Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

WA State PTA Convention

on May 3, 2010

I went to the Washington State PTA Convention this past weekend by the SeaTac airport on the other side of the state, where they have no idea our side of the state exists (they know there is another side to our state, but many people I talked with had only been to Tri-Cities once and kept asking if we were close to Spokane-for those of you who don’t live in our state, we are about three hours, depending on traffic, from both Seattle and Spokane.)
Anyway, I drove up with our PTA Vice President this year, President the next, Darci. We left just after 6pm and got there at 9:50pm, longer than the three hours I just said I know-there was construction. Because our PTA president for our school is also involved in a middle school PTA, and the district and region PTA and was up for election for State Leadership Director, she left Wednesday morning and checked into the room the three of us shared. I requested a roll-a-way bed so we didn’t have to share. It was very comfy.
We chatted for a little while and tried to help our over-achiever roommate prepare to teach a bunch of classes during the convention and help her relax a little too. I think we were good for her. We gave her a needed break from the living and breathing PTA (not that everyone has to do that all the time!)
This is some of our Region 12 group. Connie is the next Region 12 Director, Lynn is the current Region 12 Director, Kerrilynn does everything, I’m our local unit secretary, Darci is the Vice President and going to be President, and the last lady is Paula and she’s from Hanford High and is their PTA Secretary.
More pictures are on Flickr here.
Friday morning I went down to get my registration packet before 8am and then went to the “first timer” information meeting to know how it all works and where things are or how to find out about them. Then I met up with my roommates and we all went to separate classes. I really enjoyed all the classes I went to and learned and got a lot of ideas that hopefully we can implement in our own PTA. I also enjoyed finding typos in the programs that they would give us. I found misspellings, things that should have been bold and weren’t, and a few other things. I’m not going to bore you all with the details. I’ll just keep that to myself. =)
Darci and I.There were close to 800 people from our state there at the conference, 10 from our region, which covers Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, and a few more places close by. Really low attendance from our side of the state. I met our whole group and many of the few who attended from Yakima too. I think we kind of team up with them so we don’t feel so small.
Each day we had three classes which were between one and one and a half hours long. Friday and Saturday we had two General Sessions in a giant room that everyone could attend to vote on important things that the State PTA will do or to change the bylaws or to vote people into office. There were vendors from companies who wanted us to fundraise with them who would give us free stuff and information to look at. There were prizes that I didn’t win and raffle baskets that are raffled off to help fund the scholarships for HS students that I didn’t win. At the General Sessions there were speakers who were funny and interesting and thought-provoking. We heard from the National PTA President, Washington State Teacher of the Year, and the CEO of REI (they have a summer hiking/biking program), which started in Seattle, as well as the following speaker.
I’ll share a few notes I took from the funniest speaker. Her name is Debbie Wooten and she was really, really funny! She was born in the hood in Chicago with spina bifida and then contracted polio as an infant, and the doctors told her mom that she would never walk or have children. Her mom didn’t tell her daughter that and she defeated the odds and did both of those things. She said her mom told her after her third kid that she wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids, and then she had two more. She said that as a kid, she always wanted to be like her “big, fat momma” and she would pray and pray for it and then when she got too fat as an adult, it took a lot longer to pray the weight off. One thing she told herself when raising her kids was, “If you can’t hit, you gotta outwit!” Another kid one was, “If you can’t beat ’em, feed them.” She said that grandma’s now-a-days have to be strong…just to haul those carseats around. She compared them to shoving a recliner into the car. I videoed a rap she made up for her kids to get them to listen to her.

The theme of the convention was superheroes, so the Saturday night dress up banquet came along (you could dress up as a super hero or just in nice clothes), and the National and State PTA Presidents came out dressed as Batman and Mr. Incredible. Oh, our State PTA President is the first male president in our state too, so I think they were being extra funny. Anytime someone called him “Madame President” instead of “Mr. President”, he charged them five dollars that went into his bucket of money that would be donated and if a cell phone went off, they had to put a dollar in too. Great idea!
Our schedule wasn’t over until at least 9pm each night (Friday and Saturday), so we were tired (not me as much since I don’t sleep that early anyway), but it was really fun too.
Sunday was just three classes and then the State Reflections Program recognizing all the kids from our state who got to that level and the winners whose entry would go on to the National Competition. Then we went to eat and drove home. We got home about 9pm.
I love PTA! You had better be helping PTA where you are! If you don’t have time, at least join so you know what’s going on in your school.

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2 responses to “WA State PTA Convention

  1. Christina says:

    That sounds like sooooo much fun. I will definitely be getting involved in PTA in a few years. now, probably not, duh! But, I'm glad you had a good time, and thanks for sharing some details and stuff, I enjoyed them!

  2. janaemadsen says:

    you are such a mommy PTA superstar.

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