Our PTA is a wee fledgling falcon…

FPEPTAfalcon_DirectDriveHeart_2014_Sept18Our PTA is a wee fledgling falcon. Like tending to an infant, there was much unbridled enthusiasm, frantic energy, intense research and collaboration — as well as some sleepless nights — invested in hatching this new nonprofit business and in nurturing into a functioning entity. There is still work to be done, but I am happy to report the Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is learning how to fly.

Six months ago our PTA did not exist, and diligent parent volunteers, teachers, and community members mobilized to create a PTA. Less than five months ago, our PTA was chartered as an affiliate of the Washington State PTA. Less than two months ago, Fairmount Park Elementary was granted 501(c)(3) exemption by the IRS. Our Annual Give Campaign, which kicked off two weeks ago, has already raised over $10,000. On Monday, we will have our first general membership meeting in the school!

Please come to the first general membership meeting of the school year!  The schedule for the evening is as follows:

Monday, September 22 in the lunchroom at Fairmount Park Elementary
6:00-6:15 PM
  • Child Care Drop-off
    (Please note: Child care is provided courtesy of the PTA by The YMCA. There is staff available to supervise only 30 children who are in grades K-5, so if you have a friend or family member who can watch your child/ren, please schedule accordingly. Child care is first come, first serve.)

  • Donations and Memberships Accepted

  • Take Seats

6:15-7:15 PM
  • General Membership Business Meeting

7:15-8:15 PM

In addition to approving a budget for the remaining school year, executive committee officers will be elected. Some chuckle when I emphasize that I am the interim president, but the steering committee members unanimously insisted on appointing interim executive officers and preparing an interim budget for very serious reasons: efficiency, equity of process, inclusion of all interested community members, and discovering, valuing, and utilizing the skills and interests of volunteers — principles and values that guide our school and extend to our PTA (hopefully they also trickle through to our children!).

Kudos to the nominating committee members — Ann Limbaugh, Michael Griesedieck, Christine Deppe, and Tami Aidlin — for working many hours through the summer to evaluate and interview nominees. They presented the following recommended slate of officers in last week’s Falcon Flyer:

  • President: Hillary Shaw

  • First Vice President: Jasmine Aryana

  • Second Vice President: Jennifer Chynoweth

  • Secretary: Lisha Jacoy

  • Treasurer: Renee Hopkins

This slate will be presented at the meeting on Monday, and there will be an opportunity to nominate from the floor. While Jasmine, Renee, and I hope to continue on in our roles, Faith Iverson and Christine Deppe will be volunteering for Fairmount Park Elementary in other ways for the duration of the school year. We would not have our well-written, relevant, and flexible standing rules, nor our thorough meeting minutes and notes if not for Faith, and Christine — in addition to acting as interim vice president — served on the nominating committee, assisted with teacher interviews, was a member of the planning task force, and graciously offered her business space at The Office Junction for PTA meetings and fundraising events before we had a space to meet. Please thank Faith and Christine when you see them!

The outpouring of volunteer time, resources, energy, and knowledge continues to astound me. At the meeting on Monday, we will hear reports from volunteers who have, among other things: procured funding for and launched walking school busses, donated a space for a school auction and organized to plan a memorable and profitable event in February, planned play dates and special events and fundraisers, coordinated volunteers for moving day, recess and lunch assistance, and so much more…please come listen, as there is a lot to be excited about!

As much as our school community has accomplished in a short period of time, there is still much work to be done, and many opportunities for you to help the PTA and the school soar for years into the future. Please visit to sign up for volunteer opportunities, please share your ideas and passions within PTA committees, and if you have not already contributed to the Annual Giving Campaign, I encourage you to visit and help to fill the heart of the falcon.

See you Monday!

Hillary Shaw

Interim President, Fairmount Park Elementary PTA
[email protected] |

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