Westlake Council of PTAs honors Founders' Day award winners

Westlake Council of PTAs award winners were honored at the annual Founders' Day dinner. Pictured (front row): Megan Smith, Cathy Grimes, Dawn Evans, Linda Tomkalski, Meghan Brunaugh; (back row): Scott Kutz, Susan Hunter, Tricia Balch, Liz Pirnat, Joel Tomkalski, Sara Latkowski, Jennifer Hill.

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 120 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. This 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 2018 Ohio PTA Achievement Awards are:

  • Westlake Early Childhood PTA: Jennifer Hill
  • Bassett Elementary PTA: Liz Pirnat
  • Dover Elementary PTA: Cathy Grimes
  • Hilliard Elementary PTA: Meghan Brunaugh
  • Holly Lane Elementary PTA: Susan Hunter
  • Dover Intermediate School PTA: Dawn Evans
  • Lee Burneson Middle School PTA: Sara Latkowski
  • Westlake High School PTSA: Joel and Linda Tomkalski
  • Westlake Council of PTAs: Tricia Balch

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, and the 2018 Helping Hands Award recipient is Megan Smith. 

Megan Smith has been president of the Westlake Music Boosters for over 4 years, providing unrivaled leadership for all Booster activities. From coordinating uniform fittings for the Westlake High School marching band, concert band, symphonic band, orchestra and choir before the school year begins, and overseeing the football concession stand in the fall, to chairing the annual Music a la Mode all-day music concert showcasing the Westlake City Schools' musical groups in May, she ensures the Boosters provide exceptional support to both students and staff.

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 Scott Kutz is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding District Educator Award.

As a WHS technology and engineering teacher, Scott Kutz developed and teaches Westlake's state-recognized engineering program, preparing students for degrees and careers in engineering and architecture. His students consistently win awards in various national and state competitions, including the Annual Student Model Home Contest at the Home and Garden Show. His passion for student learning and success, and his ability to impact their futures set him apart.

Mary Essig

2017-2018 Westlake Council of PTAs President

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 9:33 AM, 02.20.2018