White House to Host PTA Day and Honor 12 PTA Members as "Champions of Change"

Archived Information

White House to Host PTA Day and Honor 12 PTA Members as "Champions of Change"

August 8, 2012

Washington, DC — On Friday, August 10th, the White House will welcome over 150 Parent Teacher Association (PTA) leaders from 41 states, DC, and US military bases overseas for a day-long briefing. PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools.

As part of the day-long program, the White House will honor 12 parents as "Champions of Change." These extraordinary parents have devoted their time and effort to their PTA chapters across the country and will have the opportunity to share their stories with Administration officials and PTA members across the country. The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans doing great work in their communities. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

"President Obama knows how important parent involvement is in education, and we are excited to welcome PTA leaders who are setting such great examples in their communities to the White House," said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. "The PTA Champions of Change we are honoring have collaborated with school administrators and community leaders, launched innovative advocacy campaigns, and worked tirelessly to grow their local PTAs to involve more parents in their children's education."

To connect with PTA members around the country, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz with participate in a live "Open for Questions" event moderated by National PTA President Betsy Landers. The PTA is soliciting questions from their members about child advocacy and education through PTA.org and also on Twitter with the hashtag #WHPTA.

Watch the events live and learn more at WhiteHouse.gov/Champions. Live stream events include PTA leaders briefing at 9:30 a.m. EDT, "Open for Questions" online Q&A at 12:00 p.m. EDT and the Champions of Change event at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 10. People around the country can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WHPTA.

Melissa Kicklighter
Melissa is the Florida PTA Incoming Vice President for Regions and Councils and is actively involved in PTA at the local, district and State level. At the district level, she is the Immediate Past President of the Duval County Council of PTAs, and continues to serve as an advisor to the Common Core State Standards committee and lead instructor for those training modules and many others pertaining to advocacy and parent and community engagement. Within her community, she is member of several coalitions, task forces and committees with a focus on strengthening health, education and welfare services for children and schools. She is a proud wife and mother of three children who attend Duval County public school and has also worked professionally in various education and training capacities, including college and university student services and academic advisement, teaching English as a Second Language through the public library system, gifted education in elementary school, and training and curriculum development for AT&T and Citibank.

Ana Chapman
As a parent, educator and PTA advocate, Ana is committed to enriching children's lives. She is currently serving as Ohio PTA Director of Communications, as well as President of Grindstone Elementary PTA in Berea, Ohio. She has served as Berea PTA Council President, Unit President, 1st Vice President, Historian, Webmaster and chairperson of numerous committees. She holds the 1st and 2nd Step Gold Key Leadership Award as well as 1st and 2nd Year Advocacy Awards. In addition to her passion for PTA, she will begin her 20th year as an Elementary Music Teacher this month, having spent the last 18 in the Beachwood, Ohio City School District. She has chaired several bond issue and levy campaigns for the Berea City Schools, where she is also a Trustee of the Berea Schools Education Foundation. Ana lives in Berea, Ohio with her husband and three children.

Calvin Endo
Calvin M. Endo has been married to his beautiful wife Susan for 39 years and they have 11 children, five girls and six boys; 28+ grandchildren. Calvin retired from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard after 32 years of civil service and three years in the U.S. Army. He took an early retirement at age 51 and began working at Wai'anae High School as their parent and community representative; it's a part time job that keeps him busy all day long, even weekends. He is very involved in his church, schools, community and State, serving as the PTSA President for the high school, Education Chairman for the Wai'anae Neighborhood Board—working with all the principals on the Westside of Oahu and the Wai'anae Leeward Community College, Hawaii State PTSA Board Member and recently involve with Hui for Excellence in Education (HE'E)—a statewide coalition of diverse stakeholders committed to working collaboratively to identify opportunities to improve public education in Hawaii.

Emily Sack
As the proud mother of three, Emily Sack has always placed importance on being active her children's school. Volunteering at the school and in classrooms give her an opportunity to interact with other parents, the faculty, school administrators and, most important, the children. She has served as Vice President of her PTA for the past year and looks forward to continuing her role in the coming school year.

Janelle Sperry
Janelle Sperry has spent countless hours improving her local elementary school as well as initiating programs to encourage family engagement since she believes so strongly in its importance. While serving on the Bunker Hill Elementary School PTA, Janelle secured grants for paving a track and basketball court, library grant which included new computer equipment, books and resource materials, and her biggest endeavor was the completion of an Outdoor Science and Nature Center. She serves on the Berkeley County Council PTA assisting with fundraising for the PTA clothing room that provides clothing and shoe vouchers to needy students, and serves on the WV PTA as the Scholarship Chairperson. In cooperation with Berkeley County Schools, for the last 20 years, she has served as the Technical Director for the Berkeley County Schools Scholarship Pageant that has raised over $150,000 for college scholarships for graduating seniors. Janelle currently serves as the President of Mill Creek Intermediate PTA and resides in Bunker Hill, West Virginia with her husband Will, and daughter Elizabeth.

Deirdre Pierce
Deirdre Pierce is a wife, mother and grandmother, but equally as important—a motivator, cheerleader for change, and a proud card carrying, active member of PTA! She have served as a local school PTA treasurer, president, school council representative, school business partner and now a Georgia PTA District Director where she is the support person for 3 counties. One of her most significant accomplishments, with the support of a dedicated team of parents, faculty, staff and a school board member, was advocating for the total renovation of her neighborhood high school that included a Career and Technology wing and an auditorium. The success of this advocacy effort resulted in the school board allocating funds for all high schools to have the same.

Sam Macer
Sam Macer is a parent, grandparent, foster parent, and uncle to over 40 nieces, nephews, sons, daughters and foster children. He believes that PTA is the most effective parent support group in the nation and he uses the PTA as a support mechanism for his family and community. As a 30 year child welfare and foster parent advocate, he volunteers with PTA on every level—local, state and national, to share the value of effective parent engagement and the value of implementing the PTA National Standards for Family—School Partnerships in an effort to raise the academic achievement levels for all children. Through partnerships and collaborations with state and local agencies he helps raise awareness of the value of PTA in the state effort to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all of Maryland's children.

Anne Stafford
Anne Stafford is a true advocate for parental involvement in education. Her work towards creating genuine and meaningful partnerships between parents and educators has made a significant impact in her community and in the lives of children. With a focus on collaboration, communication, accountability, and equity, Anne has empowered parents to work with teachers towards greater student achievement. Among her many accomplishments during her 15 years as a PTA leader and a member of the school leadership team are the creation of a school-based Parent Involvement Resource Center and the conception and development of a community outreach program that provides free personal hygiene items to students in need. Anne has also been instrumental in the implementation of parent data nights that equip parents with a broad range of student testing information, academic benchmarks, and school accountability measures.

Sharon Whitworth
Sharon Whitworth has been a PTA advocate for all children for over 36 years. She has served as the 15th District PTA president from 1987-89 and KY PTA president in 1993-96 and is now serving as the Kentucky PTA Legislative Commissioner working for issues that affect children in the State of Kentucky and the Nation. She has worked as the parent relation specialist for Jefferson County Public Schools for the past 23 years engaging parents to be involved in their children's education. Currently she is serving as Project Lead of a National PTA grant to educate parents and the community about the common core standards. Through her leadership, her team has educated over 9,000 parents and community members since October, 2011.

Sharon Meigh-Chang
Sharon Meigh-Chang is the Director of the Portland Council PTA Clothing Center, where she has volunteered for 25 years. As volunteer director of the PTA Clothing Center which since 1964, is dedicated to assisting students in need receive clothing and helping them to have an improved view of themselves to be ready to go to school and learn, has gone from assisting thousands of students to nearly 2000 students each year. From Sharon's outreach the volunteer hours each year have increased, with this year being over 2500 volunteer hours.

Carlina Brown
Carlina Brown is a mother of 4. She started family advocacy as a Parent Representative to the Policy Council with Headstart almost 20 years ago. She currently serves as PTSA President at Rainier Beach High School and Co-Director for South East Seattle for Seattle Council PTA.

Mandy Patterson
Mandy Patterson is from Boone, North Carolina where she attended Appalachian State University. This is where she met her husband, Chris. They had three children, Katelyn, Zachary and Brandon. Since 2008 Mandy has served on the PTA at Oak Grove Elementary in Raleigh, NC. Mandy served 1 year as Treasurer, 2 years as President, and is currently serving her second year as VP of Fundraising and Family Nights. During the last 4 years she has either chaired or been on a majority of the committees at Oak Grove. In 2009 she started a children's charity, Pajama Pals, which has collected and distributed nearly 75,000 books and new pajamas to underprivileged children in North Carolina. Next year when her youngest son starts Kindergarten at Oak Grove she plans to stay active in the PTA and community.