Board of Directors
Washington State PTA members elect a representative board of directors every two years at the spring annual meeting during the WSPTA Convention to manage the business of the association. The board of directors is charged, on behalf of all WSPTA members, with the fiduciary duty and oversight of the largest child advocacy organization in the state of Washington. In addition to the volunteer board positions, WSPTA is managed with the help of a small and efficient staff.
As a new and nervous kindergarten parent, Angela got involved in PTA 17 years ago when her daughter began school in a new community. She hoped her participation would help her to learn more about what the school community was like.
Angela has been an active parent advocate and leader dating back to 2004. She has served in many roles at the local and council level. Her state-level leadership roles include serving as Region 8 and Region 15 director while simultaneously volunteering as the Area E Vice president. She has also chaired or served on several state committees.
When discussing her new role on the WSPTA board, Angela remarks, “I’m honored to serve our association as we expand our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts so our membership and PTA leadership, in our local PTAs, councils, and state board, more closely reflect the families we serve.” She is looking forward to the opportunities to build new relationships within our school communities, as well as strengthen relationships with our educators and families which may have been put on pause by the pandemic.
Angela shares her appreciation with our exceptional and dedicated leaders for their efforts last year! Angela strongly feels that “Despite all the uncertainties, you found a way to PTA, one day at a time. Remember that you are not alone – you have a PTA family to welcome, support, and encourage you.” She feels the famous quote by Margaret Mead sums it up and is a message to members and leaders alike, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Having seen her parents volunteer at her schools, Jay always wanted to give back to the community. When her daughter was in kindergarten, there was a need for a parent volunteer to help with the reading program, which she volunteered to do and later became the room mom.
From volunteering on various committees to being various committee chairs, Jay has held many board positions. Jay has served as co-president at Samantha Smith Elementary, co-president at Inglewood Middle School, co-president at Tesla STEM High School. Jay also served on the Lake Washington PTSA council in various chair positions, as vice president of programs, and as executive vice president.
When it comes to her role as leadership director, Jay wants to encourage other members and leaders from all areas of life to volunteer at the local, council, region, and state level. She hopes WSPTA is able to deliver a consistent level of training to all leaders in Washington state.
Jay is a teacher by profession and passionate about teaching and helping students. As an immigrant herself, Jay states, “I understand some of the problems that my ESL students are going through, and I’d like to help them achieve their American dreams.”
Liz is the mother of three: 25, 17, and 13, and an Illinois transplant who has found a true home in Western Washington. Her family can often be found sitting around their dining room table playing their favorite board and card games. When she does have time to relax, Liz usually can be found sitting at her sewing machine or craft table creating costumes for conventions or school plays.
Liz’s PTA journey began at a time when the educational needs of her middle child were not being sufficiently met by the school, with his medical needs being used as an excuse. She, along with other parents facing similar issues, worked together with their local PTA to advocate for the necessary changes. Through this experience, Liz found that her family wasn’t alone and the PTA contained a whole network of parents fighting for the educational rights of children. Liz found a home with these educational warriors.
Her financial background enabled her to excel in the role of financial specialist on the Region 6 Service Delivery Team for 3 years. Liz’s primary focus was working with PTAs to better organize their finances, tax filings, and fundraising. Through well planned budgets, maintaining good legal standing, and creating clear, transparent policies, Liz believes that every PTA can be successful in supporting their community’s needs, whatever they may be. With strong, community supported PTAs across Washington, we truly can be a powerful voice for every child.
For the last 2 years Liz has served the WSPTA members as your Area A VP. She has been able to learn the ins and outs of serving on a state board and has enjoyed working to support Regions 1 & 6. Working with such a dedicated group of state leaders has been a valuable learning experience, these are lessons that she will carry into the next 2 years of serving as the financial officer.
Liz believes the PTA’s value and purpose is to be a diverse and equitable voice for all children and that should be reflected in our budget.
Per the WSPTA Uniform Bylaws, Article 7, Section 5A, Tori Emerson, Leadership Director, was elected on June 4, 2023, by the board of directors to serve a one-year term as the 5th Executive Committee member.
For more information on Tori, see her details in the Leadership Director section below.
Lizzy credits her PTA involvement to her mom who went to PTA meetings. When her son started preschool, she made it a point to find out about the PTA. The legislative chair position was open at the first meeting she attended, and she has not looked back since.
Her PTA journey is short but mighty. In six years, she has served the local, council, and region levels prior to serving on WSPTA committees. Lizzy remarks about PTA service, “I love that you can do anything and everything that you want, so you are not limited in the possibilities!”
Lizzy would like to ensure that the board of directors reaches out to all parts of the state and identifies this as one of its biggest challenges. She believes that “in order to advocate effectively and representationally, WSPTA needs all those voices from the east to the west and from the north to the south and everyone in between.”
One of Lizzy’s favorite quotes is by Alice Walker who said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking that they don’t have any.” She thinks PTA is a testament to knowing that we do have power—the power of our voices which we use every day to help all children.
Tori was first involved in PTA as a middle school teacher prior to the birth of her son. She had a pretty limited view of what PTA was about, even after becoming a parent. She states, “It wasn’t until I attended Convention that I began to really get the bigger picture of what PTA was founded upon as well as being part of something so much bigger than just our one PTA and the activities we were doing. That bigger picture is what hooked me on learning more about PTA and participating.”
She began helping her son’s PTA by providing food for potlucks and doing other odd jobs. Once her son was in first grade, Tori quickly began her leadership journey. She started by helping organize the school carnival, then moved to secretary followed by a term as president. She continued on as Arlington Area PTA Council secretary, co-president, and president and joined the Region 7 service delivery team.
Tori hopes her board service provides empowerment and opportunities for new leaders to develop their own special skill sets to keep this organization strong. She strongly feels that this all benefits kids as we all become our best selves.
Outside of PTA, Tori has had leadership roles in a regional summer camp, the Arlington Kids’ Kloset, and has volunteered for the Citizens’ Committee for Arlington Schools on bond and levy campaigns.
Area Vice Presidents
Craig Willis is the Washington State PTA (WSPTA) Area E Vice President for the 2023-2025 term.
Craig has years of PTA experience, during which time he has been a member of multiple WSPTA committees and teams, including Nominating Committee, Leadership Committee, Programs Committee, and Convention Activities Sub-Committee. At the Council level, he has held positions as President, Vice President, and Communications Chairperson. At the local level, he has held various positions including President, Vice President, Secretary, and Communications Chairperson. He has also been a member of the WSPTA Region 7 Service Delivery Team, and in that role would interact regularly with the Region 7 Director, Area E VP, and other Service Delivery Team members. As Council President, Craig provided support, recognition, and mentorship to local PTA leaders and the Everett PTSA Council Board of Directors, as well as to PTA leaders and local PTAs elsewhere in our Region, Area, and beyond.
Craig tries to lead by example, including making certain to attend, receive training at, and promote attendance for key WSPTA and National PTA events, as well as encourage participation in WSPTA and National PTA programs and activities. He has also developed various resources and documentation at local and Council levels which have helped PTAs overcome challenges, find leaders, and participate in events. During Spring 2022, Craig received Crystal Level for the WSPTA Leadership Service Award, which recognizes and acknowledges PTA leaders who have attained leadership skills in all levels of PTA, and he was President of the 2021-2022 Outstanding PTA Council of the Year as recognized by WSPTA.
On a personal level, Craig takes responsiveness and communication in high regard, which will be assets to all of the PTA leaders within WSPTA Area E. In the role of WSPTA Area E Vice President, he wants to help find PTA leaders within WSPTA Area E who he can help further nurture leadership development as well as help those leaders gain confidence for potentially more expansive roles within Councils, Region SDTs, or beyond. He also continues to encourage all PTAs to be as representative as possible regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Craig understands that WSPTA Area E Vice President is not about any one person or action; we are all in this together to help ensure that all PTAs and PTA leaders have the opportunity to succeed.
WSPTA Board of Director Meetings
The WSPTA board of directors meets four to five times per year. Members are welcome to request a courtesy seat to the WSPTA president at least one week prior to a meeting or may provide items of interest, concerns, or acknowledgement to the board’s attention by attending the PTA Member Forum which occurs at the beginning of each meeting.
Information about the board meetings can be found on the Events Calendar. Check out the WSPTA Policy Manual, Section 5.1.5 Guest Protocols for WSPTA Board of Directors Meetings for additional details.