By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Marlborough – The 13th annual PTO Today's Parent Group of the Year contest, open to all elementary and middle schools throughout the country, has awarded Honorable Mention to both the Marguerite E. Peaslee Elementary School PTO in Northborough and the Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) Charter School PTO in Marlborough.
PTOs (Parent-Teacher Organizations) are nonprofit groups whose purpose is to promote the relationship between home and school in order to enhance the education and social environment and improve the school.
For both the Peaslee School and the AMSA, the PTO is an essential link between the school, the parents, and the community.
For the Peaslee School PTO, the goals for the current school year include raising funds to support the programs they provide teachers and students throughout the year and forming a committee to review the school's needs, such as updating the playground.
Helping to create memories tops the AMSA to-do list. Whether it is a night for the AMSA students to meet at a cornfield maze, to host a dance, or a night out bowling, the mission is to create social opportunities and lifelong friendships.
The AMSA PTO has five official meetings a year. Here, grievances are addressed in a confidential manner and involved parties are directed to the appropriate channels. It is at the meetings, as well, that student social events, teacher appreciation luncheons, and fundraisers are organized. The PTO assists the school in any way deemed advisable by the trustees,?administration, faculty, and parents.
Besides monthly board meetings, the Peaslee PTO has general meetings that are open to all members at least four times a year. At these meetings, the board offers a topic of interest to parents and updates them on their financial status, upcoming events/activities, and fundraisers. The board welcomes feedback and ideas from parents.
As with most school organizations, local PTOs need volunteers.
“We rely on volunteers for everything; they are the bolts to what we do,” said Peaslee PTO Chair Ruth Reeve. “Without their help our group wouldn's be as successful as it is.”
Both the Peaslee and the AMSA PTOs seek to better their school community as well as the community as a whole. And, according to PTO Today, they are doing just that.
“It's always great to be recognized,” said Reeve. “It's definitely an honor we share with all of our team members and volunteers.”
“We were honored to receive this award,” said AMSA PTO President Sonal Shah.?”Our parents are involved and care deeply not only about our students, but for the teachers and the dedicated time and energy they provide to our students throughout the year. We were thrilled to win the honorable mention and celebrate all that we do as a PTO organization.”
Peaslee School PTO board members: Ruth Reeve (chair), Nicole Reineke (co-chair), Liz Nolan and Marile Borden (communication coordinators), John Clark (treasurer), Dr. Jill Barnhardt (principal), and Kerri Lewis and Andi Daunais (teacher representatives)
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School PTO 2012-13 board members: Sonal Shah (president), Sharon Hamel (vice president of Lower School), Val Palmieri (vice president of Upper School), Ann Su (treasurer) and Kamla Fricker (secretary), Melissa Vera (parent representative to Board of Trustees), and administration staff members Sara Snow, Ann Richards, and Maureen Evans.