Fifteen former PTA leaders gathered at Green High School on March 16 as part of a special evening of reminiscing, recognition and “reflections.” The Green Council of PTAs began the evening with a small, private reception for past PTA presidents, creating an opportunity for some past leaders to see old friends again and to share memorable PTA stories.
Fifteen former PTA leaders gathered at Green High School on March 16 as part of a special evening of reminiscing, recognition and “reflections.” The Green Council of PTAs began the evening with a small, private reception for past PTA presidents, creating an opportunity for some past leaders to see old friends again and to share memorable PTA stories. The Founders Day event was part of the National PTA’s mission to annually honor its founding members. The first PTA in the Green community, East Liberty School PTA, was chartered in 1948. The reception was followed by the formal recognition of these past presidents before an audience of students and families also eagerly awaiting the “Reflections” portion of the program. Introduced first was the most “veteran” past president, Mrs. Ellen (John) Torok, who served as the leader of the Greensburg (Elementary) School PTA from 1964-66.
Also recognized were Betty Davis, Carol Koontz and Cindy Bosnakovic, who were PTA presidents in the 1970’s, as well as Maggie Nyeste and Rene Carpenter, who led PTAs in the 1980's. Other past presidents were recognized who are currently still active in the PTAs. The Council was delighted to have present several ladies who were at the event for the first time. Each president was presented with a packet of special note cards with cover art from some of this year’s PTA Reflections visual arts entries. “It was a privilege to have a part in honoring women who have done so much for our children and our schools,” said Carrie Bridenbaugh, Council’s 1st Vice-President, who coordinated the PTA Founders Day recognition.
Natalie Weinsz, the PTA Council’s 2nd Vice President and Reflections Program coordinator, introduced the next portion of the evening’s program as she gave a brief history of the National PTA Reflections program, which encourages students to unleash their creativity as they are inspired by an annual theme. The theme for the 2008-09 contest was “Wow.” Students in preschool thru grade 12 can submit entries to the program in any of six categories: literature, visual arts, photography, dance choreography, film/video and musical composition.
Mrs. Weinsz proceeded to introduce each school’s PTA Reflections chair and building principal. The principals congratulated participants individually and presented them with a certificate and ribbon. There were 130 participants in the contest this year and twenty-four students were selected by local judges to represent the Green PTA Council at the Ohio PTA state competition.
These students were given the opportunity to display, recite or perform their winning art for the audience. The PTA past presidents enjoyed sharing the spotlight on this evening with the Reflections participants and sat enthralled, along with many proud parents, as young artists proudly held high their artwork or students shyly- and some quite boldly- recited the poem or short story they wrote, or played an original musical piece they composed.
Page 2 of 3 - Council Reflections winners
- Greenwood Learning Center: Blake Jakuszewski, K; Zachary Kapper, K.
- Green Primary School: Dylan Westmeyer, 1.
- Kleckner Elementary School: Carly Anenson, 3; Alexis Subbrink, 3; Arman Aboutorabi, 4; Madeline Dettorre, 4; Bradley Goodwill, 4; Lauren Shoemaker, 4.
- Green Intermediate School: Amanda Bleichrodt, 5; Sara Mageusky, 5; Mikayla Reale, 5; Adam Long, 6.
- Green Middle School: Jocelyn Claytor, 7; Nicholas Reale, 7; Zachary Schrenkenberger, 7; Joshua Wang, 7; Ryan Kramanah, 8.
- Green High School: Devon Sager, 9; Estee Beasley, 10; Summer Garfield-Jackson, 10; Sarah E. Klein, 10; and Kelsey Corle, 11.
- Honorable Mentions were also recognized as follows: Kendall Anenson,1; Madison Kile, 4; Samantha Plummer, 4; Jared Sager, 6; Josh Bisson, 7; Caitlin Karelitz, 10; Chelsea Peng, 10; Josh Zabel, 10; David Longstaff, 11; and Katherine Vatilla, 11.
The Green Council of PTAs was notified the day of this Awards’ Ceremony that four of their students’ submissions had won state honors:
Blake Jakuszewski (Kindergarten, Greenwood) - Award of Merit (3rd Place), Musical Composition, Primary Division; Joshua Wang (Grade 7, GMS) - Award of Outstanding Achievement (2nd Place), Musical Composition, Middle Division; Estee Beasley (Grade 10, GHS) - Award of Outstanding Achievement (2nd Place), Literature, Senior Division; and Summer Garfield-Jackson (Grade 10, GHS) - Award of Excellence (1st Place), Literature, Senior Division
Summer's entry, as a first-place state winner, will now move on to the National level of competition! Her composition will also be part of a state-wide traveling exhibition of Reflections’ Award of Excellence winners for the next few months. Visitors to the school district’s website, www.greenlocalschools.org, can read Summer’s winning story, “Wingdings Outwit the World Wide Web,” by following the link to the PTA Council home page. The Green PTA Council is very excited to have four students place at the state competition and especially proud to have a piece moving on to compete nationally!
State PTA Reflections winners
Wrapping up the Reflections’ Awards announcements, Mrs. Weinsz proudly introduced kindergartener, Grant Daly, who created much buzz and excitement amongst the Green PTAs and schools when it was learned that his submission to the National PTA’s annual Reflections theme contest was chosen to be the national theme for 2010-11. Grant’s theme, “Together We Can,” is sure to inspire students across the nation who will participate in the PTA Reflections creative arts program in the near future. Grant is a student at Greenwood Early Learning Center. Grant will receive a $100 prize from National PTA for his winning theme.
Before the evening concluded, Nina Biscan, president of the Green Council of PTAs, made a special and heartfelt presentation to outgoing superintendent, Dr. Wade Lucas. By unanimous consent of the PTAs in Green, Dr. Lucas was honored with an Ohio PTA Achievement Award, in recognition of his outstanding service to the children and youth of Green Local Schools during his too-brief tenure here. Dr. Lucas was unable to attend the March 16 event, but Mrs. Biscan was able to present the award certificate and lapel pin to him in his office on his last day serving Green Local Schools. Dr. Lucas expressed his thanks and requested that it be extended to all who support the PTAs mission.
Page 3 of 3 - The Green Council of PTAs provides leadership and support to the PTAs of Green Schools. It coordinates common programs of its member units, such as the Reflections Program, as well as supporting two annual scholarships for graduating Green High School students. The PTA Council also sponsors the upcoming annual Summit County Schools Art Expo, a juried show of student art that is free and will be open to the public April 9-21 at the Portage Lakes Career Center, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fridays.