Mercer Island PTA Council presents 2021-22 awards

Recipients were celebrated during the annual spring awards brunch on May 13.

By Lekshmi Radhakrishnan

Special to the Reporter

The Mercer Island PTA Council held its awards ceremony in person on May 13 for the first time since 2019.

The event at the Congregational Church on Mercer Island brought together PTA volunteers, staff and administrators from the district’s six campuses to honor recipients for serving the students and families of the Mercer Island School District (MISD). Recipients included PTA volunteers, community members, staff, teachers, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

The ceremony program featured art by the 2021-2022 PTA Reflections winners and included the names of all award recipients from the past to current.

Following is a list of this year’s winners and descriptions of their awards:

Golden Acorn: Debbie Burke and Amy Richter

The Washington State PTA (WSPTA) Golden Acorn Award is presented to a volunteer in recognition of their outstanding dedication and service to all children in the school community. This award recognizes volunteer service “above and beyond” a particular job description.

Outstanding Service: Kathy McDonald and Lori Cohen-Sanford

The Outstanding Service Award is presented to a volunteer who works for children and youth beyond the bounds of a job, PTA or a specific school community. This award recognizes broad-based service to children and is awarded to an individual who has given dedicated and long-term volunteer service that positively impacts all children throughout the community and who has helped them achieve their potential.

Outstanding Educator: Joe Bryant, Mercer Island High School, and David Hoffman, Island Park Elementary School

The Outstanding Educator Award was created by the WSPTA to recognize individuals who go beyond the normal expectations of their jobs to make significant contributions to enhancing the educational outcomes of all students and who make the learning environment fun, beneficial and challenging.

Outstanding Advocate: Donna Colosky and Tanya Aggar

The WSPTA established the Outstanding Advocate Award to recognize and honor individuals for their advocacy and commitment related to the health, welfare, safety and education of children and youth.

Children’s Advocate: MISD nurses and Mercer Island Youth and Family Services school-based counselors

The Mercer Island PTA Council Children’s Advocate Award was established to recognize individuals or programs that go above and beyond the scope of their job or expectations to serve Mercer Island students.

Outstanding Program: Unified Sports and MI Parent Edge

The Outstanding Program Award honors a program designed and implemented to serve the school community or community at large.

MI Community Partner: MI Martial Arts

The Mercer Island PTA Council created the Community Partner Award to recognize a local Island business or organization that goes above and beyond standard expectations to help and facilitate local units to help build a cooperative relationship between students, schools and the community.

Honorary Life Membership: Stephanie Parmenter

The Honorary Life Membership Award recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the development, growth and sustainability of a local PTA or council. It is awarded to someone who has shown extraordinary commitment to the PTA’s vision and mission.

The Mercer Island PTA Council serves as a resource to unit PTAs, families and community members within the MISD and advocates for every child’s health, well-being, inclusion and education.

To learn more about the PTA Council, visit