Local PTAs win awards

Local parents and PTA councils from Issaquah and Sammamish were honored last week at the Washington State PTA Convention in Seatac.

Local parents and PTA councils from Issaquah and Sammamish were honored last week at the Washington State PTA Convention in Seatac.

Bringing home one of the big awards was the Issaquah High School PTSA, which was selected as the “Outstanding Local Unit of the Year.”

“Historically, there have been few winners of this award by high schools, so we feel it is extra special and a testament to the importance of continued involvement by parents in schools after elementary school,” said Marianne Kersten, president of the IHS PTSA.

The award is given to the council in the state that follows guidelines for goal setting, running a nonprofit and advocating on behalf of kids, Kersten said.

“It’s very rare that a high school wins it,” she said. “I guess we trumped the ‘cuteness factor’ of the elementary schools.”

While many parents are involved in their children’s school life while they are young, it’s rare to have high parent involvement at the higher grade levels, she said. Issaquah High has 100 percent membership, meaning that a parent or guardian for every student belongs to the PTSA. The group has 1,340 members.

To apply for consideration, Issaquah submitted 30 pages or so of information about their financial practices, how they recruit members, what they do for kids, how they help educate students and parents and more.

As winners of the award, Issaquah High’s PTSA will receive tickets to the national PTA convention in San Diego and represent Washington state.

Among the other awards won by Issaquah School District PTSA councils and members were:

• Kelly Munn, who won the Outstanding Advocate award.

• Crystal level leadership academy: Marianne Kersten, Deborah Parsons, Suzanne Weaver.

• Grand Ridge Elementary School, which was selected as a “PTA Taking Significant Action” for its Kinderconnect programs.

• 100 percent membership: Issaquah and Skyline high schools; Cougar Ridge, Cascade Ridge, Discovery, Grand Ridge, Maple Hills, Newcastle and Endeavour elementary schools; and Beaver Lake and Pine Lake Middle schools.

• Standards of Excellence: Apollo, Briarwood, Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Cougar Ridge, Discovery, Endeavour, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills, Newcastle, Sunny Hills and Sunset elementary schools; Beaver Lake, Issaquah and Pine Lake middle schools; and Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools.

• Honor units: Issaquah High; and Grand Ridge, Sunset, Briarwood and Endeavor elementary schools; and Pine Lake Middle School.

• Newsletter award: Briarwood Elementary.

Several Sammamish-area school PTAs in the Lake Washington School district also won awards.

“We’re always glad to see our units do so well,” said Wendy DeLong, president of the Lake Washington PTSA Council.

Those awards included:

• Outstanding e-mail: Margaret Mead Elementary.

• Newsletter award: Lake Washington PTSA Council

• 100 percent membership: Elizabeth Blackwell Elementary, Samantha Smith Elementary.

• Standards of excellence: Margaret Mead, silver level.

• 100 percent active PTAs in a council: Lake Washington PTSA Council.