Five Parent Teacher Association (PTA) presidents in Lehi elementary schools were recently honored with the Leadership, Excellence and Partnership (LEAP) Award for the 2021-2022 school year for Region 9, which includes all of Alpine School District. Honorees completed dozens of requirements that included attending leadership conventions, serving on School Community Councils, organizing events, implementing new programs and assisting in leadership training, to name a few.
LEAP Award winners from Lehi included Pam Bowers from Lehi Elementary, Ellen Oates from North Point Elementary, Heather Egbert from River Rock Elementary, Candace Jones from Meadow Elementary and Jeanne Marie Burrows from Dry Creek Elementary.
The Utah PTA described the criteria for LEAP winners, “Leadership is often defined as ‘the art of getting or inspiring people to do something.’ It is not the same as management, which is associated with accomplishing a task in an effective and efficient manner. A leader must often use different leadership styles, depending on the situation and group. People skills are a necessity in good leadership. A successful leader will involve everyone in the group in any decision-making that will affect them.”
The Utah PTA noted that within the membership of Utah PTA, there are leaders who steadfastly serve in various PTA positions and volunteer thousands of hours for the benefit of the children of Utah. Principals at the elementary schools who had winners named were effusive in praising their LEAP honorees.
“Jeanne Marie is such a strength to our school. She is always willing to sub in classes, support activities, or give of herself in whatever capacity we need,” said Patrice Worlton, principal at Dry Creek Elementary. “When we need help at the school Jeanne Marie reaches out to the community to enlist their support. Most recently we have been preparing curriculum materials so that our students can benefit from the 95% reading intervention program next year. There have been so many booklets and packets that needed to be assembled. Not only has Jeanne Marie given so much of her time and service but has made sure to recruit several community and PTA members to help.”
“I am a believer in PTA and the good it can do for our schools. This year was no exception where I watched a group of women come together and create a magical week, an incredible meal or an important learning experience,” said Burrows.
The Meadow Elementary PTA focused on meeting the health and safety needs at the school as well as addressing the social-emotional impact that surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic.“The PTA donated a grant to the school to install three touchless water bottle fillers, provided masks and made holiday party boxes for the classrooms,” said Candace Jones, PTA President at Meadow.
“The school theme for the year was “Dream Big” and the PTA and other volunteers helped string hundreds of stars in the hallways with the student’s aspirations. In March we helped gather over 300 letters of support in response to first lady Abby Cox’s initiative ‘Show Up for Ukraine,’ for students to write an encouraging note to the children in Ukraine,” Jones said.
“Candace is always advocating for our teachers and students and is always asking what more they can do to help our teachers and school. She has really helped advocate and support Meadow, especially through Covid and helping support our teachers during unprecedented times,” said Meadow Elementary Principal Alisa Hart.
“Pam Bowers is an exemplary leader. She has a vision beyond scope. She is inclusive of people and ideas,” said Sharra Call, a member of the Region 9 PTA Board. “In an age of too much to do and not enough volunteers, she made sure expectations were clear to show how she valued their contribution and time.”
“Our team really came together and made this an awesomeyear,” said Pam Bowers, PTA President at Lehi Elementary. “We had to do something to make sure the kids feel safe, seen and loved – especially after the upheaval of the last two years.”
Bowers and the PTA at Lehi Elementary created a Kindness Club to educate students on how to be kind, focusing on positive interactions between students. “We could have copied other programs, but we wanted something that directly related to our school,” Bowers said. “We want the kids to know they’re going to have bad days, but they can always start over tomorrow and try again.”