Letter from the PTSA President

Dear Madison community-

I hope that the 2021-2022 school year has started well for you and your family!  The classrooms and halls are humming with activity and everyone seems to be happy to be back in the building and just a bit closer to what we experienced before the pandemic.

Our first PTSA meeting will be in-person and will be held on Tuesday, September 14th at 7pm.  We will be meeting in the “ temporary” school library which was formerly Warhawk Hall.  If you are unable to attend, then the minutes will be posted on our PTSA website.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at president@jmhsptsa.org.  

As I shared in last month’s Mad Memos, I want to strongly encourage you to join the Madison PTSA.  Membership in the James Madison Parent-Teacher-Student Association is an invaluable way to contribute to your child’s education and stay connected during high school.  Your support allows the PTSA to promote the academic excellence and well-being of our students as well as support our teachers and staff here at Madison.

Some specific PTSA programs and initiatives that you will be supporting include:

Staff Appreciation Events:  We have amazing staff at Madison and the PTSA hosts teacher and staff appreciation events throughout the year.  Thank you to our wonderful chairs Angie Gutenson and Dara Dirth who organized and coordinated both a Back School Breakfast on Friday, August 20th as well as a Grab and Go boxed dinner for our Madison staff prior to Back to School Night!  If you would like to learn more and get involved with this committee, please send a message to Angela and Dara at hospitality@jmhsptsa.org

Parent Programs:  Next month we will kick off our 2021-2022 parent programs with PAYING FOR COLLEGE in October. We also have planned NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS featuring Dr Jed Applerouth for spring. We would greatly appreciate any other programming ideas that you might have!  Please contact our VP Gayle Schlueter with suggestions – and also huge thanks to Gayle for coordinating these programs.

Another tremendous PTSA and community initiative is our Madison Food Pantry and Outreach efforts.  We are proud to partner with Madison High School to help our students and families in need by providing food and grocery gift cards but it is an ongoing endeavor to keep it fully stocked. We welcome your donations and, for ease, we have created an Amazon wish list of much needed items (including school supplies) which ship directly to the school.  Currently, our greatest need is BACKPACKS as our students have returned to in-person school.  

Academic Boosters is a PTSA initiative dedicated to enriching the educational experience of all Madison students and your past support has sponsored the following programs and initiatives:
– The Annual Academic Awards Ceremony 
– Funding of teacher learning conferences, and other staff development activities
– Hosting of SAT and ACT mock tests (please see upcoming mock testing dates in this addition of Mad Memos!)
– Funding the Triple “I” Teacher Awards Program recognizing outstanding teachers at Madison
– and Funding “Making a Difference” scholarships for graduating seniors

The PTSA provides faculty and staff enrichment opportunities throughout the school year.  Over the last few years, the PTSA has provided over $30,000 in funding for continuing education and professional opportunities for our Madison teachers and staff through the PTSA Academic Boosters. We hope you consider joining Academic Boosters which is chaired by VP Abby Shannon!

Again, we very much need your support!  To eliminate the burden of fundraisers throughout the year, we are continuing our “No Fuss Fundraiser” effort. In addition to your PTSA membership, we suggest a donation of $50 per family. Your one-time, tax-deductible donation allows the PTSA to promote the academic excellence and well-being of our students as well as support our staff.  This is the only time that we will ask for money and your memberships dues and donations fund ALL PTSA activities and support for the entire year.   

Finally, volunteers are a critical part of the PTSA!  Many of you may have seen a past article in the Wall Street Journal which reported that involved parents lead to better grades and more resilient and happy students.  I know that busy schedules make it difficult but we have volunteer opportunities for everyone who wants to get involved regardless of time constraints.  

I do also want to take this opportunity to all of you who have supported our PTSA efforts and special thanks to our many chairs and especially to this year’s PTSA officers, Janine Bruhn, Gayle Schlueter, Abby Shannon and Sarah Lundquist.

Thank you again to Shelly Koshuta for creating our monthly Mad Memos and please check out our PTSA website (thanks to Jennifer O’Beirne) for how to join the PTSA.  If you have any questions or ideas, you are always welcome to contact me directly.

Beth Eachus
Madison PTSA President
president@jmhsptsa.org