The Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council held its annual Founders’ Day Luncheon at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish on February 28, 2020 to celebrate its 40th charter year and the 123rd anniversary of National PTA. Each year at the luncheon, the LWPTSA Council recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding work on behalf of children and youth. Seven individuals and one organization were honored this year.
- Community Outreach Award was presented to AWARE. AWARE is a non-profit organization started by a recent LWSD graduate, Sarah Raza. AWARE’s mission is to embrace students with special needs and is an organization for students run by students. Currently there are 8 AWARE chapters in Washington schools representing over 500 members. AWARE is about creating whole community relationships. Redmond High School Principal Jill VanderVeer accepted the award on behalf of Sarah Raza and AWARE.
- Jon Brewer received an Outstanding Educator Award for his work at Blackwell Elementary School. According to his job title, Jon is a paraeducator but he is that rare individual who all students know. Jon has a gift for building rapport with students and makes learning fun. He runs a before-school basketball program and coaches a basketball team of Blackwell students after school. Jon consistently goes above and beyond the expectations of his job. He finds ways to connect with even the most challenging kids, and helps them through their worst moments, in a kind, respectful way. Jon is a dynamic part of the Blackwell school community and puts his heart into all he does.
- Kevin Hakes Miller received an Outstanding Educator Award for his work as a Career and Technical Education teacher at Kirkland Middle School. He goes above and beyond to connect his students with STEM activities in the community. Kevin actively works to bring the community into his classroom to share STEM experience and knowledge. He also serves as the co-advisor for the newly-formed Technology Student Association and is instrumental in encouraging participation of underrepresented groups in CTE classes. Kevin constantly updates the CTE programming and adapts lessons to accommodate student participation in an inclusive environment and demonstrates that every student has something to contribute.
- Certificate of Special Service recognizes individuals who have done an outstanding job in their task for Council. Stephanie Lecovin has made a huge impact as the LWPTSA Council Sustainability Chair. She proposed this role within Council two years ago and has recruited 32 chairs in local schools! Stephanie has create a much-needed coalition of school sustainability leaders that meet regularly to work on waste reduction, food recovery, no idling, green cleaning and other initiatives. Her dedicated work will have a lasting effect on our schools and community.
- Community Service Award recognizes someone who believes in, practices, and encourages community involvement. This year’s recipient Meredith Cain believe in advocating for every child and lives this belief daily. Meredith has been involved in all levels of school PTA. At one point she had overlapping roles serving simultaneously as the Executive Vice President at Wilder PTSA, President at Redmond High PTSA , as well as helping to start Timberline Middle School PTSA. Meredith promotes inclusion and participation of all students and has led the way with her willingness to embrace new ideas as well as to empower board members to carry out their programs.
- Andrea Stoppani was recognized as a Golden Acorn. Andrea has been involved with PTA since 2006. She is generous with her time, bringing poise, competence and care to every role. Andrea offers a steadying hand in difficult situations and a positive attitude for tasks set for her. This year, Andrea has continued serving Council as an Area Vice President, despite her children both being away at college. In addition to mentoring local PTAs, she has stepped up to co-chair both our Founders’ Day and Scholarship committees. Her service is excellent, inspiring and selfless…a true Golden Acorn.
- Colette Ulloa was recognized as a Golden Acorn. She has been serving in PTA roles over over a decade and is the epitome of a Golden Acorn. From Franklin PTA, to Rose Hill Middle School PTSA, to Lake Washington High PTSA and to LWPTSA Council, Colette has always provided continuous support, positive feedback and a steady dose of kindness. She remains unflappably calm in trying situations and always jumps in to lend a helping hand. Colette has also served on the board for Dance for a Cure, Performance and Auction, a benefit to raise funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
- Outstanding Service Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Washington State PTA, recognizing someone who has continually given extraordinary volunteer service benefiting all children. We are thrilled to recognize Brandi Comstock this year. Brandi is known for her positive attitude, strong work ethic and resourcefulness. She is currently the Executive Vice President for LWPTSA Council as well as the Region 2 Director for Washington State PTA supporting over 100 PTAs in six school districts. Beyond her PTA work, Brandi has a long history of volunteer work in the community, including with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the LWHS orchestra booster club. The children and families of LWSD and around the state are fortunate to have Brandi working on their behalf.