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Board Meeting Minutes: 11/8/22

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

November 8, 2022

  • 7:00pm via ZOOM
  • Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
  • Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Glenda Elley – Fundraiser Co-Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Lauren Carey- EDI co chair
  • Emily Barbee Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Susan Hernandez, EDI Co-chair
  • Melissa O’Keefe, EDI Co-chair
  • Sarah Lukas
  • Tricia- Membership
  • Tribly- Reading Specialist
  • Sarah Newcombe- Librarian
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Renee Hartnett- Treasurer


  • Meena Lenn
  • Kiana Swearingen
  • Nichole Miman Waterman
  • Ashley Sullivan

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:05 PM



Took a moment to acknowledge this was a hard day for Seattle Public Schools.  Sending solace to Ingraham community and all of those affected.    

School update- we are doing great.  We’ve hit our stride and kids are stretching themselves and have good curiosity.  Kindergartners settled in and many other fantastic things happening.  

Loved the fall festival.  Thank you to Jess Tz for organizing.

Postponed the gratitude assembly because Ms. Steph is out and will get that rescheduled.  

Ms. Trilby & Sarah Update: 

Book Fair- Literacy Night.  There will be folks reading aloud on the stage, a number of crafts, teachers there,  and parents will be shopping upstairs for the book fair with Phinney Books.  December 1st.  

Need 4-5 parent volunteers to help unpack.  As soon as school is out the book fair starts and literacy night begins at 5:30- 7:30.  They will also have teacher wishlists so parents can purchase books for classrooms.   

Emily Grosse will be helping with the crafts and contact her with questions.  Shout out to the teachers to spend a bit of extra time after hours reading with 

Ms. Jo has self published a few books and will be in attendance as well and may read one of her books.

Questions for Cindy: 

Chocolate Milk: Sara L. asking about chocolate milk being served at breakfast per Culinary services requirement.   Ms. Jo does not want to serve Chocolate milk at breakfast because there is too much sugar and culinary services is taking some disciplinary action against her.  There is information in the Wildchat for how to support Ms. Jo.  

Tricia wrote in and received a disappointing response from culinary services.  

Cindy supports Jo and has deep regard for her integrity.  Proud she’s a part of whittier- she has a passion for food justice and access to healthy foods.  

Assistant Principal & Counselor: Tina asked if there are any updates on an assistant principal.  Cindy said we’re not going to get one regardless of if we step in or not.  SPS has no money to implement.  It makes things bumpy and rocky but there should be a conversation about what is the minimum needed to run a school.  If Cindy had a full time counselor, a AP would be less necessary.   

We do need to have interventionists budgeted and PTA needs to pay for it.  Funding allocation for the next school year comes out in February.  Advocate for minimum of what schools should have.   

At Whittier PTA pays for art and reading interventionist

Discretionary dollars is $40k which is about as much as we need for basic supplies.  

We have Lauren, the counselor, 5 days a week in the morning from 7:30-10:45 and every other Wednesday she’s here all day.  

How do kid’s utilize her?  She’s going into classrooms and taking on big feelings days and working with families.  She’s doing a lot.  She rarely sits down.  Her professional background is mostly as a social worker in a healthcare setting.  



Don’t have NOM COM updates because Mendy isn’t sure what she’s supposed to be doing.  

Leah will walk Mendy through what to do.  In general, the task is to find out who from this year wants to fill a position for next year.   Will make sure practices for reaching out are as equitable as possible.   

Need a better way to get and keep a parent directory. For next year we should come up with some language for room reps to get emails for class.  There could be something at Back to business or curriculum night.  

Room reps are a really good entry point into involvement.  

Could have a meeting over the summer to discuss what we should send to room reps.  Sara Lukas is happy to spearhead that.   

Kidmail folder paper to add contact info.- Jess and Ashley to create.     

December 13th Meeting:  in person or zoom?  Folks are interested in- in person. Jess Templeton to host


Members at Large

I Sara Lukas, move to approve  Kellie Pecoraro and Tina Lilley to serve on the PTA Board as members at large.

Courtney seconded. 



Due this Thursday.  Must include a digital record of the art piece as well.  Not many submissions yet


October budget report  

Current balance $201,084 

Annual Give $37k

Jogathon $21k

Expenses of note:  Insurance, Tap Root Theatre assembly, supplies purchased for the school over the summer.  


Annual Give Update: 

Extending to 11/14 and trying to get to $90k.  Currently at $75k

Will announce the seahawk ticket winners next week.  

Is it a big concern if we don’t make our goal now? (Courtney)  In the last few years we’ve been eating away at our reserve where expenses are outweighing fundraising.  

Ultimately we need to decide what we want to fund next year.  We don’t typically poll the community about where they want to see their dollars go until after the holidays.  


Advocacy- Emily Barbee

First, in light of what happened at Ingraham we want gun legislation advocacy to have a renewed focus at Whittier.  Invite Everytown to come and talk to our PTA and give an information session.  Tricia will spearhead and get a date on the calendar aligned with one of our regularly scheduled meetings.  Will aim for January.  

If anyone has other organizations to highlight let Emily and Tricia know.  

The Washington State PTA voted on their top 5 legislative priorities

  1. Addressing student mental heatlh crisis
  2. Addressing critical gaps in education funding
  3. Reducing gun violence
  4. Special education and support
  5. Maintaining safer schools

Renee asked what the action items are beyond advocacy.  Emily will try to find out more.

Some PTAs donate $ to organizations which support these efforts.  

Mendy asked if we’re allowed to lobby with legislators as the PTA.    

Next month advocacy would like to talk about equity and fundraising.  

Advocacy postcard at literacy night?  Great idea.  Emily will implement

Communications- Kate

Kate is traveling. 

EDI- Susan

At the last EDI meeting members created a two year plan to track progress.  Strategies:  

Whittier is committed to being an anti-racist school

All families are able to be their authentic self

All families be able to know the system well enough to advocate for themselves

More to come at the next meeting.  

They will talk to Kate about getting it up on the website and in the Wildchat. 

Events- Courtney

Thanks to Tina, Jess Tzs and Laura for leading the fall festival. 

Next is ice skating later in November.  If we get more that 40 kids to show up will be $11 per kid.  

1:30-2:30 on Tuesday the 22nd.  Will firm up what it covers and communicate to kids. 

Literacy Night Dec 1st

March- First fun Friday will be a family dance game night chaired by Michelle and Meg.  

May- Spring Fling 

Hospitality- Kathleen and Emily

First fun Fridays- gratitude and chalk

Will be on the blacktop this year

Third Thursdays- October staff appreciation breakfast went really well. 

November- hardi lunch hosted by 4th graders

December- Cookie bar provided by 3rd graders

Going through coffee like crazy.  Trying to get the numbers correct and aksing for classes to donate. 

Outreach- Sara

Haven’t done much recently but thinking about events that we’re already doing more welcoming and outreach oriented. 

For Literacy night we want to make it obvious that it’s a PTA event and recruit people that we would not otherwise reach.   

Also thinking about doing some kind of coffee meetup -do you want to get involved with being on the board?  Morning or evening?  Will be after the first of the year.  

We should have a PTA table at all events.  

What is the plan for Helping Hands this year?  They asked about this at our principal check in.  It is a gift card collection drive for families in need in the Whittier community.  

Target, Fred Meyer, Safeway and the goal is between $1-$2k in gift cards.  

Volunteers- Mendy

Mr. Collins does not have a room rep. Kathleen and Courtney will reach out to Natalie.  

Amazon wish lists and teacher surveys.  Mendy has them and will send out to room parents.  

Tina populated the room parent email so all room parents will receive.  

Mendy also has a master volunteering list for anyone who needs it.  

Next year at first meeting we should have more training for each of the board positions.  

11/15- Special Ed PTSA: Kids Do Well if They Can

12/1- Book fair/ Literacy Night

12/2- First Friday

12/8- EDI FOCS follow-up

12/13 Board Meeting

12/15 EDI Meeting

1/10 Board Meeting

1/17 Community Meeting


Gifts for staff members- Need to have more of a conversation about how we do gifts for staff if we group together again.  Mendy will send language to room parents.  

Meeting Adjourned 9:11  pm