Springfield Council of PTAs Monthly

Volume 3, Issue 3/March 2019

Please Make Every Effort to Attend Our SCPTA General Meeting THIS WEEK!

Wednesday, March 6th 2019 at 9am

2727 South Ingram Mill Road

Springfield, MO

Our meeting will be held in Glendale High School's Auditorium. Remember, you are welcome to bring your executive committee or any other PTA member who would be interested in attending with you!

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A Letter from Your Council President

By Becky Volz


I’m excited to have our Council meeting this month at Glendale! Glendale High School parents and Principal Dr. Natalie Cauldwell have been awesome supporters creating a strong PTSA unit over the years. Dr. Cauldwell has regularly attended our monthly Council meetings around the District. We celebrate her six years as principal at Glendale and her previous tenure as Principal at Pershing Elementary & Middle School, Sequiota Elementary and York Elementary. She will be sorely missed after she retires this year, but she leaves an extraordinary legacy. We are very grateful for all Dr. Cauldwell has done to build the school community in this southeast corner of our city and school district. Congratulations, Dr. Cauldwell!

Big News: Typically, Council has sponsored a School of Information in the spring and then an Officer Orientation at the beginning of the school year. We are postponing the School of Information this spring and will keep you posted on plans for that training. Most likely, it will instead be in the fall. By moving the School of Information to the fall, your officers and chairs will have more time to get settled in their positions and ready with questions. Missouri PTA Convention is in Springfield this year where you'll find invaluable training in the breakout sessions. I hope as many from your unit as possible can attend!

March is the ‘leap forward thinking’ month for PTA planning as we vote in our PTA and PTSA officers for the next school year. Even if your officers don’t change, you still need to submit their names to MOPTA for the 2019-2010 school year. The goal is to get your officers' names to the state office by March 31st. By doing so, you will be on target for a strong start next August.

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to PTA volunteers nominated for an officer position on SCPTA's executive committee. This experience will be an outstanding one for you. The time and effort you'll put in are well worth your investment; the rewards are long-lasting and often provide further career direction for you. So, go team!!

I want to thank each of you for being so helpful in working with your principals to accommodate educational presentations on Proposition S. It is imperative that we get clear and accurate information to the voters in our District before the vote on April 2. There is still time to schedule a presentation. You can also invite people over to your home and watch the videos that SPS has created and posted to their website at www.sps.org/props. The District welcomes your questions and concerns. Also, please visit the Friends of SPS website at https://www.friendsofsps.com/engage/ to get involved and help promote voter turnout. You can request a yard sign here, add your name to list of supporters or ask for a presentation at your business. It is so important that this is the year no voter stays home--all go to the polls!

March is School Board Candidate Forum month. Thank you to Donna Petiford, our parliamentarian, for organizing and moderating our Forum today! And, welcome to our candidates: Dr. Alina Lehnert, Dr. Charles Taylor, and Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate. We appreciate your support of the Springfield Council of PTAs.

Have a great March and a safe spring break!!

Introducing Your School Board Candidates

Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, Ph.D.

Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, Ph.D. has 20+ years of educational and community leadership. Her professional experience includes working as an early intervention and K-12 speech-language pathologist, a community-based teacher consultant, a post-doctoral research fellow, and a university professor. She has worked with families, teachers, administrators, and educational policymakers in school districts across the nation sharing her expertise on language, literacy and the achievement gap.

During her almost eight years in Springfield, Shurita has proven to be a community leader. Committed to students and education, she has worked with many youth organizations serving as a mentor and advocate. In 2014, she developed and established Ujima Language and Literacy, a community-based model and program designed to educate, connect, and empower children and families.

Dr. Charles Taylor, PhD

Dr. Charles Taylor, Ph.D. was first elected to the SPS Board of Education in April 2016 and serves presently as the SPS representative on the Missouri School Boards Association’s Board of Directors. He is the proud husband of an SPS teacher, and parent of a former SPS teacher (now in graduate school in Germany) and is the property of a self- absorbed cat, Cicero. He served as a member of the Eugene Field and Wanda Gray PTAs and as President of the Kickapoo Instrumental Music Booster Club.

He is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Drury University. In that role, he directs the MA in Communication and Master of Non- profit and Civic Leadership programs. He also serves as Drury’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. A Drury faculty member since 1997, he served as Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 2003-2013. Before coming to Drury, he was Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Indiana University- Bloomington. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Alina Lehnert, PhD

Dr. Alina Lehnert, Ph.D. is a Leadership and Strengths Development expert. She has spent two decades studying human behavior, talent and leadership. She uses her deep understanding of these concepts to help individuals, organizations and communities become stronger leaders, employees, and citizens. Alina has been honored by the Springfield Business Journal as a Most Influential Woman recipient (2014) and a 40 under 40 Finalist (2009) for her professional and civic achievements. “During my tenure as Board President of Leadership Springfield, I had the opportunity to be instrumental in creating the partnership with Springfield Public Schools to develop, pilot and approve a “Principals of Leadership” program that takes area principals (elementary, middle and high school) through a very similar community learning experience as the traditional Leadership Springfield Signature Program. In recent years, I’ve facilitated SPS district professional development with administrators, principals, and teachers. I’ve witnessed first-hand how hard they are working, the strengths and challenges of a rapidly changing district from the organizational dynamics to meeting the demands of individualized student learn- ing, and have found myself asking: “How can I help?” Over the last few years, I have just felt drawn to the school board. I had the opportunity to facilitate leadership development with all the GOCAPS students this year. I also worked with the three teachers on curriculum development.”

Your 2019-2020 SCPTA Slate of Officers

President ~ Julia Spiva

1st Vice President of Organization & Development ~ Jennifer Penny

Vice President of Promotions ~ OPEN

Vice President of Health & Public Services ~ Mandy Mitchell

Vice President of Programs ~ Christi Matthews

Secretary ~ Sarah Whitten

Treasurer ~ Leslie Norman

Julia Spiva -- President

After graduating from Branson High School, Julia received her BS in International Business from Missouri State University. Education has always been important. Her grandmother Edna was a school teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in the 1920s. Both of her parents were physical education majors and went on to teach and coach for years. Julia first became involved in PTA at Sequiota Elementary when her daughter Mattie was in kindergarten, and she served as Parliamentarian, Secretary, and President. More recently, she has served on the executive board of SCPTA as VP of Promotions and VP of Organization & Development. Child advocacy is a top priority for her. Julia has been a Realtor for 10 years, and recently she and her daughter Mattie opened Mom and Me Realty Group, a boutique real estate firm, "because mom knows best." Her husband Keith graduated from Kickapoo High School, and both are happy to call Springfield home with Mattie and their dogs Champ and Finley.

Jennifer Penny -- 1st Vice President of Organization & Development

As Springfield natives, Jennifer and her husband, John, are proud graduates of Springfield Public Schools and consider Springfield one of the finest places to raise a family. Jennifer has grown up in a family of educators and has long appreciated their examples in her life. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas with degrees in News Editorial and Public Relations. Jennifer became involved in PTA when her son, now 19, first entered elementary school. She was privileged to serve as PTSA president at Pershing Middle School and Glendale High School. She thoroughly enjoyed serving alongside Patty Dunn at the PTA Clothing Bank for several years and looks forward to serving local PTA units again as part of the SCPTA Board. Jennifer is also active in Great Circle Boys & Girls Town and her church and loves teaching Sunday school to her third-grade class, whom she has taught since they were three years old.

Mandy Mitchell -- Vice President of Health & Public Services

Mandy is a mom of two boys in elementary school who keep her on the move. She has been a PTA mom for five years. Mandy has had the honor of being the PTA President at Wanda Gray and coordinating many different events. Currently, she is serving as Regional Director for Missouri PTA and an advisor on the board of Springfield Council of PTA’s. Mandy has volunteered many years at the PTA Clothing Bank and is looking forward to serving the children of SPS in this new role. Mandy truly believes in PTA and its mission--Every child, One voice.

Christi Matthews -- Vice President of Programs

Christi Matthews is no stranger to volunteer service--having served multiple years and in various positions at Robberson Community School’s PTA (including current VP) and in Hillcrest High School ROTC Booster Club. Christi is a devoted wife and mother--married to her High School Sweetheart of 23 years, Robert Matthews. The couple has four children and one sweet and feisty granddaughter. Christi’s hobbies include photography, calligraphy, & cooking. She loves making anything with her hands. Christi looks forward to serving you next year as Vice President of Programs.

Sarah Whitten -- Secretary

Sarah and her husband Adam Whitten went to the same Springfield Public Schools from elementary through high school at Kickapoo. The couple has two very active sons, Luke, 12, and Noah, 10. Both Sarah and her husband work in our local medical community. Following in her mother's footsteps, Sarah has always been involved in her sons' schools and is looking forward to her second year as Horace Mann’s PTA President. Sarah has just recently become more involved in SCPTA and has jumped into as many roles as possible, enjoying learning the purpose and value and implementing the reach of PTA in Springfield. As a part of SCPTA and the School Crossing Protection Committee for the past two years, Sarah is continuing to work with SPS Transportation, Crossing Guard Services, Public Works and the Springfield Police Department to help ensure SPS student safety. Sarah loves meeting and recruiting new people to volunteer and become involved.

Leslie Norman -- Treasurer

As Springfield transplants, Leslie and her husband have found a wonderful, supportive community in the 11 years they’ve lived in Springfield. In the fall, their three children will be a freshman at Kickapoo, a 7th Grader at Cherokee Middle School, and a 3rd grader at David Harrison Elementary. Both Leslie and her husband are proud public-school graduates from Kansas. Leslie also has two sisters and a brother-in-law who are teachers. Leslie feels the great importance of being involved in our schools. In prior years, she has served in varying roles at Harrison including PTA President and will continue to serve on the Harrison PTA board, as well as help at her other children's schools. Over the years, Leslie has been a part of her church Guild and with Girl Scouts. She currently teaches Pilates at Chesterfield Family Center and runs a 2B Organized franchise. Leslie is looking forward to serving the PTA community for a second term as treasurer.

The Missouri PTA Convention is in Springfield in April and You Can Sign Up Below to Help!

Tips from The Treasurer

By Leslie Norman


  • March is the last month to submit membership numbers and dues to Missouri PTA for this school year. Mailing must be postmarked by March 1st to be included in MOPTA Awards.
  • Keep your bank statement reconciled every month. Utilize Money Minder “Transaction Reports” to keep committees financially on track. I like, “All Transactions for a Specific Category.” Share report with each committee.
  • Remember, it’s not your money. It is PTA/PTSA money. You are the steward and accountable to your unit’s membership.
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A Thank You Note from Past President Joan Keiser

What a lovely week I am experiencing! It began on February 11 with the PTA Founder’s Day Banquet and continues with Valentine’s Day.
The banquet was an event to remember. Please share my gratitude with your Board members. So many things change through the years and I am so pleased that the PTA remains committed to working for better lives for children and youth. Your voices rang loud and clear as you celebrated the past, the present and look to the future. I applaud you.
Again, I say thank you!

Joan Keiser
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Joan Keiser was honored at this year's Founders Day event along with fellow past presidents from right to left are: Colleen Copeland, June Jansen, Ida Barry, Debbie Hickey's Mother who was standing in for her daughter who had mayoral duties, Mary Christiano, Donna Petiford and Patty Dunn.

Next RIF Distribution Set for April 17th

By Mary Christiano, RIF Chair


A BIG THANK YOU to the following schools and PTAs for supporting RIF this school year: Bingham, Cherokee, Disney, Gray, Harrison, Mann, and Pleasant View. If you have not yet made your donation, it is not too late. We are beginning to order the books for the third distribution in April, and any amount will be much appreciated.

Our next RIF sorting is 9 am to noon on Tuesday, April 16, at National Audio Company, 309 E. Water Street. Please join us f you would like to choose the books for your school.

Our next RIF distribution day is 9 am to noon on Wednesday, April 17, at National Audio Company and we will have a reception to thank the volunteers that day. I hope to see many of you there!

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Big Hats Fantasy Extravaganza to Benefit PTA Clothing Bank

By Terry Dunham, SCPTA Clothing Bank Volunteer

The PTA Clothing Bank has been invited to join the second annual Big Hats Fantasy Extravaganza, a fundraiser to benefit nonprofit organizations in the Springfield community, coordinated by Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks. Five non-profits are competing in this year’s fundraiser. Each charity is to prepare a themed hat and costume for a model to wear that represents the mission of the group. The money raised by the PTA Clothing Bank through this event will be used to purchase socks and underwear for our students. We are preparing a “Super Hero” Big Hat and costume, and we encourage everyone to go to the website and vote for our entry.

Here’s how it works:

$1 is worth one vote for our big hat and ensemble. Voters may view all the entries on the sponsoring website, www.bighats.ozarkschorus.org and instructions will direct voters to place their vote(s) via PayPal. The dates to vote are March 28 through April 28. The team that receives the most votes wins the competition.

Then, you are all invited to the live event from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 28 at the Old Glass Place on St. Louis Street to find out who wins. Tickets are $35 in advance and may be purchased online at the voting website or purchased at the door for $40. Ticket price includes Hors d’oeuvres and dessert. A cash bar will be available. The event is open to participants 18 years and older.

The Big Hat Extravaganza is a fun and family-friendly event that is easy to support online, but we would love to have you in attendance April 28 to cheer on the PTA Clothing Bank and our model!

Watch for more information in the April newsletter.

Thank You & Best of Luck to Our Major Saver Fundraiser Participants

By Jennifer Penny, VP of Organization & Development


Please join me in a HEARTFELT THANK YOU to these 16 schools who are participating in our huge fundraiser, Major Saver, March 21 through April 1! Let's all cheer on their students, and by all means, please purchase a card or two from kids in your area!

Bissett, Disney, Gray, Harrison, Jeffries, Pershing Elementary, Pershing Middle,

Pleasant View Elementary, Pleasant View Middle, Portland, Sunshine, Twain, Watkins, Williams, Wilson's Creek, and York!

And new this year in case your child is participating, you can create a custom link for your child at https://www.majorsaver.com/dynamic/

For questions about Nominating Committee, Voting by Email, Unit in Good Standing and more, check out the PARLIAMENTARIAN TIPS on our website:

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Please contact your Senators and House Representatives now and ask them to OPPOSE these Charter School Expansion Bills!

SB 292 will be placed on the Senate calendar and could be taken up soon by the Senate.

HB 581 could also soon be on the House calendar and would also allow charter schools to be sponsored by outside entities other than a local school board and operate in districts state-wide.

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Senators and State Representatives to oppose the charter school expansion bills.

National and Missouri PTA do recognize and support charter schools when they are public and have to meet all the same evaluation standards that a non-charter public schools must meet. However, Missouri PTA opposes these bills based on the fact that it is allowing the charter schools to be sponsored by entities other than local Public School Board and expands their operation state-wide.

HB 581 Letter:

Dear Representative,

As a community we prioritize the education standards of our kids. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited. HB 581 allows for the formation of charter schools in any district in the state. Under this bill, these schools could be controlled by non-public organizations and sponsored by outside entities. These schools would not have to be held to the same evaluation standards non-charter public schools are held. This would allow for the potential for children to not have the quality of education they receive in Missouri public schools. Missouri PTA is not against charter schools when they are under the control nonprofit organizations not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations of the local school district with the same standards as public schools. HB 581 fails to meet this requirement.

Please oppose HB 581.


Your name and PTA

SB 292 Letter:

Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize the education standards of our kids. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited. SB 292 allows for the formation of charter schools in any district in the state. Under this bill, these schools could be controlled by non-public organizations and sponsored by outside entities. These schools would not have to be held to the same evaluation standards non-charter public schools are held. This would allow for the potential for children to not have the quality of education they receive in Missouri public schools. Missouri PTA is not against charter schools when they are under the control nonprofit organizations not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations of the local school district with the same standards as public schools. SB 292 fails to meet this requirement.

Please oppose SB 292.


Your name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? [Click here](http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

Support Our Teachers at the 25th Annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet

This year marks the 25th Annual Teacher Appreciation banquet to honor our dedicated Springfield Public Schools Teachers! The Banquet is hosted annually by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools. It’s the Foundation’s biggest event of the year to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15, at the Oasis Convention Center in Springfield.

Throughout the evening, SPS educators will be honored with several awards, including the 2019 Teacher of the Year Award. All PTA units are invited to attend with their principal and teachers or to buy a table to honor them. Tickets are available for $35 per person. A table of 10 is $350.

For more information contact the Foundation office at 417-523-0144. Or, click on this link to buy tickets online: https://www.supportsps.org/teacher-appreciation-banquet-tickets/

New Contest for Best Reflections Promotional Video

Students, to help us promote the Reflections 2019-2020 program, the Springfield Council of PTAs is offering a $200 award for the best promotional video! The video must explain the Reflections program, describe the categories, share about creating original artwork, instructions about filling out the form and submitting the entry. Video submission deadline is Wednesday, May 1. Submit your video to Jessica Rosa at jrosaphoto@gmail.com!

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PTA Proud ~ We're Part of the Largest Child Advocacy Association in America

The PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in America. Today’s PTA is comprised of more than 4 million parents, teachers, grandparents, caregivers, foster parents and other caring adults who share a commitment to improving the education, health, and safety of all children. We speak with one voice for every child.

Today, the issues that affect our children extend beyond their individual schools. The PTA’s nationwide network provides parents with the forum and tools to collectively influence the decisions that affect children not only at their schools, but also throughout their districts, within their states, and across the nation. This mission is unique to the PTA.

Many of the benefits our children receive today, such as universal kindergarten, the National School Lunch Program, and a juvenile justice system, were accomplished as a result of the PTA mission.

Springfield Council of PTAs

Council Goals

  • To provide leadership development for local units and council board members
  • To serve as a resource for education, parenting information, and legislative issues
  • To encourage parent and public involvement in Springfield Public Schools