From April 26-28, PTA leaders from across Washington State came together for WSPTA Convention. This year convention was located at the Hilton Hotel near SeaTac Airport. During convention, PTA leaders have an opportunity to take training classes, receive coaching sessions from seasoned PTA leaders, network, visit exhibitor booths and attend general sessions. Stillwater had 6 PTSA leadership team members that were able to attend across two of the days: Monique Linz, Rachel DelCarmen, Lindsey Tolson, Roslyn Reeps, Carmen Love and Chelsea Krause. Thank you for spending time away from your families to attend this invaluable training opportunity!
Our Stillwater representatives attended over 10 training classes, 3 general sessions, volunteered for WSPTA, and visited several exhibit booths to get vendor contact information for both the playground and yearbook. During 2 of the general sessions, Stillwater was honored with several awards: 100% Staff Membership, Gold Level Membership Growth Award, Outstanding Newsletter (Gold), Outstanding Website (Gold), Outstanding Communication Strategy (Gold) and Standards of Excellence (Silver). Thank you to our Awards Lead, Michelle Berens who put together the awards applications.
Rachel DelCarmen, our outgoing and incoming treasurer attended a class from AIM (our insurance carrier). She noted that, “I learned quite a bit about the different types of policies a PTA should carry and why. He was also really helpful about how to approach some areas like bounce houses and social media which can be hot spots for PTAs.” Rachel also attended a 2-part PTA & the Law training class, which she noted, “I learned about a new IRS regulation that came out in the last few weeks so was glad to bring that back. We learned quite a bit about licenses, taxes and registrations we do with the state and federal government as a 501(c)(3). We talked about contracts and how we protect ourselves as an organization. It was super helpful.”
Monique Linz, our outgoing fundraising chair and incoming president attended several classes for new presidents. “I learned a few new ideas for rewarding and reaching out to new members, involving our local high schools for more, and more about what WSPTA’s website has to offer. I’ve left knowing more about Roberts Rules and wanting to understand more when I came home, how differently each board runs and how important process is to your PTA to keep things running properly and smoothly. The teachers were polite to answer all questions and allow you to talk with them more after the class which seemed to be a big hit for new PTA’s. This was my first convention and based off what I saw this year I’m excited to branch out to more classes next year and focus on ones that come up more throughout the year as they may suit my goals and visions.”
Carmen Love, our outgoing and incoming member and social chair attended a class on membership. “Convention was a lot of fun. It was overwhelming how large it was. I went to the Membership training and learned a lot about getting the word out there about the PTSA and how to start planning now for the fall. I took a lot of notes and felt it was very rewarding and I was glad I got the opportunity. It has only made me stronger!”
Chelsea Krause, our outgoing lead volunteer for almost everything and incoming secretary attended a secretary training class. “I attended Secretary: More Than Just Minutes and found it very informative and helpful. I learned about what should and should not go in the minutes, what to keep track of and how to word things to make it more of a legal document than notes. I found the instructor very knowledgeable and friendly. I loved walking around the vendor area, although it felt a little cramped and there were a lot of people all in one space so It was hard to get to everyone but it was fun seeing all the different ideas and products! Everyone was friendly and helpful there too. I got lots of information on Yearbooks and had fun in the photo booth!”
Lindsey Tolson, our outgoing and incoming vice president has been to 4 conventions now and spent her time volunteering for WSPTA and attending general sessions. “At the second general session on Saturday, WSPTA had a guest speaker named JC Pohl that was outstanding to listen to. He is the CEO of Teen Truth, a company that has made documentaries on several topics pertitent to youth, but his talk focused on mental health and teen suicide. I would highly recommend PTAs or schools to hire him to come and talk to middle school and/or high school students. You can download 2 chapters from his book on his website too https://teentruth.net/resilientstudents/. During general session we also got to vote on several WSPTA bylaw changes. Some years there is quite a lively debate that occurs around bylaws changes and it’s fascinating to see the parlimentary work in action, this year there was only minor changes. I enjoyed showing the other ladies from Stillwater around convention since they had never been before.”