This school year has had its challenges to say the least. The Stillwater Elementary PTSA normally recognizes several individuals through a variety of awards at the end of the school year, with those recipients being nominated by students, parents, and staff. The nomination process for the awards kicked off right before schools went remote, which negatively impacted the number of nominations we received. As a result, just for this year, the PTSA Awards Committee, opted to limit the awards given and recognize the 2 biggest volunteer awards we present, the Golden Acorn Award and Honorary Lifetime Membership Award. But we would also like to give a general shout out to all Stillwater staff, volunteers, students and families for their efforts in these non-normal times. We all are Stillwater strong!

Golden Acorn Award Winner – Karen Wright
The Golden Acorn Award is presented to a volunteer in recognition of his/her dedication and service to children and youth, someone that has gone above and beyond all year to support Stillwater. This year’s recipient is Karen Wright!

Karen and her family started at Stillwater Elementary in 2016 and she has been an avid PTSA supporter and volunteer from the beginning. She has volunteered in so many capacities over the years from her time on the leadership team, leading popcorn, spiritwear, Staff Appreciation Week for several years, and not to mention all of the hours she’s spent volunteering for events and activities. If there’s something happening at Stillwater you can pretty much bet that Karen is either there in the moment or has been involved in some way. Thank you Karen for all of your dedication and support. You are such a caring, kind-hearted and giving person who absolutely deserves to be our Golden Acorn for the 2019-2020 school year. We will miss you beyond measure as your youngest moves to Tolt. Congratulations!

From Karen – “We came late to Stillwater and I wanted to throw myself out there, so I could get to know other moms. I never imagined that  I would also become part of a village. Or that I would be the Special project lead for 3 years. Being apart of The PTSA has brought me life long friendships and pure joy. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment of being the Special Projects lead these past 3 years. Not only was I able experience  the joy from kids, I was able to get to know the wonderful staff and families that make up Stillwater. I’m will be forever grateful for the ladies taking me in 4 years ago and for the memories I will hold in my heart. It makes me sad to be leaving this wonderful school & PTSA! Thank you for the friendships & memories!”

Honorary Lifetime Membership Award Winner – Ann Marie Gill

The Honorary Lifetime Membership Award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to the development and growth of the Stillwater PTSA over many years. This year’s recipient is Ann Marie Gill.

Ann Marie has been a long time Stillwater Elementary PTSA member, volunteer and most notably our Website creator and lead for over 8 years. Always willing to lend a hand and contributing to the PTSA vision in a variety of ways she exemplifies what it is to be committed to the greater good. Her amazing skills have received attention from WA State PTA who has awarded our website several times for its ease of use, content and design. Without our award winning website, pre-order events like Pottery Night and fundraising events like Hawk Walk, would not have been possible. Thank you Ann Marie for you continued effort and support over your years at Stillwater Elementary. Your selfless willingness to pitch in and not only take on the website, but creating the legacy you leave behind is so appreciated. You will be missed and we wish you well. Congratulations!

From Ann Marie – “Not that the 8 years of PTSA website design and help was hard. It was a pleasure to help to grow what was needed on the site. I remember back when Pam Deming was President and I introduced the online payment idea for events and fundraisers. I don’t think the team really knew what to think of online payments – it was so new – but after a couple of years, the idea caught on. Before Karie came along the PTSA sent a lot of emails which was part of my job at the time. I’m so glad Karie streamlined all the information into one school email. It was great working with all the PTSA teams! Everyone was always so appreciative and gave me plenty of time to get tasks done – which doesn’t always happen in my line of work. This was my behind-the-scenes way of donating time to the school that has been such an important part of our family for 10 years. The Gill girls absolutely loved going to Stillwater – how could I not give back? I would ask how their day was when they came home and nearly every day, they would say, “It was awesome!”. That’s all I needed to hear. The teachers, staff and families formed a loving & supportive community that none of the scores and stats can measure. We got lucky moving near Stillwater. The memories of super fun school events & crazy loud assemblies, caring teachers that dealt with my girls shenanigans with love, and long lasting special friendships will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Knowing our girls went to elementary school where they felt comfortable, safe and loved is the best award I could ever get. So thank you for being a big part of a special decade of memories. Now on to the next adventure!!”