PTA Board

2017-2018 PTA Board Officers

President:  David Rose
Vice-President:  Ashleigh Kanat
Treasurer:  Scott Hofmeister
Secretary:  Michele Byrnes & Rebecca Miller
Parliamentarian:  Chris Merhige
Communications:  Sarah Patrick
Programming:   Christina Collinsworth & Chelle Putzer
Membership:  Liz Tung & Elif Kale-Lostuvali
Volunteer Coordinator:  Mindy Szelap & Sue Bessler
Fundraising:  Nina Goldman & Stephanie Sidebotham; Carrie Gray (enrichment)
Advocacy:  Todd Taylor
Equity Liaisons:  Marjorie Henriquez, Jean Kawahara, Emily Nathan
Board Member at-large: Nina Orike

What is the PTA and the pta board?

All Emerson families, friends, and staff are part of the Emerson Community and are invited to all Emerson community events and PTA Association Meetings!

The Emerson PTA Association consists of Emerson parents, guardians, friends, and staff who fill out the PTA membership form. There is no cost to becoming an Emerson PTA Member. PTA Members have the right to vote in PTA Board elections and on the PTA Budget.

The Emerson PTA Board consists of PTA Members elected to the Emerson PTA Board. Current Board Officers are listed above; PTA Board Positions are described below.

PTA Board Meetings are closed meetings held once a month. PTA Board Officers oversee the implementation of the Budget and Program Plan that the PTA Association approves.

How do I join the PTA Board? PTA Board Elections are held in late winter/early spring. Look for announcements in BearFacts, on the website, and in your child's Look Folder.

What are PTA Event Chairs? Volunteers who lead a PTA event are Event Chairs. A specific Board Member usually oversees a specific Event Chair in order to give updates to the PTA Board.

Learn more about the PTA Budget & Program Plan

PTA Board Roles & Responsibilities


Responsibilities of all board members

 All voting members commit to:

  • Attending General Membership Meetings, usually 3 times per year on Wednesdays from 6-7:30pm plus “Family Nights” (art/math/literacy nights) or PTA family weekend activities (pancake breakfast, walkathon)
  • Attending monthly Board Meetings, usually Wednesday nights from 7-8:30pm
  • The duties listed in their job description.

Children are welcome to come with you!  Childcare is provided at adult only General Membership meetings and children are welcome to hang out in the library during monthly Board meetings, or we can arrange separate childcare if needed.

Food is provided at all evening General Membership PTA meetings and events.

Event chairs and coordinators are responsible for:

  • Securing permits and rentals from city or district for an event held at the school (walkathon, football parking, evening meetings, and family nights)
  • Booking an outside venue (such as St. Johns for graduation, the auction venue)
  • Updating event docs after the event is over


  • Acts as the liaison with the Principal – meets in person, by phone, or email approximately every 2 weeks to check the calendar and check in
  • Coordinates with all Board members, officers and committees of the PTA
  • Interacts with National PTA, other local PTA chapters and the district on issues affecting Emerson
  • Acts as the spokesperson for the Emerson PTA at district meetings
  • Signs checks
  • Has all contract and/or legally binding documents approved by the association, prior to any two elected officers signing a contract
  • Set calendar coordinating with other board members and Principal
  • Makes sure all volunteer documents are updated after each event and maintains database of all job descriptions.  Makes updating and revising ALL volunteer docs the main focus of the February board meeting.
  • Orders flowers/sends cards for congrats, get well and bereavement.
  • Writes the Welcome Letter for K families sent over the summer.  Updates the “New Parent Guide” trifold for the winter K events.
  • Works with Principal to organize lice checks in the Fall and Spring, either using volunteers or a company such as Nit Pixies.

VP/President Elect

  • As needed, provides help to event chairs to secure permits and rentals from city or district for school events (walkathon, football parking, evening meetings, and family nights) and books St. John’s for graduation.
  • Works in conjunction with the President to ensure all board members fulfill their responsibilities and all PTA functions are maintained.
  • Works closely with the following board members to ensure they are on-track with all responsibilities: Programming, Membership, Volunteers, and Secretary.
  • If the President is unable to perform his/her duties, the VP is the first in line to perform the duties of the President
  • Provides guidance and support to the PTA After school Enrichment Program volunteer leads.
  • May also choose to serve as president-elect, taking over the president’s role after 1 or 2 years of service as Vice President.
  • Recruits and manages or acts as historian


  • Keeps an accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the association and the Board in a bound book, which is the legal record of this PTA.  Saves copies of the minutes to the Emerson PTA Board Google Drive.
  • Is prepared to refer to minutes of previous meetings
  • Prepares a list of all unfinished business for the President’s use
  • Records all expenditures in the minutes (treasurer report)
  • Keeps a current list of the paid members of the association provided by the membership chairman
  • Keeps a current copy of the bylaws and standing rules


  • Keeps permanent books of account and records that have sufficient enough information for them to be reviewed by auditors, or members of the California or National PTA, if requested
  • The treasurer writes the checks and does payroll; Signs all checks and secures two signatures on all checks
  • The treasurer creates a schedule of pay periods and payroll procedure sheet, which are distributed to the employees
  • The treasurer keeps a spreadsheet of how many hours employees have worked.
  • Receives and retains a copy of deposit slips for any deposits made
  • The treasurer prepares and presents a financial report at each meeting
  • Keeps the membership informed of expenditures as they relate to the budget adopted by the association
  • Fills out and forwards all necessary reports forms required by the California State PTA for insurance and for filing all tax returns and other forms required by government agencies
  • Makes an annual financial report to the association which includes gross receipts and disbursements for the year
  • Oversees and signs check for the PTA enrichment classes
  • Heads the budget committee in the Spring to determine the budget for the next school year.

Programming Chair

  • Responsible for planning or overseeing these family events:
    • General PTA Meetings, which may includes a speaker, the election, and the budget vote (usually 3 meetings per year)
    • Welcome Back BBQ
    • Family Art Night, Literacy Night, Math Night (varies by year)
    • Dia de los Muertos
    • Pancake Breakfast
    • End of Year Social
  • Advertises meetings and events via Bearfacts, etree and email to room parents.
  • Oversees the volunteer (or does it themselves) that updates the PTA information board and emails the banner hanger for member meetings and PTA events (BBQ, Family Math/Literacy /Art Night, PTA Potluck Social).
  • For parent-only General Membership Meetings, arranges child care with Kids’ World staff.
  • Updates the board before and after events.

Membership Chair

  • Manages PTA Membership drive in Fall
    • Sets up a PTA Info/Membership Sign Up table at the Welcome Back BBQ
  • Orders new membership materials.  Collects membership dues and distributes membership cards.
  • Develops PTA Board materials (flyers, etc) to market the PTA and educate the community on  what the PTA is (benefits of membership, what the PTA is vs. the PTA board, how events run by the PTA are for the entire Emerson community, why we fundraise, etc.)
  • Pairs existing families with new families to welcome them at the start of the year
  • Orders supplies at the start of the year to refill the PTA closet, and as needed throughout the year.  Can help event coordinators of large events refill supplies.
  • Orders pizza/food for PTA meeting and events.

Equity Liaison

  • Facilitate the follow through of the Desired Racial Equity Outcome Plan (Equity Plan).
  • Recruit parents/guardian volunteers to support the Equity Plan
  • Commitment to create and sustain a school community where adults are taking responsibility for ensuring that every student’s culture and background is honored and connected to teaching and learning.
  • Posses a basic understanding of the systemic and institutionalized nature of inequity in the educational system
  • Ability to effectively communicate the need to interrupt historic inequities that impede student progress
  • Ability to effectively communicate the conditions and opportunities that lead to equity
  • Willingness to serve as a catalysts for school transformation, helping parents/guardians take action on behalf of underserved students
  • Oversees these events or volunteers who run these events (may vary by year):
    • Racial Equity Study Circles
    • Black History Month assembly
    • Asian, Arab, or other cultural celebrations

Volunteer Coordinator 

  • The volunteer coordinator is also the head room parent.
    • Recruits room parents.
    • Coordinates a meeting with room parents at the beginning of the year to train room parents.
    • All communications with room parents go through this person.
    • If needed, checks in with room parents mid-year and at the end of the year.
  • Works with other board members and chair people to help put people in key/chair positions for all events.
  • Recruits volunteers using a paper and/or online survey, SignUpGenius, or other method.  Makes a list or spreadsheet available online for chairs to access.
  • Directly oversees volunteers for:
    • Welcome Coffee in the library for new families on the first day of school
    • Winter program set-up and clean-up
    • Classified staff appreciation luncheon
    • Secretary & principal appreciation days
    • Science fair (if held)
    • Perimeter garden maintenance
    • Teaching garden maintenance (currently we hire a company to do maintenance)
    • K events
      • K Info Night & K Fair Coordinator
        • Oversees K Information Night in the winter, K Fair in the fall
      • K Tour Coordinator (Oversees K Tours)
      • K Summer Play Dates Coordinator (Coordinates with Principal and President)
        • Organizes 2 play dates for incoming K families over the summer.
    • 5th Grade Graduation Coordinator
      • Finds a 4th Grade parent to oversee organizing the 5th Grade Graduation.
      • Teacher Appreciation Week Coordinator (Spring)

Fundraising Chair

  • Oversees the chairs for the following fundraising activities.  Meets with chairs in person or by phone when appropriate.  Provides updates to the board pre and post event.
    • Auction
    • Walkathon
    • Scrip/Amazon/Target Sales
    • Football Parking
    • Kid’s Kreations
    • Mrs. Dalloway’s
    • Friday Coffee
    • Emerson sweatshirts
  • Ensures that all revenue-generating positions are on track and on budget.  Where budgets have not been created for an event, works with chair to create one and records this in the job description for the event.
  • Generates or approves any new ideas for raising funds and presents them to the board.
  • Oversees the chairs for the following fundraising activities.  Meets with chairs in person or by phone, as needed.  Provides updates to the board pre and post event:
    • Auction Chairs
      • Throw the best party of the year by coordinating logistics for the event (venue, entertainment, production values).  Creates a fun and exciting atmosphere leading up to the big night (marketing, sales, fun-loving).
      • Auction Donations and Sales Co-Chair
        • Coordinates the solicitation of donations from businesses and individuals with the team and all Emerson parents.  Manages the software.  Reports the revenues back to the PTA Board (expenses, income, etc., etc.) Manages thank you letters.
    • Walkathon Chairs
      • Oversees the annual Walkathon
      • Coordinates the solicitation of donations from businesses and individuals
      • Oversees all marketing activities, fundraising activities, PR to the students and the Emerson community, etc., to generate enthusiasm and boost revenues
      • Coordinates the logistics for the event, including arranging food, getting raffle prizes, getting the kids to raise money, overseeing a t-shirt contest, etc.
      • Reports the revenues back to the PTA Board—responsible for maintaining that the event meets revenue targets and expense items  Manages thank you letters
    • Heart of Emerson Direct Giving Campaign
      • Sends out thank you letters to all donors with tax ID number; this is a legal requirement for donations over $250
      • Publicizes the Heart of Emerson via the normal channels.
      • Suggests to all donors who have employer match programs to submit paperwork for matching contribution
      • Coordinates with the Membership Board Officer to include a letter with the orientation packet
    • Football Parking Chair
      • Obtains a city permit prior to the first game.
      • Solicits repeat customers to reserve spots for the season in advance.
      • Recruits volunteers and/or parking captains for each game.
    • Kid’s Kreations
      • Coordinates with Ms. Ames or parent volunteers to have each class do an art project to be used for Kids’ Kreations.
      • Publicizes Kids’ Kreations.
      • Coordinates distribution of materials, artwork, finished products. 

Advocacy Chair

  • Keeps abreast of city, state and national issues in education and local/state PTA initiatives and gives a “state of education” report to the PTA board at the October, January, and April board meetings or when needed
  • Keeps in touch with Emerson’s School Board rep to see if there are issues that parents need to be aware of.
  • Organizes groups of parents to support CA PTA initiatives or local issues, letter writing campaigns, getting a group together to going to a school board where items that impact emerson are on the agenda, etc. as needed

Communications Coordinator

  • Updates communication policy when needed and makes sure all chairs and board members are aware of it: Communications Policies and Procedures
  • Collaborates with other board members and event coordinators to facilitate dissemination of relevant information to the Emerson community
  • Oversees communications chairs and usually serves at least one chair role:
    • Where’s Waldo Student Directory Chair:  Works with school staff to produce and distribute Where’s Waldo:  does an online and print form/solicitation, updates content, manages printing and distribution of WW.  Updates the WW google doc.
    • Facebook Volunteer:  Updates Emerson Facebook page.
    • Website Admin:  Maintains and updates website content. Handles site structure changes and updates. Manges site hosting. Reports to communications director as needed.
    • Bear Facts Team:  Compiles and edits the weekly Bearfacts – both printed and email version via MailChimp.  Creates PDF of printed version. Distributes to school office and/or translator for Spanish translation.  Posts PDF of newsletter to website.
    • Emerson e-tree:  Maintains the MailChimp email list.  Solicits email addresses from parents.  Sends out email blasts.
    • Parent Handbook:  Updates the handbook yearly. Posts to website.


  • Runs PTA Board Meetings
  • Creates agenda (with President)
  • Notifies board of agenda and meetings
  • Meeting leader and timekeeper at Board Meetings
  • Calls the first meeting of the nominating committee
  • Gives instructions in procedure
  • Chairs the Bylaws Committee and reviews Bylaws and standing rules annually; resubmits every 2 years.
  • Acts as liaison for Kids’ World

Emerson Staff Representative/Principal

  • Acts as liaison between school and PTA.


  • Records volunteer hours of the association and submits them to National in the late spring
  • Acts as the custodian of records and other paper and photo materials pertinent to the history of the association, assembles a binder or folder labeled with the year for the archives in the pta closet
  • Creates and maintains a place to upload and store virtual photos
  • Coordinates the yearbook team
  • Assists the President with the preparation of the association’s annual report