May 4, 2017

104th Annual #WSPTAconvention Summary

It was such a pleasure to welcome so many members to our 104th Annual #WSPTAconvention! Enthusiasm and energy filled the days and helped make this year’s event fun and gratifying.

As in years past, we developed a program full of opportunities for PTA leaders to learn and grow in their leadership skills, discover the power of this association for our children, network with other PTA leaders from around the state, obtain new ideas for your PTA, and let your PTA’s voice be heard on important decisions setting the course for the association’s future.

We were inspired by remarks from the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, the 2017 Washington State PTA Teacher of the Year, Camille Jones, and National PTA’s Vice President of Advocacy, Shannon Sevier. And, most especially, the hard work done by the local PTAs and councils across our state was recognized at the President’s Awards Reception.

By attending convention, you validate our vision and mission and the hard work of PTA leaders like you that have a common passion for improving the lives of children. It is my hope that you feel validated and energized in your role as advocates for children.

On behalf of the WSPTA board of directors and staff, thank you for helping to make this another memorable convention!

Barbara Martin
Washington State PTA President, 2015-2017


Local PTA Awards of Excellence
The Local PTA and Council Awards of Excellence Awards recognizes local PTAs, community PTAs, and councils whose level of effort in specific areas help them make a difference in their community. Recipients are award for their work in advocacy, family and community engagement, communications, and taking action. The award winners will be added to the Awards of Excellence page shortly.

Friend of Children Award
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Washington State’s primary state agency overseeing K-12 public education, was presented with the Washington State PTA Friend of Children Award. Their vision of “every student ready for career, college, and life” – works in tandem with WSPTA’s vision “making every child’s potential a reality,” and both of organization’s missions are in concert. Receiving the award was Chris Reykdal, the newly installed Superintendent of Public Instruction. In addition, Reykdal spent time speaking to the WSPTA audience, about his goal for the future of education in Washington.

Leadership Academy
The program awards leadership points for leadership positions held in both PTA and other educational committees, classes presented, conference attendance, and other WSPTA and National PTA events. Crystal-level awardees were recognized during convention; those recipients include: Tania Skinner, Denise Constantineau, Janet Stewart, Judy East, Juliet Perry, and Kimberli Swenson.

Outstanding Service Award
This honor goes to a person who has shown concern for ALL children and who has volunteered her or his time to help children achieve their potential. During the 2017 convention, the Outstanding Service Award was presented to long-time volunteer and former state board member, Karen Albers. A contribution is made in their name to the WSPTA Scholarship Program.

Outstanding PTA/Council of the Year
The Outstanding PTA/Council of the Year Award identifies and honors local PTAs/councils that, when compared to all others in their unique environment and within their own special circumstances, are the most representative examples of PTAs/councils that exemplify the purposes and mission of Washington State PTA. The 2017 recipient, Northshore Council 6.10, was presented with the award during the President’s Award Reception.

PTA Men’s Essay
This statewide essay contest explores the important and varied contributions that men make in the lives and education of children – from the children’s perspective. All men involved in a child’s life – fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, step-fathers, mentors, neighbors, pastors, coaches, and friends – impact the children they care about. Each of the winners read their essay, with the male they chose, during general session. The 2017 essay winners are Siya Gupta (Kindergarten, CedarWood PTA 7.3.3), Caitlyn Ewasko (2nd grade, GES PTA 15.2.25), Alexander Wright (4th grade, Samantha Smith PTSA 2.8.57), Joshua Platte (8th grade, Heatherwood PTSA 7.3.71), and Navik Nanubhai (10th grade, Skyline High School PTSA 2.6.70).

Congratulations to Sorina Hoefgen, Thompson PTA 5.3.20, for engaging with the event app (Attendify) the most during the weekend; she received a Family Night at Great Wolf Lodge.

Professional Development and Classes

Attendees were kept quite busy with a plethora of classes offered during the three-day event. The weekend started with two professional growth and development classes: An Introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach® for Transforming Parenting and Teaching and Preparing Your Children For Their Future: Job and Career Development Opportunities. Those who had not previously attended convention were encouraged to attend Welcome to Convention! A Guide for Newcomers. For the remainder of the event, classes offered ranged from every PTA role, such as president – fundraising committee member – Reflections chair. Convention ended with the always informative PTA & the Law, Parts 1 and 2. This class is imperative in helping PTAs understand how to run a successful PTA.


2017-19 Board of Directors were installed Saturday and will take office June 1.

  • President: Michelle Nims
  • Vice President: Teri Davis
  • Secretary: Diane Call
  • Finance Officer: Janice Kutzera
  • Family & Community Engagement Director: Duncan Taylor
  • Leadership Director: Julie Haase
  • Legislative Director: Nancy Chamberlain
  • Membership Director: Megan Klein
  • Program Director: Kimberli Swenson
  • Area A Vice President: Monika Scotti
  • Area B Vice President: Jane Dulski
  • Area C Vice President: Tania Skinner
  • Area D Vice President: Amanda Shipman
  • Area E Vice President: Mary Levesque

Bylaws Amendments

The current set of WSPTA Uniform Bylaws went into effect July 1, 2015. Last Fall, members were asked to submit amendments to the current set of bylaws. After each submission was vetted with the bylaws committee, they were placed before membership for a vote to amend the current set of bylaws, which was voted unanimously during general session. The current bylaws can be read here and the approved amendments will be posted shortly. The new set of bylaws will be added to the Governance page when they go into effect on July 1, 2017. Members will have the opportunity to submit bylaws amendments Fall 2017, for consideration during the 2018 WSPTA convention.


Chris Reykdal
As the newly-installed Superintendet of Public Instruction, Chris spoke about leading the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to being committed to opening up multiple pathways to high school graduation beyond the “university for all” approach.

Shannon Sevier
During Shannon’s speech, she spoke about bing an active community volunteer for more than 20 years and a PTA member for 16 years; which includes serving on the national board of directors, as the European PTA president, as well as the vice president for legislation. In addition, Shannon assisted with the installation of the 2017-19 WSPTA board of director

M.J. McDermott
As a women empowerment advocate, M.J. delighted the crowd with stories of her PTA journey and perseverance of elevating women; although, as she is a meteorologist, M.J. did give the crowd a weekend weather prediction. She then shared that while her twin sons (now 20 years old) were in school, she was a proud PTA leader.

Camille Jones
Although Camille, Pioneer Elementary teacher and 2017 Washington State Teacher of the Year was not able to attend, she was with us by video. You can watch Camille’s Teacher of the Year video here.


Feel free to view photos from the event photo album here. If you have photos to add, please send to:

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thank you for the continued support of our sponsors and exhibitors.


  • McDonald’s – Full year sponsorship
  • AIM – Full year sponsorship
  • Lifetouch – Attendee badges, Reflections pictures
  • Pemco –  Attendee bags
  • Comcast Internet Essentials – WiFi access
  • FedEx Office – Attendee mailing labels
  • Kelley Imaging – Convention office equipment
  • The Get Movin’ Crew – Attendee pedometers
  • Cascade Recreation – Attendee notepads
  • Leo’s Photography – Attendee pens
  • Association Services – Attendee lanyards
  • Big Kahuna Fundraising – Mobile app
  • Scholastic Book Fairs – Mobile app
  • Mountain America Credit Union – Mobile app
  • Pro Image Sportswear – #WSPTAproud hats (limited quantity)

For a full list of exhibitors at convention, click here.

Save the Dates!

Be sure to add these events to your 2017-2018 local PTA/council budget:

Category: Advocacy , Awards , Education , Events , Family Engagement , Leadership , Legislative , Membership , Programs , Reflections , Training

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