June is an exciting time for the PA at Park: every year we officially welcome in a new slate of PA leaders who will help to carry forward the long-standing tradition of parent involvement in and giving back to The Park School by the Parents’ Association. As the outgoing PA President and Vice President, we are so grateful to have had this opportunity and can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic about all the connections we’ve made with many of you over the past two years. Here are just a few highlights:
- Springfest morning! After a lot of planning in the cold days of winter, it is so much fun to see Park parents come together over coffee to set up for a great day of play – and then to see the explosion of the students coming in with big smiles! There is always some stress leading up to the day, but our parents without fail step up to deliver a wonderful day for our children, it is truly remarkable to see. (Please click here to see amazing photography by E. Witkowski, E. Gerber, H. Johnson and M. Eddings.)
- Hosting New Parent Dinners: Remember the excitement of having your child start at Park? These dinners offer parents the chance to connect with other new parents and administrators. It feels great to make sure they receive a warm welcome, get to know each other in a small environment and watch friendships develop.
- Having honest discussions on sensitive subjects in DE&I breakout groups: Dr. Liza Talusan brought her skills and a new format to DE&I roundtable discussions that allowed parents to talk in small groups and share insights. It is amazing that in just a few moments, you can learn more about fellow Park parents than you ever might otherwise. The discussion on socio-economic diversity really stood out as one where parents connected and learned from one another about how to navigate this sensitive topic with children.
- Paul Newmark and Leah Walters calling BINGO this year! Bingo night is a frenzied and fun family night at Park that we love! This year, Paul and Leah made it even more fun as the callers. They brought their good humor and young crowd management skills to the room – it was a good time for all!
- Serving at the Faculty & Staff Appreciation Luncheon. This annual spring event is one way we give back to Park’s fantastic Faculty & Staff. We love seeing them have fun together and allowing us to be the ones taking care of them for a change. The Dining Room is transformed and the joy, mutual respect, and community among our Faculty & Staff is palpable.
- PA Board meetings (and, um, the scones!). It has been very fulfilling to work with a group of committed PA board members who care deeply about the School and the PA, and who do all they can to help steward our mission. PA Board meetings are open to our entire parent community, so please mark your calendar to attend at least one meeting next year. A bonus: The chocolate chip scones provided by Dining Services! It’s hard to say which one of us ate more (one is never enough and they go perfectly with coffee!)
- Getting a chance to work closely with Park’s leaders. It truly was such a privilege to work closely with Cynthia Harmon, Kimberly Formisano, Caroline Beasley and other Park faculty and staff to see the talent, passion, and commitment to make things better at Park. We are so grateful to all of them for allowing the PA to do what we can to help.
- Carrying forward Park traditions and making new ones: The PA’s role of creating a connected community, bringing parents together to do good work and having some fun in the process has felt especially meaningful during a time of leadership transition. We want to make sure that everyone feels they belong and can contribute in the spirit of Simplicity and Sincerity.
- Hearing from Faculty & Staff about the impact of our PA grants. Over the past two years, we have allocated over $60,000 to Faculty & Staff Curriculum Grants and Building & Grounds Grants. It is so exciting to hear about the impact of these grants in the classrooms and with our children – from Megan McLean’s “Trout in the Classroom,” the new Makerspace in the Library spearheaded by Tory Lane, to “Bakistry” by LaToya Downing Peltier. Park’s faculty and staff are curious, passionate, and innovative and our PA dollars help bring their ideas to life!
- Working with fellow Park parents! There is nothing better than seeing new parent friendships formed over chopping vegetables at Chop-a-Thon, delivering pizzas on Pizza Day, or lugging stuff out of the PA closet for Springfest. We have had a blast together serving as President and VP, with so many moments from humbling to hilarious.
We are incredibly grateful to have served the Park community at this time and are thrilled to pass the baton to Heena Lee (President) and Elizabeth Wood (Vice President).
We wish you all a fabulous summer with your families and will see you in the fall!