Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council held its annual Founders’ Day Luncheon at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish on February 26th to celebrate the 119th anniversary of National PTA. During the luncheon, LWPTSA Council presented awards to seven individuals and one organization for their outstanding work in the community benefiting children.
- The Community Service Award recognizes someone who believes in, practices, and encourages community involvement. This year’s recipient is Pam Zackula, selected for her volunteer work with multiple PTAs, Booster Clubs, schools, swim teams, Campfire Girls, Hopelink, her church, and a variety of community events.
- EvergreenHealth is the Community Outreach Award recipient for its “Sammamish Start Ups” STEM program. The program pairs Eastlake High School students with EvergreenHealth professionals to find solutions for immediate healthcare issues. Bob Malte, CEO, and Laurene Burton, Executive Director of Governance & Community Affairs, accepted the award.
- The Outstanding Advocate award goes to Farah Khurrum for her service on the Lake Washington Citizens Levy Committee, School Board Forum Planning Committee, Lake Washington Schools Foundation, and Emily Dickinson PTSA. She instituted Destination Imagination at Dickinson which challenges students in a broad spectrum of disciplines to foster innovation and leadership, and she is now serving on the committee to promote district-wide growth of the program.
- Certificates of Special Service are given to individuals who have done an outstanding job in their role at Council. Helen Garcia and Caroline Eclipse are this year’s recipients for their numerous years of service as Reflections Co-Chairs, and for bringing this national PTA art competition to a new level of awareness and involvement across the district.
- This year’s Outstanding Educator award goes to leadership teacher Don Bartel for his passion in creating a kind and welcoming environment at Eastlake High School (EHS). He empowers students to lead and inspires them to care about each other, building a “Wolf Strong Pack Strong” student community at EHS.
- The 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. This year’s recipient, Janice Vache, championed Pantry Packs by creating a webpage on the Hopelink website and partnering with Feed Washington to create a video for a social media campaign to solicit recurring donations.
- The Golden Acorn is presented to an individual whose outstanding service to all children in the community is above and beyond the volunteer position. In her numerous PTA leadership roles, this year’s recipient, Julie Haase, creates new and innovative ways to engage the PTA community and educate its leaders. She develops training workshops, implements beneficial policies, and implements new communication tools to help volunteers become strong, confident leaders serving all children in the community.
LWPTSA Council thanks all of this year’s award recipients for their time, talent and effort in serving the children in our community. A donation to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program is made on behalf of the recipients of these awards: Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Advocate, Outstanding Service, and Golden Acorn.