Letter from the PTSA President

Dear Madison community-

I do hope that the 2022-2023 school year has started well for your students and your family!  The classrooms and halls are humming with activity and everyone seems to be happy to be back in the building.

Our first PTSA meeting will held in the new library on Tuesday, September 13th at 7pm.  We will be discussing our plans for the year and presenting the annual budget.  We will also hear from Principal Greg Hood and Director of Student Services Tim Buckley.  Following our meeting, we will have a reception to acknowledge and thank Mr. Hood for his years of leadership at Madison.

Thank you to all that have already joined the Madison PTSA! Your support is greatly appreciated! If you have not had the opportunity, please do 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. Additionally, 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.  This is the only time that we will ask for money.  Your memberships dues and your one-time, tax-deductible donation fund ALL PTSA activities and support for the entire year.  Much thanks to Robyn Nguyen for chairing our membership efforts again this year!

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 19th 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 Angie 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. It will be held in the school auditorium on Wednesday, October 12th.  We would greatly appreciate any other programming ideas that you might have!  Please contact our Vice President Gayle Schlueter with suggestions – and also huge thanks to Gayle for coordinating these programs.

Madison Outreach.  Another vital PTSA and community initiative is our Madison Food Pantry and Outreach efforts.  We have been very successful in supporting our students and their families in need but we could not have done it without your generous donations.   We are proud to work with Madison High School to help our students and families but it is an ongoing endeavor to keep our pantry fully stocked. We welcome your donations and, for ease, we have created an Amazon wish list of much needed items which ship directly to the school. We are currently also looking for school supplies for our students.  All needed items are included on the Amazon wishlist and also listed in this edition of Mad Memos!

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
– Funding the Triple “I” Teacher Awards Program recognizing outstanding teachers at Madison
– and Funding “Making a Difference” scholarships for graduating seniors
Please consider joining Academic Boosters which will be again chaired this year by our Vice President Abby Shannon and look for mock testing information in this edition of Mad Memos.  

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. Again, we hope you consider joining Academic Boosters!

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.  Our busy schedules make it difficult but we have volunteer opportunities for everyone who wants to get involved regardless of time constraints.  Again, we very much need your support!  We are currently looking for volunteers to help with Fall Kick-off and Back to School Night.  If you are able to help, please sign up here.

I do also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported our PTSA efforts and special thanks to our many chairs and huge thanks to this year’s PTSA officers, Treasurer Janine Bruhn, Vice President Gayle Schlueter, Vice President Abby Shannon and Secretary Liza Morss.

Thank you to Elizabeth Terry-Humen 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