The 2015-16 school year is off to a great start and PTSA President Anna Hochkammer was pleased when more than 50 people braved a rough thunderstorm to attend the first PTSA meeting of the year.
Newly promoted Principal Victoria Dobbs joined the meeting to express her thanks for the PTSA’s involvement with the school and to tell parents that she was committed to “bring the pride back to Palmetto.” Hochkammer remarked “Dobbs has been with the school for nine years now and when given the opportunity to be principal she hit the ground running at full speed, making changes, improvements and adjustments.” Dobbs spoke about ongoing school beautification projects and that she felt the 56-year old campus was in pretty good shape, all things considered. Principal Dobbs also spoke about the high academic standards being earned at Palmetto and the ongoing positive numbers garnered by the school.
When I asked how a parent who was uncomfortable or unable to address a concern or question directly with school administration might find help, Hochkammer offered, “The PTSA is a partner to the administration. We are happy to help find solutions and answers. We are great facilitators.”
Case in point. The official Palmetto Senior High School website is currently down for a comprehensive update. Until its return in mid-September, the PTSA is stepping in to provide as much school information as possible at http://palmettohighptsa.org.
Over the summer, the PTSA funded a complete makeover of the teacher’s lounge. Hochkammer explained, “That alone earned us a tremendous amount of goodwill with the teachers since they now have a very nice place to have lunch and relax between classes.”
The majority of the meeting was expertly handled by Hochkammer, who announced this would be her last year as PTSA President, as per their by-laws. Her messages were direct and to the point. She said her motto for the year was “The best way to get something done…is to do it!” She also reminded everyone that with four out of every five students being local, Palmetto High School is one of the last bastions of a real community school and that we cherish and take care of our community through involvement. Hochkammer said involvement in the PTSA could be any combination of communications, volunteerism, membership, hospitality, special projects, donations, community service, politics, publicity or working on their campaign for excellence. “All you have to do is match your skill set to our needs and get involved.”
The PTSA set a goal of having 1000 paying members this year and to raise 25-thousand dollars from at least 250 donors. Around 15-thousand dollars is earmarked to renovating the school’s weight-training facilities to address some safety issues and to promote healthy kids and a strong athletics program.
You can find out more at http://palmettohighptsa.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an e-blast that all parents can sign up for and receive.