Council Newsletter Guidelines and Tips

Council Newsletter Guidelines & Tips


How often does the Lakewood Council of PTAs Newsletter come out?

The newsletter is distributed about 5 times per school year, and eventually will become a monthly newsletter.  The newsletter is distributed on the 1st of the month (or close to the 1st).


Who can submit articles to the Lakewood Council of PTAs Newsletter?

Current members of PTA/PTSA may make submissions to the newsletter.

What items should be submitted?

PTA Events & Fundraisers, ideas and insights, articles on education and parenting, photos and story updates on PTA happenings, a call for volunteers, and membership updates.  And, anything PTA!

When & how should submissions be made?

Submit newsletter information to  For the most part, information will NOT be edited and should be submitted free of errors.  Additionally, please do not send event fliers without a word document.  An explanation or description of the event ought to accompany an fliers.  Photos should be in jpeg format and no over-sized.

2013-2014 School Year Newsletter Schedule

January/February 2014 Issue                  Due December 20th

March/April 2014 Issue                           Due February 20th

May/June 2014 Issue                             Due April 20th

How do PTA members & Friends of PTA sign-up to get the newsletter?

PTA Membership Chairs can sign up new members in one of three ways;

  1. Go to (Include the link in emails to your member so to make it easier)
  2. Visit the Lakewood City School Website and under the “For Parents” Tab, click PTA/PTO and then select The Lakewood Council of PTAs.  The link is there for them to sign-up.
  3. Email their first and last name, email address, and unit name to  We will enter them for you.  If they are not a PTA member list the organization they represent, if applicable, or their neighborhood school.

The Lakewood Council of PTAs doesn’t guarantee space to publish every submission and reserves the right not to publish any submissions.



Educator of the Year and Helping Hands Awards

One of my very favorite things that we do as a PTA Council is to honor the Educator of the Year and Helping Hands Recipients each year at the Installation & Recognition Celebration in May. In Lakewood, we are fortunate to have some really awesome teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty. We are also very fortunate to have volunteers in our schools that also go above and beyond the call of duty to support PTA events and help PTA volunteers pull of programs that benefit kids and families.

In November, it will be time to appoint an Educator of the Year/Helping Hands Chairperson for each PTA/PTSA Unit (unless already appointed) and begin the search for nominations within your school community. Every student, parent, teacher, and staff member is eligible to nominate a teacher for the Educator of the Year Award (must be a certified teacher in your school) and nominate anyone (as long as they are NOT a teacher) working in the school as a staff member or parent/student volunteer for the Helping Hands Award.

Each PTA unit will choose their own Educator of the Year and Helping Hands winner from all of the nominations that are received. Those winners must fill out an official Nomination Form to be sent to Council by February 1st for consideration for the Council Awards. Council will forward a nomination form the winners of each grade level to the Ohio PTA to represent the nomination from District 11.

This is a great time to get creative and get everyone involved in the process. PTAs are not required to use the official form to gather nominations (only for the official nomination to Council). Many schools work with their teachers to help students write an essay to nominate a teacher or volunteer, and many have created their own forms for nominations. It is also a great way to involve parents who may not have been able to contribute much in the past. Most parents love the opportunity to nominate a favorite teacher.

Jenny Beno, 2nd Vice President of Council will be overseeing the Educator of the Year and Helping Hand Award process with chairpersons from each school. She has created an Educator of the Year/Helping Hands Awards Guidelines & Requirements. Please contact Jenny if you have questions about the process.

Did you know that Ohio and National PTA offer many opportunities for PTAs to win awards and money?

For a list of all of the awards offered by the National/Ohio PTA go to Ohio PTA Awards.

Getting to Know You

Getting to Know You
By Kristine Pagsuyoin, Council President

Welcome to the first issue of the Council Newsletter. It has been quite a busy start to a new school year, and I am very proud of all that has been accomplished by each PTA and the volunteers.  PTA is completely run by volunteers from the local level on up to the National level.  Volunteers are PTA.  The Lakewood Council of PTAs has also been busy and has experienced many firsts such as; the first Welcome Back to School Celebration, hosting the Ohio PTA District Leadership Conference, launching All Pro Dad in elementary PTA schools, and now introducing the Council Newsletter.
This year, Council put forth 3 goals; to be visible and communicate more effectively to the community and to the PTA members we serve, provide PTA members with a satisfying and positive volunteer experience in this Association, and to increase participation and diversity in our local PTAs.  The new Council Newsletter will help us deliver communication directly to Lakewood PTA members and community leaders, and better serve PTA units by fostering a unified PTA community by which ideas and experiences can be shared, events and programs will be better promoted, and members will have more opportunities to get to know each other and other schools in the district.  Plus, PTA will be better linked to the community and the Lakewood community to us.  Please feel forward each issue to potential PTA members or anyone who would like to know more about PTA.
This is your newsletter!  Council wants you to contribute with your articles, event information, insights, and especially photos.  View the newsletter as your personal tool to help you better serve every child and family at your school.   Submissions are due on the 20th of every month.  For the newsletter schedule, how to sign up new members, and additional ideas on how you can participate click on the Council Newsletter Guidelines & Tips.
There is much work to still be done and many new faces will be attending PTA meetings.  It is so important that we welcome each parent, grandparent, teacher, or student who wants to join this association with open arms.  As leaders of PTA, it is our job to find out how volunteers want to contribute, honor their work, and thank them—often.  People are busy and every person has a different story.  Some members are able to give many hours, but it is crucial to remember that the volunteer that can only give an hour is just as important.
Building relationships among volunteers will help all of us get to know each other and understand how PTAs can remain relevant in this ever-changing world. Get to know each other.  I like how Roosevelt took this idea to the next level by planning tailgate parties with other PTAs at the Lakewood High School football game.  In the works is a middle school/high school mixer being planned by the presidents of those PTA/PTSAs.  There are elementary PTA presidents planning outreach to the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA to get to know them better before children start kindergarten.  Invite other PTAs to your festivals and carnivals, dances, potlucks and family nights, and other socials.  There is much we can benefit form getting to know each other.
As we approach the holiday season, think of ways to use the December meetings (usually light) to get to know each other. We also would like to get to know you. Council would like to invite everyone to the Council meeting on December 4th (Harding Middle School at 7pm) for a holiday social.  We are always available to hear your ideas and answer your questions.  Contact information for the Executive Committee and Board will be in each issue.  We’ve put a name to a face with photos (see below). Check out the ladies of Council in this issue and feel welcome to contact us.
Thank you for the wonderful work you do for every child in the Lakewood school district.  I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving and magical winter holiday season.

Educator of the Year/Helping Hands Awards Guidelines & Requirements


Educator of the Year/Helping Hands Awards

Guidelines & Requirements


  • The nominees for the Educator of the Year Award must be certified educators, while the Helping Hands Award is open to anyone else, such as parents or staff members at your school that are not teachers.
  • In November, decide how you would like to solicit nominations. Start getting the word out that it’s time for people to submit nominations. Anyone—parents, students, teachers, other staff—can submit their nominations for favorite teacher and favorite volunteer or helper and why. Please make your criteria clear when asking for these nominations from your school community. Also, preschool teachers are eligible for submission from LECPTA.
  • Once all nominations have been collected, each unit needs to select 1 nominee in each category from all of their entries as the winners. Those 2 people are then asked fill out the form available from the Ohio PTA website (visit, then click the Awards tab) to submit to Council. 
  • Those forms are due to Council by February 1st. Council will then choose one nominee from each grade-level (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, and High School ) to honor at Installation in May and 1 overall winner to send to District 11, which includes Lakewood and other inner ring suburbs.
  • District 11 will then choose one nominee from each category to send on to the Ohio PTA by March 1st.
  • Each unit is free to recognize their winner in some way at their individual school/unit because not every teacher or volunteer will be recognized by Council.