Lake Washington PTSA Council announces award recipients at Founders’ Day Luncheon

The Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council held its annual Founders’ Day Luncheon at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish on Feb. 23 to celebrate the 121st anniversary of National PTA.

Each year at the luncheon, the LWPTSA Council recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding work on behalf of children and youth. Nine individuals and one organization were honored this year.

The Community Service Award recognizes someone who believes in, practices and encourages community involvement. This year’s recipient was Julie Olson, a longtime PTSA volunteer, currently at Eastlake High School. She was concerned about the elimination of the community service graduation requirement, so she founded a new role with the goal of creating a program to encourage students to keep serving.

The Lake Washington Schools Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million for education in the Lake Washington School District. For their on-going work, they received the Community Outreach Award. They support robotics, classroom grants, mentoring and tutoring programs, STEM-focused initiatives, college preparedness programs, new teacher assistance, pantry packs, emergency scholarships and more. Co-Presidents Sarah Stone and Matt Isenhower accepted the award on behalf of the foundation and Executive Director, Larry Wright.

The Outstanding Advocate award was presented to Janis Rabuchin for her dedication in promoting the health, welfare and safety of all students through creation of the Backpack Awareness Committee at Kirkland Middle School (KiMS). Her leadership enabled this committee to reduce backpack weight for KiMS students, and their program has been shared with other schools.

The Certificate of Special Service recognizes individuals who have done an outstanding job in their task for council. The Council Scholarship Program Review Committee: Irene Neumann, Denise Campbell, Liz Hedreen and Brandi Comstock, was selected to receive this award for their outstanding work revamping the council scholarship program. As a result of their effort, council received more applicants and was able to more equitably distribute funds recognizing a greater variety of student applicants.

Erin Bowser received this year’s Outstanding Educator award for her work as principal at Rose Hill Middle School. Principal Bowser worked hard to build a school community of parents, volunteers and staff to support students of all abilities. More importantly, she recognized the disparities in education, income, and family structure at her school and developed programs to help bridge the gap.

Pam Hay received this year’s Golden Acorn award, presented to an individual whose outstanding service goes above and beyond a particular job description. Hay served in multiple PTA roles including local PTA president, but she stood out for her job as Council Reflections chair. She was dedicated to the PTA Reflections program and the participating student artists even while she also served as a service unit manager for Girl Scouts and as a faithful Hopelink volunteer.

The Outstanding Service award is the highest honor bestowed by the Washington State PTA, recognizing someone who has continually given extraordinary volunteer service benefiting all children. This year’s recipient, Mindy Lincicome, has served in numerous roles at her local elementary and middle school PTAs, and she is currently wearing three hats serving as Lake Washington High School PTSA co-president, council secretary and Washington State PTA Region 2 director. Her tireless dedication to all of her PTA roles, colleagues, and those she serves is always at the highest level, making her an incredible asset to the PTA family.

LWPTSA Council thanks all of this year’s award recipients for their time, talent and effort in serving the children in the community. A donation to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program is made on behalf of the recipients of these awards: Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Advocate, Outstanding Service and Golden Acorn.

LWPTSA Council provides support and guidance to the PTA and PTSA leaders and families within the Lake Washington School District.