Meeting Notes – November 2019

Meeting Notes – November 2019

Horace Mann PTA meeting

November 20, 2019

Welcome and Introductions


  • Welcome Karen Vander Sanden to the HM PTA Board as the new Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Thank you to all that joined PTA for 2019-20. (see below)
  • Congratulations to Ms. Bosch.  The special funding request for $300.00 was approved for a Wiggle Bot learning extension for 4th grade.
  • We encourage and invite youth participation in all PTA meetings, committee’s, and events to provide greater student voice and leadership opportunities. 
  • We seek ways for the HM PTA to support the co-curricular activities (Girls on the Run, Scouts, Anti-Bullying Club, etc.) that directly benefit the HM community.
  • HM PTA website (see below)
  • HM PTA FB page (see below)
  • HM PTA  Employer match and Amazon Smile (see below)

Treasurer’s Report (Handout)

If you are interested in more details of the PTA budget please contact Jackie Hippen directly at

Principal’s Report

  • “Creating Strong Connections”. Sharing information about our bi- or multi-lingual families and give perspective to our english-only families.

New Business

  • PTA Sponsored Speaker (see below)
  • HM Boo Bash Oral Report
  • New to HM Family Playground Play-date idea.
  • January PTA meeting Legislative Action involvement.
  • Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities and Updates
    • Board Shadowing 2019-20
    • Make It Take It volunteers 2019-20
    • Scholastic Book Fair co-chair 2020-21
    • Give to the Max chair 2020-21
    • Committee chair/co-chair/members/volunteers
  • Notecards for New Ideas

Old Business

  • Ideas generated and direct requests from prior PTA meetings in progress (see below).
  • Actions taken and completed regarding direct requests from prior PTA meetings (see below).

Horace Mann PTA Sponsored Speaker for parents and guardians

You are invited to attend the FREE  PTA sponsored speaker. Allison Fey, from the Jacob Wetterling Foundation will present on Tuesday, January 14th 2020 6:30-8 pm.The topic will be :Teachable Safety Skills: Replacing Myths with Facts How do I talk to children about personal safety without scaring them to death? This presentation provides current information about various safety concerns children and teens are facing today, both in-person and online, and how to educate youth on those concerns in a positive way. School-age childcare will be provided by the 5th grade Ambassadors.  Location: Horace Mann School, 2001 Eleanor Avenue, St. Paul MN 55116. Look for more information coming in 2020.

Ideas generated and direct requests from prior PTA meetings in progress

  • Flu clinic at HM.  Emailed Principal Litwin to find out interest.  He will speak to the Nurse.
  • Requested to restart the Gifted and Talented Program at HM and to have Principal Litwin ask all families to do one thing to support the school. Emailed Principal Litwin.
  • Increased funding for the nurses office at HM. Emailed Principal Litwin to request information at November PTA meeting.
  • Principal Litwin to ask for family volunteering (at least 1 per year-per family).  Emailed Principal Litwin.
  • Interpreters at PTA meetings.  Emailed Principal Litwin to find further information.  He indicated he would work with HM staff to identify languages spoken and proceed.

Actions taken and completed regarding direct requests from prior PTA meetings

  • Read-a-thon volunteers contact information shared with the co-chair.
  • Box Top information request shared with the co-chair.
  • Landscape committee shared information about Clean-up (October 12th), Spring Clean-up in late April and the Plant sale May 7th.  Shared with the HM school and PTA calendar.  
  • Boo Bash and Carnival requested to tell ticket prices prior to the event and what tickets will get you at the event.  This way families could plan ahead and make sure to have enough. Emailed request to co-chairs and they will implement.
  • Read-a-thon requested to share goals per grade level, and share how many minutes read and money raised in each grade level to win last year.  Emailed request to co-chair.
  • Make small volunteer tasks visible for parents to do.  Make volunteer time commitments and responsibilities clear.  Utilizing FB more for small tasks and on-going volunteer opportunities.

Committee Reports

  • Halloween Candy/Card Collection for Active Duty Military Service Members/Family Volunteer Service – Karla Lauerman Cummins
    • Thank you to everyone for donating candy (9 boxes totallying 230 pounds) and cards to this service opportunity.  A special thank you to Terri Shefelbine for organizing a veteran speaker to speak to the 3rd grade classrooms. Lieutenant Colonel Ron Wodtke USMC for sharing his knowledge.  Mike Clark for serving as our contact and as always to Judy Brown in the main office for assisting with the collection. If you would like to lead this activity next year or have any questions please email Karla Lauerman Cummins at
  • Business Partnerships – Karla Lauerman Cummins
    • Information:  The HM Business Partnership Committee provides access, opportunities, and recognition to our current and potential Business Partnerships.  We had our second BP with Chipotle on Monday, November 4th. We raised $342.16 Thank you so much for your support. We will plan 1-2 more partnerships this school year.
    • Requests/Input from attendee’s:  Anyone that wishes to join our committee  is very welcome and/or if you have any new ideas of BP opportunities or ways to thank our partners please let us know. and/or Questions? 
  • Landscape Committee – Maya Missaghi
    • Fall/Winter School Ground Clean Up a Success! Thank you SO much to everyone who came out despite the snow/sleet. Because of Ms. Bosch’s hard work, our flower beds are re-mulched. Ms. Bosch and the third graders will plant tulips this fall. The school grounds are ready to face winter when it actually starts. We so appreciate your time and muscle power, and we even managed to have fun in that crazy weather!  See you in the Spring! If you have questions please email Maya at or Eric at
  • Silent Auction – Allison Broughton
    • After a lengthy search process, the auction committee has selected the University of St. Thomas’s Wolfe Alumni Hall.  SAVE THE DATE: Our event will be held on the evening of Friday, March 20, 2020 and we’re excited about our “Roaring 20s” theme.  This is a big event and our volunteer motto is the more the merrier.  If you’re ready to join the party, please contact Amy Hannigan or Allison Broughton
  • Readathon 2019 – Megan Czarniecki
    • Reading is my Super Power!  Thank you to students, families, and teachers for participating in this year’s Read-a-Thon during the month of October!  The annual Read-a-Thon is meant to encourage students to develop good reading habits early in the school year and raise money for PTA supported activities.  Those Read-a-Thon goals were exceeded this year: collectively the students read over 600,000 minutes and raised more than $26,000 in donations to the PTA! At the November 7 closing ceremony the top readers in each grade were recognized, Ms Vincent and Ms Witt’s classrooms received the class participation award, with both classes returning 100% of student reading calendars, and Principal Litwin completed a super power challenge including learning to fly.  In addition, students were eligible to receive a Horace Mann water bottle and Scholastic Book Fair coupon based on donations returned. If your student missed turning in any pledge donations, please bring them to the school office to give to the PTA. If you have any questions or would like to join the committee please contact Tia Anderson Megan Czarniecki Becky Mayer
  • Scholastic Book Fair – Katie Walter
    • Thank you for a successful year.  If you are interested in being a co-chair for 2020-21, please email Katie Walter
Co-President – Nikki Mechlke
Co-President – Karla Lauerman Cummins
Treasurer – Jackie Hippen
Teacher Representative – Amy Kortuem
Communications Co-Chair – Marian Saksena Hatch
Communications Co-Chair – Laura Willson
Recording Secretary – Melanie McMahon
Volunteer Coordinator – Karen Vander Sanden
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