Make no mistake — leadership of the Park PA is a tremendously important role. The PA leadership (President, Vice President, and well as numerous committee heads and volunteers) is the necessary “glue” that holds Park together. We are grateful to Eliza Hoover and Doreen Ho for their two year’s of leadership — amidst unprecedented circumstances! — and asked them to share their favorite moments from the year now coming to a close. And as we look forward, we are pleased to welcome Tiffany Hogan and Jen Hewitt to their new leadership roles as President and Vice-President, respectively!
10. Meeting in person again! Who knew how good a PA meeting in person would feel? We set a record for attendance at the first meeting of this year with lots of new parents ready to join the amazing Park community. In January it was 20 degrees outside the day we met. We were shocked when over 20 folks showed up with blankets and hand warmers. The Park community turns out no matter the elements!
9. New Parent Dinners al fresco: This year we were able to host an Upper and a Lower Division New Parent Dinner under our big tent on the Main Field. It was a lovely outdoor evening setting for new families and administrators to get to know each other! Many thanks to the Development Department and Chef Anthony and his team for bringing the event to life.
8. Superb community speakers: One silver lining was that Zoom provided the opportunity to beam in topnotch speakers for our community to engage with from the comfort of their own homes. Last year we heard from Laura Vanderkam on spending time on what really matters and Amber Coleman-Mortley on building anti-racist school communities. This year, speakers Emily Oster and Dr. Christia Brown delivered insightful presentations on the data behind decision-making in parenting and strategies for reducing gender bias, respectively.
7. The continuation of service learning: Our Pumpkin Bread Drive won an award from PIN. Together we baked 275 loaves and received a small grant to fund the work next year. The second year of our Welcome Home Project was not only hugely successful, all the items we collected were put to use as soon as they were delivered to Pine Street Inn. We are also currently collecting clothes for Cradles to Crayons as well, which the Kindergarteners will sort by size before they are picked up.
6. The joy of Bingo Night! Scott Young, Alile Eldridge, Ken Rogers, Tina Fox, Jay Tebbens, and Ildulce Brandao took Bingo to a new level with their entertaining calling and outstanding outfits. More than 200 friends and family joined for some serious Bingo competition!
5. Getting our groove on at the 70s-themed Faculty Staff Appreciation Luncheon: The skinny is that this year’s theme was perfect! Between the groovy decor, the disco dance moves of the ASP faculty, and the slammin’ raffle prizes, this year’s event was far out! PA volunteers had fun to the max, enjoying themselves almost as much as the nifty Park employees we were there to celebrate! Good vibes all round!
4. Partnering with Wee the People: The PA DEI committee worked with local organization Wee the People in several ways over the last 2 years. We hosted multiple ABCs of Racism Workshops and this year our committee co-chairs facilitated a helpful follow up discussion. At Springfest Wee the People brought us “Wear Your Resistance: Exploring Images of Protest” They taught about different images of resistance then helped folks make a t-shirt of their own.
3. The development of Parent/Guardian Affinity Groups: This was a priority of ours way back in 2020. We are so fortunate to have partnered with many motivated and engaged parents who helped form our newest committee and offered their time facilitating our ten groups. This program allows new and returning families opportunities to connect across a wide variety of shared identities. We hope you will join one of our groups next year as it is a chance to build community through the creation of facilitated spaces for conversations around shared identities and a way to support our children.
2. The return of Springfest! So many smiles and so much joy! Springfest came back after a two year interruption, much to the pleasure of everyone who attended. Early clouds blew over to reveal the familiarly jubilant chaos on the Main Field — mini-golf, petting zoo, kids raffle, food trucks, and so much more! Well done to the Springfest organizing committee for such an amazing day!
1. Making connections with you! The last two years were not what we expected or planned for, but we took great pleasure every time we were able to connect with one of you or help support one of your ideas. From Zoom meetings to PA pop-up magic shows, vaccine clinic volunteering, parent coffees, and serving breakfast to faculty and staff, we were able to find moments of joy together. Ultimately, this community pulled together and supported each other through an exhausting two plus years of Covid.
We are enormously grateful for all the support and kindness you have shown over that time. We know that Tiffany Hogan and Jen Hewitt are in great hands as they shepherd the Parents’ Association through the next two years … which will hopefully be less eventful! 😉
(Lead photo, from left: Tiffany Hogan, Eliza Hoover, Doreen Ho, and Jen Hewitt)