TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: June 2022


Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) 

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 from 7-8pm on Zoom 


Agenda will include: (1) Voting on Executive Committee and bylaws, (2) break-out panels for rising TPMS (graduating 5th grade) and rising PBES (future 3rd grade) families to discuss the process of transitioning to a new school; and (3) importantly, please join to share kudos and appreciation for all PTA parent volunteers from this year, hopes and ideas for the next.

7:00 Welcome from Emma Cheuse, PBES PTA VP of Communications

Upcoming Dates and Announcements – Chris Campbell, TPES VP of Communications. Refer to Updated MCPS School Calendar 2021-2022 


 –  Last week of school reminders: 

  • Please respond to your Classroom parent’s message about the end of year class gift and teacher thank you – let’s help our teachers feel appreciated and give them a warm summer send-off after their year of hard work.
  • Remember ASAP to return all library books to TPES and PBES.


– Weds. June 8th, 5pm – deadline to vote in the 16th Annual Azalea Awards. Many TPES, PBES and local community volunteers are nominated. 

  • Weds, June 8th: TPES Field Day 


– Weds. June 8th, 4:30-7pm PBES Vaccination Clinic.

Link for Pfizer 5-11:

Link for Pfizer 12+: 


– Tuesday, June 14th, 9:40am-10:40am: Second Grade Promotion Ceremony at TPMS. Guests limited to two guests per student. Masks will be mandatory. Ceremony will be livestreamed


-Thursday, June 16th, 9:45-10:45am (doors open at 9:30am): Fifth Grade Promotion Ceremony at PBES. Guests limited to two guests per student. 

  • 3:30pm Clap Out (doors open at 3:15pm – no seating required)

  • Friday, June 17th: Last Day of School (Early release at 1:20pm)
  • Staff appreciation lunch hosted by the PBES PTA


7:10:  PTA Volunteer Appreciation & Kudos – Joyce McDonough, TPES PTA Exec VP & Emma Cheuse, PBES PTA VP of Communications


7:13:  Executive Committee Voting – PBES Nomination Committee Chair (Shelly Hill), TPES Nomination Committee Chair (Joyce McDonough)


PBES PTA Executive Committee for 2022-23

President – Emma Cheuse

– Executive VP – Sara Lewis

– Treasurer – Kate Bauer 

– Secretary – Joyce McDonough

– Equity Co-VPs: Desiree Hernandez and Corey Null

– Fundraising VP: MaryKathryn Lee

– Comms VP – Chris Campbell 

– Membership VP – Erin Kelley

(County delegate – VOLUNTEER NEEDED – please contact if you are interested in volunteering and we will follow up at the start of the year).


Passed unanimously.


TPES PTA Executive Committee for 2022-23

President: Margaret McDonnell 

Executive VP: Joyce McDonough

Treasurer: Stephen Tippett

Executive Secretary: Dianne Kirsch

Membership Secretary: Justine Lassman

VP of Communications; Kaitlin Caruso

VP of Membership: Estelle Jean

VP of Fundraising: Diana Hickey van Houwelingen

VP Equity: Jon Frederick

County Delegate: Rebecca Schaeffer


Passed unanimously


7:15: By-laws Vote


TPES: Joyce McDonough

Updated by-laws need to be approved by our membership at least every three years. Nothing of note has changed except that we are now under Free State PTA, which is the MD arm of the National PTA. 

Motion has passed

(Next PBES bylaws vote planned for next year).


Informal vote/feedback for both TPES and PBES PTA: 

Do you prefer to keep most PTA meetings on Zoom next year? 

Would you like to have at least one in-person PTA meeting in the fall to visit the school?

– Chat feedback showed: strong preference for most meetings to be Zoom (“helpful to our family, helpful to be able to do other events,” “brings more people together” “makes it easier”, more participation on Zoom than in-person) and for 1-2 meetings, including one early in the fall and possibly one in late spring (or the last one), to be in-person “to feel connected,” “come together as school communities” or do all business meetings on Zoom and in-person for parents/volunteers “networking, connecting gathering.”  


7:20: Treasurer’s Reports and Summer Budget Vote

Stephen Tippett, TPES Treasurer and Kate Bauer, PBES Treasurer 

TPES: Proposing$100 gift card end of year support to each of the teachers for staff appreciation

Tommy’s pantry now officially separate from TPES

PTA taxes submitted and accepted

Available balance now 39,000

Amendment has passed


Summer budget:

Outreach and social- end of year party TPES staff

Maintenance Atrium redo

Wellness center redo

Summer book club

Misc funds as needed

Summer budget has passed


Carryover last year 27,000

Not much income this month

Expenses: PB&J costume

PTA supported Field day t-shirts for students and staff

Operating expenses: insurance, software, translation

Staff support- lunch on last day of school

gift/boxed lunch for 5th grade graduation


Summer budget: 

Events and fundraising- to purchase Panther gear in advance

Programs and committees: funds to have available equity committee to support summer school needs

Professional development opportunities for staff

Operating: translating welcome back packets

Summer budget has passed



7:25: TPES to PBES Transition // PBES to TPMS Transition Breakout Rooms

Chris Campbell will help execute breakout rooms. 


TPES to PBES Moderator: Amanda Wagner

Panelists: Liz Adams, Meg McDonald, and Lauren Greenberg


PBES to TPMS Moderator: Kathryn Bacon Goldman

Panelists: Maya Miller, Kara Lee Monahan and Amy Gibson Grant


PBES and TPMS Breakout Room for Spanish or Amharic interpretation

Panelist: Emma Cheuse, Luis Meijia, and Hailu Gtsadek


  • Topics: I bet there will be many questions that come up organically in the chat box, and the moderators will help to bubble these up to the panelists. Besides this, I think it would be helpful for the panelists to have a few questions that they know the moderators will ask them. I throw out the following questions, but please let me know if you think there are any questions that would be good to ask to the panel!
  1. What are some things you would note about the academic transition to 3rd/6th grade? 
  2. What are some things you would highlight about the social transition to 3rd/6th grade?
  3. What is one piece of advice that you would give to a rising 3rd/6th grade student during their first week of school? What is one piece of advice that you would give to their parents? 
  4. What are some additional tips and tricks for navigating the new school, for parents and students?
  5. What surprised you the most about the transition to PBES/TPMS?

Incoming PBES families, please feel free to put your questions, suggestions for the PTA or for the school into this Google doc, and we will share with the PBES school staff and will help follow up after the meeting if there is a question we can’t get to in this meeting. 


Become a PTA member: 

Takoma Park Elementary

Piney Branch Elementary