Stanley parents, teachers, students and community-
What an amazing way to close out the 2012-2013 school year!
We had our PTA General Meeting a couple of Fridays ago. In addition to much needed end of year business that needed to be addressed, one highlight of our meeting was to honor a number of individuals for PTA Honorary Service awards. These individuals, all parents of one or more students here at Stanley, were nominated by one or more of their parent peers for exhibiting volunteerism at Stanley and/or in the community that significantly exceeded any expectations. In no particular order, the following individuals were recipients of these PTA Honorary Service awards: Emma Bishopp & Rachel Yates (for Faculty Appreciation volunteerism); Catherine Maiden & Merilee McCormick (for Science Expo volunteerism); Betsy Hyatt and Suzie Heithcock (for Stanley Wed AM Cafe volunteerism); and Kathryn Winogura (for Lafayette community volunteerism). I hope that you will join me in congratulating these individuals when next you see them.
We also had our Old Board-New Board Exec Board meeting this past Thursday, where this year's PTA Executive Board handed over the reins to next year's Executive Board. I was fortunate enough to learn on my return from Jazz Cafe this past Friday that our incoming PTA President, Tony LaFrance, had just received news that the last remaining spot on next year's PTA Executive Board, namely Executive VP, had been filled. Congratulations on having a complete team to Tony and next year's PTA Executive Board! Thank you, Rowena Baginski, Maryanne McCormick and Becky Kenney for your past years of service; you will be missed. Welcome aboard, Katie Soloman, Martha Woodard and Julie Hurd; we look forward to working with you next year.
I also was fortunate enough to be able to attend the annual Stanley Jazz Cafe this past Friday. For those readers who don't know, this annual event is the only fundraiser, held annually, for Stanley's AM Jazz Band programs. What a wonderful talented group of student musicians we have here at Stanley; they, and their counterparts from Acalanes who also performed on Friday, sounded absolutely wonderful! And, what a wonderful group of supporting parents, coordinated by Judy Haxo, and musical teachers, led by Bob Athayde, we have to support our students in the development and expression of our students' musical talent. If you missed Jazz Cafe this year, I strongly urge you to attend at least one year's Jazz Cafe during your student's Stanley career.
I hope that all parents, teachers and students will join me in wishing a wonderful and enjoyable time to all of our students at their upcoming end of year parties, and in thanking all of our parent volunteers without whose help none of these would have been possible. My daughter has already reported back to me what a fabulous time she had with all of the other OppKnocks students at Six Flags. Thank you, parents and teachers, for making possible all of these end of year, extra-curricular activities.
Speaking of OppKnocks, though we have a complete slate for our next year's PTA Executive Board, we are still looking for passionate parents to step into committee chair leadership roles for a few PTA sponsored programs. Our most pressing remaining needs include a co-chair (to join Lynda Rotundo) for OppKnocks, and committee chairs for the International Student Day Luncheon, and the 8th Grade Promotion Party. Please contact Tony LaFrance directly (email@example.com
) to learn more about these wonderful roles.
The last thing we are still seeking from our parent community is input about what our parents would want to see from next year's Stanley PTA. I really hope that more parents will step up to provide this input to Tony or me, as both Tony and I share the goal of breaking the (mis)-perceptions, shared by many with whom I have spoken over the course of the past year, that PTA might be a bit cliquish, and/or that PTA might have a set way of doing things and might not be open to change/differences. Tony and I share the common goal of breaking through these (mis)-perceptions, but we can only do so with your help/input.
To kick off this input, I thought that I would share a couple of personal observations from my time as President this past year:
1. Though I have enjoyed the work between PTA and the District over the past year, I would like to see next year's PTA parent volunteers work more closely with District employees in the pursuit of co-funded/co-implemented projects, with appropriate deference being given by all to PTA parents and District employees based on their respective strengths (business and education, respectively) and relationships;
2. Though we have made enormous progress in communications between the various stakeholders involved in providing for the curricular and extra-curricular education of our children (Parent Organizations (POs), District/Stanley and parents), I would like to see even more progress made, in the form of more consistent communication between POs and Stanley/District, POs and parents, and Stanley/District and parents.
We have already begun taking steps to ensure that these observations will be addressed in the upcoming year. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tony LaFrance (email@example.com) with any further input/observations that you would like to provide about what/how we should be doing things as a PTA.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to all of you, parents (especially parent volunteers), teachers (and staff), and students, without whom we would not have any of the wonderful programs, both curricular and extra-curricular, that make Stanley the unique, amazing middle school that it is, and that have made my role as PTA President such an enjoyable and rewarding experience to have had this past year. THANK YOU!
Happy Summer, and see you in August 2013.
2012-2013 Stanley PTA President
Stanley parents, teachers, students and community-
We have had many fabulous events since my last letter: Hunger Luncheon; the GRO dance; Wildcats On Stage presentations of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; International Concert; and several PTA fundraisers (A's Night, The Counter, and more). Thanks to all the volunteer and participant parents, teachers and students who helped make each of these events such a success.
Coming at the end of this week on Friday, May 24 starting @ 8:45am is our last PTA General Meeting of the year. Given that we have so many ideas to discuss and vote upon, we look forward to seeing you there.
Please mark your calendars for Thursday, May 30 (Open House) and Friday, May 31 (Jazz Cafe).
The school year is rapidly coming to a close. And with it come transitions galore: to this upcoming summer, to Wildcat Day 2013 (more on that soon), and to our upcoming school year. I invited our incoming PTA President, Tony LaFrance, to provide us with his first message to you in view of these upcoming transitions:
"Hello Stanley community,
I will be next year's Stanley PTA president and have one question. What would you like the Stanley PTA to do different next year? Please email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stanley PTA President 2013-2014"
Happy Memorial Day (and a belated Happy Mother's Day).
Stanley PTA President 2012-2013
Stanley parents, teachers, students and community-
It's been a fun, crazy week getting back into the groove of things after a lovely Spring Break. Opening Day has come and gone (Go SF Giants and Oakland A's!). So, I can think of no better theme than baseball for this first April PTA President's letter.
Our play of the week (or year, depending on who you might ask). We had our PTA Exec Board meeting this past Thursday. Though we had lots of business to conduct (the fruits of which you will see in the many upcoming Stanley PTA-sponsored events which will close out our school year), one highlight of our meeting was being interrupted by Dr. Fred Brill, our LafSD Superintendent, who walked in, unannounced but with a big smile on his face, to let us know about the just-released news that Stanley had been awarded Distinguished School Status for 2013. This is the first year that Stanley has been eligible to receive this award since first receiving it in 2009; our Stanley teachers, staff and students hit a "home run" on their first "at-bat." Way to go, Stanley teachers, staff, and students!
Given the level of outstanding volunteerism and extracurriculars available at Stanley, it will hopefully come as no surprise to all that additional congratulations are due for the following additional "hits" (and "home runs") of note:
-To our Science Expo parent volunteers (led by co-chairs Catherine Maiden, Merilee McCormick and Laura Varner) and teachers for putting on such a wonderful Science Expo on the Wednesday before Spring Break; over 35 exhibitors and 700 people participated in this event, and I personally heard at least three people characterize this year's version of the Science Expo as the "best yet."
-To our Jazz Band Messenger band students, parents, and teachers (led by Bob Athayde), for having been invited to, and having excelled in performing at, the Monterey Jazz Festival over Spring Break; only 6 middle school jazz bands from throughout the United States were invited this year, and our trumpet section was recognized as "Best Middle School Trumpet Section" for the Festival.
-To Stanley's Odyssey of the Mind student teams (and their supporting cast of parents and teachers), for having one of their teams place second at the CA state level competition, and for earning a trip to the international competition occurring over Memorial Day weekend.
Congratulations and nice job to all parents, teachers and students who contributed to the success of the above!
Our baseball theme would not be complete without a word on our recruiting efforts for our next year's parent-led, PTA "team". We are still looking for additional parent volunteers to help in leading certain Stanley extracurricular PTA-sponsored events for 2013-2014. Though there are a few positions available, our most pressing needs are for Executive Vice President, OppKnocks Chair and Stanley Cafe Chair. Please contact Tony LaFrance at email@example.com
for more details.
Upcoming events sponsored and/or supported by our current, parent-led, PTA "team," which we hope one or more of your family will choose to attend, include:
-Stanley's Hunger Luncheon this coming Wednesday, April 17. Additional parent volunteers and food supplies (especially parent-baked lasagna pans) are welcome. Please see http://goo.gl/yvSNk
for details and to sign-up to participate.
-GRO dance this coming Friday, April 19, open to grades 6-8.
-Wildcats on Stage play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoast, coming Friday-Saturday, April 26-27 (sponsored jointly with the LPIE "team").
Please make sure to frequently check the calendar of upcoming events at www.stanleypta.org
For those of you who prefer "collectibles," we have a number of upcoming fundraisers, most of which will give you the option to purchase "collectibles," which I want to highlight for your consideration; we hope that you will choose to participate in some, if not all, of these "fun-raising", fundraising events:
-Stanley license plate holders; to celebrate Stanley's award of "Distinguished School" status, we will be making available for sale by the end of the school year commemorative "Stanley Middle School - CA Distinguished School" license plate holders. Please check back later at www.stanleypta.org
for more details!
-Dinner night at The Counter (1699 N California, Walnut Creek - near Target) on Tuesday, April 16; make sure you bring the flyer available at http://goo.gl/GTZ55
-Refillable, BPA-free Nalgene water bottles, the sale of which will help fund installation of a refrigerated, purified water fountain at Stanley
-Stanley Middle School A's "Step Up To The Plate" Family Night - Please purchase your tickets for this event by no later than this coming Monday, April 15. More details and sign up form available at http://goo.gl/M6LLo
Lastly, so as to avoid bias between the A's and the Giants (and to show a bit of fatherly pride as well), I invite you to view, at http://goo.gl/NC5yY
, a promotional video for the SF Giants. The video stars several incoming Stanley students, fifth graders from Burton Valley (including my daughter, Helen Kleinsmith). What a wonderful set of "talented prospects" we have to look forward to at Stanley for future years!
I hope that you had a great Spring Break, and that you have a great week.
PTA President 2012-2013