addition to being awarded a National PTA Urban Family Engagement Network Grant earlier this year. As part of their outreach efforts, they identified and engaged diverse families by partnering with their school district, community leaders, and representatives from the diverse communities they wanted to engage. In addition, they researched their demographic populations and created a nine-week family training program, utilizing their leadership team to get the word out. As a result, 24-30 individuals of diverse cultures were trained on family engagement and the results they saw were immediate. “Before the training sessions were even complete, some of the parents who formally were afraid to go into their children’s schools, had made appointments with teachers, talked to school officials, and addressed long standing issues,” said JMarie Johnson-Kola, WSPTA outreach director.
Dr. Mike Brophis is awarded 2014 Outstanding Educator --
Dr. Mike Brophy is Superintendent of the West Valley School District in Yakima, where he has served since 2011. Earlier in his career he worked in the Bethel District, the Eastmont District in East Wenatchee and in Aberdeen. His personal mission is to maximize the potential of all students. To achieve this, he is not only reaching out to the school aged children in his district, but he is also reaching out to students before they start school. Dr. Brophy established a training that occurs four times a year for those who operate daycares or preschools to learn more about how to prepare kids for entering the school system and it is taught by kindergarten teachers. The training is free and has grown from seven people to 120 in three short years.
National PTA Reflections Winners from Washington State -- Congratulations to the following Washington State Students who won an award! We here at WSPTA are excited and incredibly proud of each of you! Thank you to all of the parents, and leaders who supported these students to achieve one of the highest honors in the Reflections Program. Celebrate your success!!
Primary Division: Award of Excellence
Dance/Choreography - Sidhya Ganesh, “A Journey of a Blind Girl!” - Spiritridge Elementary PTA 2.3.85
Primary Division: Award of Merit
Literature - Elise Moe, “The Little Seed” - Penny Creek PTA 7.3.42
Visual Arts - Vatsal Chandel, “All Within My Reach” - Endeavour PTA 2.6.20
Middle School Division: Award of Merit
Visual Arts - Jessica Yu, “Even the smallest bird can have the biggest dream” - Brookside PTA 6.12.15
High School Division: Award of Merit
Music Composition - Nora DeWater, “Draw My Life” - Redmond High PTSA 2.8.10
Photography - Alexandra Hanesworth, “The Magic of Words” - Anacortes High PTSA 8.2.70
Election Results WSPTA Board of Directors:
Secretary - Leanne Hawkins
Finance Officer - Karen Albers
Outreach Director - Ray Kusumi
Leadership Director - Dori Tate
Program Director - Michelle Nims
At-Large Nominating Committee Members:
Dee Dee Loberg
Region Director Results (via mailed region ballots):
Jane Dulski, Region 2 Director
Kristi Shafer, Interim Region 4 Director
Janice Kutzera, Region 6 Director
Sarah Smith, Region 8 Director
Marisa Peloquin, Region 10 Director
Lynne McAdoo, Region 12 Director