October 2015 General Meeting Minutes

Helman Elementary PTO

October 2015 General Meeting Minutes

Date, Time, Location: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the library

Meeting called to order by President Sheri Cellini at 6:10 p.m.

Attendance: Mia Driscoll, Michelle Cuddeback, Mary Snowden, Sheri Cellini, Becky Sniffen, Sean Smith, Jessica Bendaw, Anne Robison, John Williams, Phyllis Cooley, Sue McGrath, Arianna Van Heusen, Kelly Martin, Toni Dimaggio, and Avril Betoushana. There were 15 members in attendance; a quorum was reached. No guests in attendance.

Everyone introduced himself or herself.

Old Business:


  • In a meeting between Michelle, Sheri and Randy, head of maintenance, it was decided that the soundboards we currently have would be costly, time consuming to install and are not what we need.
  • There was a discussion to sell the boards. Sheri will search options for reselling them, including to local builders, back to the school district or on Craig’s list.
  • There will be future discussion on new soundboards.

PTA school event information:

  • It is requested by Sheri that for each PTA event, the parent volunteer event coordinator creates a write-up detailing how the event runs to be stored in the new PTA binder, to be handed down to future PTA boards.  This information needs to be presented to the principal and the PTA board for approval prior to the event.
  • They will also be asked to email event info to Sean to be posted on the websites.
  • Toni Dimaggio is requesting a reminder email for the teachers, explaining day of event details and a detailed schedule of the event. Event coordinators will be requested to create an informational email and give to Malinda to distribute.
  • Sheri will contact Gus Janeway, last year’s PTA president to be updated with all relevant information from last year that he has.

Garden boxes:

  • This past Saturday Ashland Boy scout Troupe 112, for their Eagle Scout project, built five 8ft. long by 2 ft. high. Cedar planter boxes for our school in 3 hours.
  • Michelle met with Superintendent Jay Hummel to discuss where the garden boxes will go. An option being considered is in the grassy area on the outside edge of the tennis courts and by the benches, near the swing sets. They see a good option for where the irrigation can be safely housed.
  • “Sprinkles” the irrigation man on the grounds crew, will be consulted about the best location for the irrigation, for ease of mowing purposes.
  • Deer netting options are also being considered. A final decision on the details of the project will be made in the near future.

Tennis Courts:  given by Michelle Cuddabeck

Update: Last year there was a plan set into motion to use the defunct tennis courts as school garden space (hence the garden box project). There was feedback from vocal Ashland residents who wanted the city to refurbish the courts and keep them available to the residents on non-school hours.

  • Two weeks ago Michelle received a letter from Ashland Parks and Rec stating that they will be repaving them and keeping them as tennis courts. Part of the agreement with the city is that it’s their responsibility to keep them maintained, which was not the case in the recent past. This project will begin in the near future.

Sandboxes: given by Mia Driscoll

  • Sand is on back order from Hilton Landscape. It was scheduled to come in today but did not arrive. The sand is on back order for another 3 weeks, hopefully to arrive at the end of October.
  • Weed cloth and a tarp cover are already purchased, weeding of the area in process and just waiting on sand.
  • Treasurer Anne Robison needs to write a check directly upon delivery. She will connect with Mia to do so.

Committee Reports:


  • Jennifer Hall is this year’s parent coordinator for this event. She has sent a sign up email out to parents. There was email correspondence between Michelle and Jennifer on event decisions and the purchase of this year’s books.
  • Sheri will contact Jennifer to be updated on the details of this event and will also ask her to check in with us at PTA meetings.

Helman Hoedown/ Cakewalk Recap:

  • Great Fun, good food, great way to start the year!
  • We need to find a new food sponsor to replace Brothers’ Restaurant for next year. Sheri and Avril will approach Louie’s Bar and Grill to be our new sponsor.
  • Total after expenses is $1,211.16. $450 for tees and sweats; $360 in cash donation box (by the food); $1,200 at Cakewalk/Bake sale.
  • Every student gets one free ticket for the cakewalk or bake sale. There is a suggestion to advertise this detail in the event info email and on flyers. Sheri will ask Courtney Burkholder to make the adjustments.

Website and Facebook presence:

  • Sean requests that PTA meeting minutes, upcoming event info, photos for yearbook and anything else that we would like posted on the website and FB, should be sent to him OR posted to our official FB page. Include names of children in the pictures.
  • We need updated photos for the FB page.
  • There are 2 FB pages. Our “official” page is a private page and one must be approved by the admin. to join. There is another FB Helman Elem. Page that was generated by FB.  Sean will have this page shut down and will invite the 24 current members to join the “official” Helman FB page. He will also create an email to be sent via Malinda, inviting Helman parents to join our official FB page.
  • John Williams will add Michelle, Sean and Avril to be FB admin. and take off Kylie Shannon.  Becky Sniffen will remain admin.
  • Sheri suggests that at least one current PTA board member be an admin. each year.
  • PTA board will send our email addresses to Sean to register for @helmanpta.org addresses.


  • Sean needs pictures for the websites. EA’s, parents, teachers are encouraged to be taking pictures during the event.
  • Sean installed PayPal capabilities on our website so people can make donations remotely. We’ve already received donations on the site!

School Board Report: given by John Williams

  • School year off to a great start
  • Last week, the Homecoming Parade was cancelled and students held 10 minutes over the final bell, due to a Facebook scare and the district airing on the side of caution.
  • Due to many retiring teachers, there have been many teachers hired. Almost 1/5 of teaching staff is new: 44 at high school, 23 at middle school. ¼ are first year teachers. 30% have 8 years or more of teaching experience and over 90% have master’s degrees or have started master’s work.
  • The district has saved $10 million over the past 10 years having “self insured” health insurance plans. It is a premium medical plan.
  • Football field artificial turf- District currently trying to raise $1.2 million. Much more information about this topic can be found on the district website.

Treasure’s Report: given by Anne Robison

  • $780 was found in our PayPal account that we didn’t know was there!
  • We have received the $750 Co-op garden project grant
  • Our individual contribution is $362.50 more than we projected due to the donation jar at the Hoedown.
  • Almost to our membership dues target
  • Tee-shirts/sweatshirts -almost to our projected budget already!
  • Walk-a-thon is already receiving online PayPal donations.
  • Mia Driscoll moves to add Larry Francis the math specialist teacher to the $200 classroom supplies budget. Becky Sniffen seconds the motions and it is approved.
  • Anne will write a check to Sean Smith for website costs and he will furnish a receipt.

Open Items:

Ordering tee shirts:

  • Anne and Arianna Van Heusen will work together to put an order in on the website.
  • An idea was presented to purchase “50th Anniversary” classic dark green tee shirt with gold lettering for next year 2016/17
  • We will keep to the most recent dragon logo

Bike repair for 4th grade bikes:

  • Via Mary Snowden, 4th grade teacher Mark Sherbo is requesting that PTA pay for 5 bikes that need repairs.
  • The board would like Mark to submit a detailed list of needs for this project.
  • Based on this information, the board will then decide to either purchase said repairs as a budgeted project or solicit donated services.

Bring back “The Stomp”? :

  • Parent’s night out fundraiser? Donate $$ to attend? After a lot of brainstorming, this idea is tabled for now.

Next meeting is at 6pm November 3rd in the school library

Meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m. by Sheri Cellini

Minutes compiled by Jessica Bendaw, Recording Secretary