The Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council held its annual Founders’ Day Celebration on February 25, 2022, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of National PTA. The celebration was held virtually for a second year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each year at the event, the LWPTSA Council recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding work on behalf of children and youth. Five individuals were honored this year.
The Community Service Award recognizes someone who believes in, practices, and encourages community involvement. This year’s recipient is Kirsten Gometz, the principal of Redmond Elementary. Throughout the pandemic she has been a creative collaborator and a tireless advocate, in providing the resources that under-served students and families need.
Certificates of Special Service are given to individuals who have done an outstanding job in their role. Thea Warner has demonstrated excellence across multiple roles on PTA boards. Of note most recently Thea has been one of the foremost advocates for equity across PTSAs in the school district.
This year’s Outstanding Educator award goes to the principal of Ben Franklin Elementary, Keith Buechler, for his impact on the school-wide culture that values the input of all people – student and adults alike.
Elizabeth Courage, the librarian at Lake Washington High School, is being recognized as this year’s Outstanding Advocate. In addition to being the advisor for multiple ASB clubs, Ms. Courage advocates for all students in WA state through her award-winning work with a team of teachers across the state. This team created the WA Digital TeachKit, a resource that helped librarians and educators’ skill up with digital tools for remote and hybrid learning.
The Golden Acorn is presented to an individual whose outstanding service to all children in the community is above and beyond the volunteer position. This year’s recipient, Yvonne Klaue, has a long history of going “above and beyond”. She has served in multiple positions at both the elementary and middle school level of PTA and has brought a commitment to best practices and an unwavering passion for service to each of those roles.
LWPTSA Council thanks all 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, and Golden Acorn. For questions, please contact the Awards Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or the LWPTSA Council Co-presidents at email@example.com. See past Council Award recipients.