LWPTSA Council 2023 Award Recipients Honored at Founders’ Day Luncheon

On Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, LWPTSA Council was thrilled to host our Founders’ Day Luncheon in person for the first time since 2020. Nearly 200 attendees filled the Anderson School banquet hall in Bothell, Wash., as we honored the legacy of our PTA founders and enjoyed guest speakers—including our keynote speaker Alicia Crank, Executive Director of Seattle CityClub, and LWSD Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen. We were inspired by six talented Reflections student artists who presented their original works, which you can read about in our event slides.

The celebration culminated in our awards presentation, honoring our 2023 award recipients.

2023 LWPTSA Council Award Winners (L to R): Manda Mangrai (Certificate of Special Service); Megan Selitrennikoff (Community Service Award); Na'eemah Webb (Community Service Award); Lubomira Batshoun (Outstanding Advocate Award); and Yumna Green (Golden Acorn Award). Not pictured: Michele Teske (Outstanding Educator Award)
2023 LWPTSA Council Award Winners (L to R): Manda Mangrai (Certificate of Special Service); Megan Selitrennikoff (Community Service Award); Na’eemah Webb (Community Service Award); Lubomira Batshoun (Outstanding Advocate Award); and Yumna Green (Golden Acorn Award). Not pictured: Michele Teske (Outstanding Educator Award)

Na’eemah WebbCommunity Service Award

Na’eemah Webb’s reach and positive impact extends far beyond her role at LWSD as Family Engagement and Community Outreach Coordinator. A focused, compassionate social justice advocate, Na’eemah builds bridges wherever she goes.

You might have met Na’eemah through her work with Nourishing Networks, collecting donated backpacks, calculators and crayons to distribute to students in need of school supplies—or organizing a gift card drive at Muir Elementary during the pandemic school closures, warmly greeting each person by name.

You might have seen Na’eemah as she helped launch Redmond’s first-ever Juneteenth event, where she brought the idea to honor and celebrate Black LWSD high school graduates.

You might know Na’eemah as a facilitator, collaborator or tireless champion of Ella Baker’s Black Affinity Group or anti-racist community book study, LWSD’s Black Gems, RMS’s Black Room, JHS’s African American Student Advocacy Program, LWPTSA’s DEI Committee events or countless other spaces where she lends her time and advocacy to equity conversations.

One PTA leader recalls learning that during her time at Muir, Na’eemah was teaching herself Spanish to be able to converse with Spanish-speaking families in their first language. “To watch their faces light up as she engaged these families in conversation was magic.”

A colleague describes Na’eemah as the embodiment of the idiom, “Each one, teach one.” “Her passion for equity is infectious.”

Megan Selitrennikoff Community Service Award

Megan Selitrennikoff exemplifies a volunteer who is committed to enriching lives and seeking ways to provide service to others—whether for one child, one classroom, an entire school or the greater community.

A fellow PTA leader says what differentiates Megan from other volunteers is how she makes space for everyone to share their truths. “Megan tirelessly does the work to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table.”

Throughout Blackwell, Megan is known as someone who brings passion for creating a sense of belonging for everyone, and does not shy away from having critical conversations to grow the knowledge and understanding of the children and adults in the community.

Megan’s advocacy and energy can be seen and felt across the entire school community—from the library to the student leadership team, from food drives to art docent duty, from the spelling bee to STEAM night, and much more, far beyond her PTA role as Co-VP of DEI.

Last year, Megan started Blackwell’s “Winter Wishes” campaign to encourage Blackwell families to gift needed items to Redmond Elementary students. Her efforts with this campaign were an example of her belief that we need to notice giving opportunities wherever we can.

As a board member of Renaissance PTSA, as chair of the Sammamish Arts Commission, as a Girl Scouts troop leader, and as GEAC president, Megan’s volunteerism and leadership is described as steady and intentional, with an eye constantly on equity and with the whole community’s best interests at heart.

Manda MangraiCertificate of Special Service

When PTA and Council leaders talk about Manda Mangrai, two descriptions that come up often are “supportive” and “above and beyond.”

Manda has not only set a high standard for Council Area VPs, but has raised the bar for how an AVP can support their local PTAs. Now in her second year of supporting 6 Inglewood-area PTAs in her Council role, Manda also serves as acting AVP for 5 additional Kirkland-area PTAs.

Thanks to Manda’s responsiveness and approachability, PTA leaders, Council peers and fellow volunteers know they can “never ask any ‘dumb’ questions.” Manda is professional and trustworthy, and possesses a wealth of knowledge from which others often seek to learn.

A fellow Council leader says Manda is “always willing to help and guide.” Each month, she creates an AVP newsletter with a summary of important Council updates and reminders for local PTA presidents, and generously shares this monthly communication with other Council AVPs.

Beyond Council, Manda has graced Dickinson Elementary and Evergreen Middle School PTSAs for nearly 8 years, serving in a range of roles from treasurer to president. Dickinson continues to benefit from her ongoing support even two years after her own child has graduated.

If you’re ever wondering where to find Manda, it might take a few tries. You’ll find her as one of the first to lend a hand at Council events. Or you might find her at any number of PTA and school events, leading and attending PTA meetings, staffing the concession table at dances, operating sound equipment at the school play, or directing traffic on rainy mornings—all while cheering on fellow volunteers with humility and selflessness.

Michele TeskeOutstanding Educator Award

Michele Teske’s ability to connect with students is a gift, not just in the sense that it’s a personal skill, but in the warmth and positivity that she gives to her school community every day.

In her current role staffing Dickinson’s health room, Michele gives far more than the first aid that her job asks of her. She greets every sick and bruised kid with empathy and kindness. She knows their stories and their backgrounds. She invites students in need of extra love and adult support to have lunch or snacks with her, and on her own time she collects and sometimes even purchases clothing if she sees a child with worn-out clothes or shoes.

Every Dickinson student knows and loves “Ms. Teske.” Every PTA volunteer does, too. Michele has served as Executive Vice President, VP of Services, Sustainability Chair and Theater Producer. Staff know her as the first to step up to solve problems and make processes better.

A PTA leader describes Michele’s connection with the kids at Dickinson Elementary as something like a counselor, with the “magic touch” of naturally being able to relate to them from a place of honesty and trust.

Another PTA leader agrees: “I wish I could have half the effect that Michele has on kids with my own!” Years after a student has graduated from Dickinson, Michele still remembers them from her time serving as an IA, and will ask how they’re doing, recalling details most people have long forgotten.

“Michele gives so much of herself to the students, and the kids are clearly what she loves most about her work and volunteerism.”

Lubomira BatshounOutstanding Advocate Award

Lubomira Batshoun’s advocacy exceeds the boundaries of the school communities and PTAs within which she serves.

Her leadership and relentless support of arts education spans both Carson and Timberline PTSAs, as a Reflections chair as well as an art docent for several years. As an arts educator and advocate, Lubomira is described by fellow PTA volunteers and parents as “calm and kind” with the students, and as going “above and beyond the normal expectations of a volunteer to make the learning environment fun, beneficial and inclusive.”

Lubomira’s love for mentoring and encouraging youth was also abundantly clear during her years of service as a Girl Scouts troop leader. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of her leadership can be seen in the growth of the children she has influenced and guided, who have gone on to become “fearless leaders themselves, and role models in their classrooms, schools and communities.”

Lubomira’s dedication to children’s welfare can also be seen in the volunteer work she does as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for Family Law CASA of King County. A program manager who is as much a fan of Lubomira’s as a supervisor says she “navigates [complicated and sensitive] issues with grace and great passion for the betterment of the children we serve.”

Yumna GreenGolden Acorn Award

When Yumna Green joined Council, she immediately stepped into the role of Council Treasurer, despite never having served as a treasurer. Since then she has served as Executive Vice President, Co-President, and now serves as an amazing President. This comes in addition to having served as president at both Audubon Elementary and Rose Hill Middle School PTSAs—along with numerous other volunteer roles.

Yumna is “always calm and collected,” says one PTA leader. Her depth of knowledge and experience guides leaders, both new and experienced. Her thoughtfulness is felt throughout our PTA communities. “Her even temperament and calm, kind tone is something we should all strive to emulate.”

“Whenever I ask Yumna a question, I know it will always be thoughtfully considered before she gives me an answer.” This quiet deliberation is a hallmark to anyone who has worked with Yumna; her feedback is carefully weighed and composed before she shares it.

As Council President, Yumna has been outstanding at leading our volunteers into a “rebuilding year,” and has done so with her characteristic charm, humor and deliberation. “Yumna continuously goes above and beyond her role to help her fellow board members and local PTA leaders.”

“She always has time for a call, a meeting, or whatever we need to help us resolve issues and give us words of encouragement.” This encouragement and softly spoken direction is often shared in a weekly email in which she writes a few paragraphs to our 600-plus PTA leaders!

Yumna has inspired, encouraged, redirected, managed, and supported PTA leaders not only from across the Council area, but also across the region. The benefits of the time and talents Yumna has shared with every PTA leader she has met across the state are immeasurable. The LWPTSA Council is incredibly grateful to have learned and grown with Yumna.