Westlake Council of PTAs honors its Founders' Day award winners

Winners of Westlake Council of PTAs' 2017 awards, front row: Rebecca Kowalski, Delicia Ostrowski, Pete Zagray, Karen Ryan and Cathleen Augustine; back row: Marie Novak, Amanda Miller, Kristen Pugh, Mimi Verdone, Kerry Brickman and Janine Finucane. Photo by Brittney Hageman, Westlake High School student

Westlake Council of PTAs recently held its annual PTA Founders' Day dinner and awards ceremony at Wagner's of Westlake. 

Each February, PTA units across the country celebrate the founding of PTA over 100 years ago, and honor the contributions of those who enrich our students' experiences and are dedicated to the PTA mission. Westlake Council's Founders' Day event recognizes the many people who contribute to making a difference for our students and schools in Westlake by presenting three types of awards, all of which are decided based on nominations from the school and PTA community.

Each of the nine PTA units in Westlake chooses one honoree to receive the Ohio PTA Achievement Award at the Founders' Day dinner. The Ohio PTA Achievement Award is the highest honor a PTA can bestow on an individual and is usually awarded to someone who has given outstanding service to children and youth either at school or in the Westlake community at-large. The recipients of Westlake's 2017 Ohio PTA Achievement Awards are: Marie Novak, Westlake Early Childhood PTA; Amanda Miller, Bassett Elementary PTA; Cathleen Augustine, Dover Elementary PTA; Kristen Pugh, Hilliard Elementary PTA; Mimi Verdone, Holly Lane Elementary PTA; Kerry Brickman, Dover Intermediate School PTA; Janine Finucane, Lee Burneson Middle School PTA; Karen Ryan, Westlake High School PTSA; Pete Zagray, Westlake Council of PTAs.

The second recognition, the Helping Hands Award, is given to a PTA member who has made a positive impact on the lives of children, and has participated in activities involving our children and youth. The recipient of this award promotes the welfare of children and youth in home, school and community. One award is given from Westlake Council of PTAs, representing all Westlake PTA units. This year's Helping Hands Award recipient is Delicia Ostrowski.

Mrs. Ostrowski has filled many roles within Westlake's various PTA units over the years, enthusiastically leading units as their president and co-chairing Westlake Council's annual Dollars for Scholars fundraiser. She is also active with Westlake's youth football program, leading efforts to rejuvenate the program.

The final recognition, the Outstanding District Educator Award, is presented to a certified educator for his/her active support in PTA, promoting parent/teacher cooperation in the education of children and youth, and outstanding service as an educator. One award is given from Westlake's Council of PTAs, representing all Westlake PTA units, and Rebecca Kowalski is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding District Educator Award.

As the gifted teacher at Bassett Elementary School, Mrs. Kowalski continually exceeds expectations with students in the classroom, encouraging personal development of each student while challenging and encouraging them along the way. In addition, Mrs. Kowalski started a Math Club that included 100 student participants the first year, and coordinates Invention Convention for Bassett Elementary.

Westlake Council of PTAs consists of eight local PTAs organized under the authority of Ohio PTA for the purpose of promoting conference, communications, leadership development, and the coordination of the efforts of its member PTAs. 

Mary Essig

2016-2017 Westlake Council of PTAs President

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.04.2017