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the observer

a bimonthly e-newsletter for PTA leaders from Ninth District PTA   




March 2  
Reflections Awards Gala 
San Diego County Office of Education 
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm 



May 9-12

California State PTA Convention

Anaheim, CA


June 2

Summer Leadership Conference

7 am - 3 pm

University of San Diego 


June 21-24

National PTA Convention

San Jose, CA 






Turn in your 2011-12 Mid-Year Audits to Your Council



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From President  

Karen Fleck   

February 28, 2012

Greetings!   Karen Fleck


What a success our Annual Meeting and Founders Day celebration was! It was wonderful to see so many of our unit and council officers in attendance, as well as the support of administrators and school board members.   


It is a credit to the meaningful work that each of you are doing in your communities that so many were there. Great company, networking and the celebration of our accomplishments merge well with a good breakfast every time.  


Thank you all for the Freewill donations: we collected $2,000 for leadership training at Ninth District, California State PTA and National PTA levels so our work may continue. We also appreciate all our units and councils who collect freewill donations from your own celebrations and forward them to Ninth District PTA. Thank You! These funds assist with upcoming trainings where I expect to see each of you such as May 9-12 California State PTA convention in Anaheim and then the June 2 Ninth District Summer Leadership Conference at the University of San Diego.


One of the most important things I took away from Founders Day was the message from our California State PTA President, Carol Kocivar about the importance of funding education for our children to prepare them for college and the workforce.  


PTA volunteers know best the needs at our schools and of our children. PTA members like you ranked "adequate funding for schools" as their number one concern this year. Ninth District PTA is proud to be part of the solution, working with YOU to secure the signatures to put the Our Children, Our Future initiative on the ballot. With 70,000 PTA members in San Diego and Imperial counties - we can do this!




Volunteer hours translate to huge contribution to schools   
volunteer check
Karen Fleck presents check to Randy Ward

Randy Ward, San Diego County Office of Education Superintendent, received a $21 million check from Karen Fleck, Ninth District PTA president, at the Annual Founders Day Breakfast. The check represents nearly one million volunteer hours by PTA volunteers throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. As a PTA leader, you deserve credit for making us the number one volunteer child advocacy group in San Diego.  


Honorees serve children in the San Diego community 

Every year, Ninth District PTA honors individuals and organizations making a difference for children in our community. This year Debbie Vincent, Honorary Service Award Chairman, announced four honorees at the Founders Day Annual Meeting:


Judy Williams, Ninth District PTA Leadership Team, received a Continuing Service Award for her devoted service to children of Ninth District PTA and throughout California and for her current position of assisting and mentoring our out-of-council units.     


Palomar Pomerado Health Community Action Councils received a Very Special Person Award for their outreach to children and schools in the communities they serve. The Councils address children's healthcare needs before they need to go to the hospital.


Ron Jessee, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education, received an Honorary Service Award for his efforts toward the goal of ensuring every child has visual and performing arts every day in every school. 


Carolyn Johnson, former Ninth District PTA president, was awarded am Honorary Service Award posthumously for her many years of volunteering at Ninth District PTA. Her devotion to children and schools was an inspiration to all who knew her. 



Rebecca Hernandez, VP Legislation 
Rebecca Hernandez

Join the campaign to transform education funding. Learn how this initiative differs from others and how funds raised will go directly to local public schools without stopping in Sacramento.  Join us on Thursday, March 1 at 6:00 pm at the Linda Vista Library, 2160 Ulric Street, San Diego 92111. Our goal is to gather 10,000 signatures from Ninth District PTA friends and families by April 10th. We would like someone from every PTA in Ninth District to attend this training.With your help, we can do it.  RSVP to me here


Apply by March 7  

Ninth District PTA wants to assist emerging PTA leaders in attending the 2012 California State PTA Convention in Anaheim. We'll award a number of $250 grants for first-time convention attendees. We're looking for applicants who will learn from the training, participate in the decision-making and contribute to PTA in the future. Apply here


Darlene Harris, VP Leadership 
Darlene Harris

While I may be new to southern California, PTA, I've been around the block a time or two. My experiences with PTA's around the globe instilled a passion for training. When I took on this position, my goal was to have training accessible to all units. I want to strengthen our units and make sure the opportunity for learning about PTA and the various roles we all play are available to all. One can never have too much training! Continue. 


Roadway to PTA is the winner 
slc roadway

We now have a theme for San Diego's largest PTA training event - Summer Leadership Conference. Our theme Roadway to PTA was submitted by Yvonne Savouji of Palomar Council.  Plan to start your road trip on Saturday, June 2 at University of San Diego. Stay tuned for details.


Beth Bacting, VP Member Services 
Beth Bacting

Congratulations! Sixteen PTA Councils in Ninth District PTA have one or more units who have increased their membership over last year. Many additional units are just a few members short of an increase. Keep up the good work. June 30, 2012 is the last day to remit for this calendar year. To find out how many units have surpassed last years memberships in your Council, click here.


Brenda Davis, Secretary
Brenda Davis

The minutes of a PTA meeting are the legal records of your association. It's important minutes are accurate. When you submit your minutes to the president, it's always possible you missed something, misspelled a name, got a date wrong. That's why at every meeting, the group should review the minutes and correct them before they are approved. Here's some tips on how to correct your minutes. Learn more. 


Look to your feeder schools for Board Members
If you're on the nominating committee of a middle or high school PTA, look to your feeder schools as a pool of "new talent" for your PTA. Your bylaws require all nominees for office be a member of your PTA for at least 30 days before nomination. Your bylaws also allow you to nominate PTA/PTSA members from other units as long as they join your PTA at the time of nomination. It's all spelled out in Article V, Section 6 of your bylaws. 


2012 Metropolitan Transit System Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship      
high school scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 MTS Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship. Forty high school seniors from San Diego region will be awarded a laptop computer and commemorative certificate. In 2011, the Metropolitan Transit System launched a new texting service, GO!  With this technology, riders can text to get next-arrival times for their bus or Trolley. Students write a 1,000 word essay on how GO! and other innovative uses of mobile devices and the Web can help make travel on public transportation easier. Learn more.  


Cathy Roth, Arts Education Chair 
Cathy Roth

In recent years, state legislators gave local school districts the flexibility to spend Arts Education Block Grant funds on whatever they deem essential. As a result, local schools are being forced to make difficult decisions regarding arts programs. Help us demonstrate the value of arts education to our elected officials. Join the California Alliance for Arts Education campaign to bring elected officials into our schools to witness students' creativity, engagement, learning and joy when the arts are in our schools. Learn more. 


Gail Matson, Reflections Chairman  
Gail Matson

Let's get our student artists entered in the third annual First Amendment Cartoon Contest sponsored by California State PTA, the Judicial Council of California and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Pass it on to your membership and/or teachers. It's open to elementary, middle and high school students. Winners receive $50 and their cartoons are posted online! Submit by March 16. Learn More.  


If you're waiting to hear how your students did at the California State PTA Reflections judging, letters will be mailed to students letting them know in mid-March.


"I believe the children are our future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be."

-- From #1 song The Greatest Love of All sung by Whitney Houston with lyrics by Linda Creed.  

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Laura Schumacher
The Observer Editor