PTO notes & thank yous

This will be my final ITK article, so I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many folks who have made a significant contribution to make our school a better place.

  • All the PTO officers for their hard work. Paula Prince, Vanessa Bailey, Jennifer Farmer and Debbie Rink have done an excellent job which has touched almost everyone in our community in one way or another. Thank You!

  • Kate Schweitzer, Mark Jones and the amazing auction committee redefined “success” for us. Never before has the school raised so much money while having so much fun. Thank You!

  • Bob Bondaruk and his team of willing volunteers made Pizza Monday run like a well oiled machine and they did it all with a smile. Thank You!

  • Joan Francis single handedly ran Scrip and brought new energy and momentum to this project. Since all scrip monies are dedicated to Capstone her efforts will make the 5th grade Capstone Trips Abroad easier for all of us. Just Scrip was not enough for Joan so she also took on “Run for the Arts” and did an excellent job with that too. Thank You!

  • The school ambassadors (Amy Kohnstamm, Holly Smithwick and Debbie Richman) did so many big and small things at school this year that it is hard to list them all. The biggest success was the teacher appreciation event organized by them. It was a big event that was run smoothly and was enjoyed and appreciated by all the teachers. Thank you!

  • Colette Rabdau owned and ran the ITK again this year. Despite the fact that I probably drove her crazy with late submissions and many changes, she continued to smile and take it all in stride. She and the ITK team deserve a big hand from all of us for a job well done despite many challenges. Thank You!

  • Jennifer Cooperman and the Sally Foster team did it again this year! They made it all look so easy and also looked into ideas for improving things some more next year. Thank You!

  • The Green committee had many players this year. I would like to thank Jessica Duke for her efforts on this front, Kimmy Simon who smiled all the way through the year as she kept looking for new ways to improve things. Martha Koerner and Ellen Goldsmith - thank you for guiding the green committee and providing mentorship where needed. Many others played a role in this area. Thank you all!

  • Shari Martin, for once again taking charge of the BT4E and soup labels. This activity runs quietly in the background with Shari’s guidance. Thank You!

  • The staff Holiday Dinner was an amazing event this year. Heidi Fouser, Susan Marcus and many other parents worked hard to put together a fantastic dinner for the staff at the wonderful home of Alan and Victoria O’Kain. Thank you All!

  • Community Service day found a new champion in Jamie Anderson. She ran a great event that raised over 900lbs of food for the Oregon Food Bank. Thank you!

  • The ongoing Legacy Emmanuel Book drive was made possible due to the efforts of Mary Stevenson, Paula Prince and Renee Cain with guidance from the ever willing Susan Marcus. Thank You!

  • The upcoming Wine tasting event which is sure to be a big hit is being brought to you by many people guided by the enthusiasm of Paula Prince and Susan Marcus. Thank You!

  • Thanks to Tristan Todd for helping us launch the technology Committee and to Scott Urbatsch and Jim Abeles who stayed with it to help bring TIS up to speed on the technology front. Thank you all!

  • Elizabeth Wolf, Chris Higgins, Janet Olson, Junxi Huang, Kim Braun, Akiko Soehl, and Arkady Mak among many others who volunteered to be a part of the library committee thus helping to make the library a reality much sooner. Thank you all!

  • The Capstone committee (Patti Ng, Joan Francis, Susan Marcus, Paula Prince, Mark Jones, Maria Lira among many others) have done an amazing job clarifying things, making clear plans and executing them with their eye clearly on the goal of helping every child go on a capstone trip and have an amazing life changing experience. Thank you!

  • Molly Stratton deserves a special hand for single handedly running the McMenamins Friends and Family night which turned out to be a fun event that also raised funds for technology. Thank you!

  • The CFL fundraiser was Lee Rahr’s baby and she too worked on it by herself. Thank you Lee for running with this!

  • Elda Orr has put in countless hours working with Phil and expertly managing building renovation plans. Big thank yous to Elda and to everyone else on the facilities committee.

  • Each and everyone of us has benefited from our respective Room Parents' willingness to do what needed to be done to keep the classroom running smoothly and optimize our children’s learning experience. From organizing field trips to copying educational materials or even bringing in caterpillars for a classroom project, they step up to the plate for everything and anything that needs to be done. Please take the time to stop and personally thank your room parent for his/her hard work. Thank you RPs, you make TIS a great school!

  • I would like to thank the TEACHERS on behalf of the entire parent community. Each and every one of them has put our kids first to give the most possible to the children. I strongly believe that honoring teachers and what they do for our children has to be at the center of everything we do. The greatest asset a school has is its teachers, at TIS this is even more true as we are a very unique school and our teachers are the reason for our successes past, present and future. Please take the time to stop and give your teacher a hug and let her/him know what you appreciate about them. Do it as often as you can.

  • We all have a special spot in our hearts for Lupe and all she does for our school. A great big thank you to her for continuing to be a part of our community and for teaching me my first 10 words in Spanish. Gracias!

  • Thank you to the administrative staff for the many achievements on the accreditation as well as real estate fronts among other things.

Finally I thank all the parents at TIS. You may not all have been a committee chair or a room parent and you may not have seen your name on the list above but each of you should give yourselves a pat on the back for the many little and not so little things you have done this year that have brought a smile to a child’s face or a made a teacher’s job just that little bit easier. The little things you do are just as important as the big things you do!

I would also like to thank all the parents who took the time to come to the PTO meetings this year. I hope you found the agenda relevant and the discussions useful. The PTO officers feel energized by a full room of enthusiastic and motivated parents. Your opinions and inputs define what we do. Please, do let us know how we can do a better job of serving you.

The following PTO officer positions for the 2008-2009 academic year have been filled:
1. PTO VP – Paula Prince
2. New Parent Liason – Debbie Richman and Kimmy Simon
3. PTO Secy – Debbie Rink
4. PTO Treasurer – Peter Sommers

As you may have guessed being a PTO officer is quite a bit of work, but each year motivated parents step forward and sign up for the various positions because they want to make a difference. We all lead busy and full lives so it is quite understandable that we cannot all fit one more thing into our lives each year, but do consider the possibility of serving on the PTO when your schedule allows. Maybe next year or the year after one of these positions will call your name and you will have the time.

As you can see from the above list we do not have a PTO president identified for next year as yet. If you are interested or want to know more about this position, please call or send me an email and I will be happy to give you some more information. One of the great side benefits of being the PTO president is the friendships you develop with the other PTO officers as well as the parent and teacher community. It is an incredibly enriching experience. My day is made when I walk onto campus and the little ones give me a hug or spend time chatting with me. Enthusiastic hugs from Claudia D, and the friendly wave of Sienna F, shy smiles from Hana N, Sinai L and Kylie F. I have been the lucky recipient of many small gifts this year. Next year could be your turn.

The minutes of the last PTO meeting will be posted on campus by next week. PTO Secretary Debbie Rink is putting them together as quickly as she can. To those of you who did come to the last meeting and were confused or lost by some of the discussion I want to tender my apologies. Some issues are not appropriate for a detailed discussion in that forum as they violate confidentiality. The board and the parents who had knowledge of the issues were attempting to respect confidentiality while addressing the underlying issues. It was an emotional and difficult meeting for all involved and I respect everyone’s patience as we tried to navigate the difficult waters.

Finally I would like to end my term as PTO President by saying that I was honored to have been given the opportunity to serve the TIS community. I did my best to live up to your expectations and to meet the needs of the broad TIS community.

Binny Arcot
(Who will be past PTO president in a few more weeks, but still hoping for hugs, waves and smiles)