Westlake Council of PTAs celebrates Founders' Day

Westlake PTA Founders' Day award winners: (front row) Jennifer Medved, Jim Sanfilippo, Julia Knotek, Sarah Camden; (back row) Dave Kocevar, Lisa Miller, Lauren Falcone, Megan Navratil, Abbey Samide, Jennifer Jones, Lola Wenham. Photo by Leah Behra

PTA's mission is to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the Westlake Council of PTAs honored 11 outstanding individuals who carry out this mission and give of their time and talents to the students of the Westlake City School District.

The annual Founders' Day Celebration was held at LaCentre. Guests were treated to rolling slide show that featured photos of PTA-sponsored events since the beginning of the school year. As part of the slide show, the names of all the volunteers who assisted the PTA in any way figured prominently.

Superintendent Scott Goggin welcomed the attendees by highlighting the relationship between the PTA and the administration. Dr. Goggin related how wonderful it is to see all of the people in the room come together to celebrate "star players in a room full of all-stars." Lauren Backus, president of the Westlake Council of PTAs noted that the National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the nation. In the Westlake City Schools the PTA is 1,255 members strong!

Joe Kraft, president of the Westlake Board of Education, likened the people gathered in the room to a family working together as partners from different points of view with a common purpose.

Each PTA Unit presents an Ohio PTA Achievement Award to an outstanding member. This year, with the four elementary schools being combined, the Westlake Elementary PTA was able to give awards to four individuals. They are: WES Principal Jim Sanfilippo, Jen Jones, Megan Navratil and Lola Wenham. The Early Childhood PTA awarded Julia Knotek, who currently serves as president of the Early Childhood PTA.

For Dover Intermediate School, the award was given to Abbey Samide, who is the current president of DIS PTA. Lisa Miller won the award for Lee Burneson Middle School and Lauren Falcone was the award winner for Westlake High School.

The following awards were from the Council: the Ohio PTA Achievement Award: Dave Kocevar; Helping Hands Award: Sarah Camden ; The "T" in PTA Award: Jennifer Medved.

Westlake High School students volunteered their time and talents to ensure the evening was a success. Leah Behra photographed all the winners and their families. Izzy Miller was the videographer representing WHBS.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.03.2020