Keeping up with the PTSA

As quarantine life dies down, students take part in the Parent-Teacher Association


Courtesy of the Ballard PTSA

June 2021 online PTSA General Meeting Participants congratulate Math Teacher Jan Drabek on winning one of the “Educator of the Year” awards.

Semai Hagos, Staff Reporter

The school’s Parent-Teacher Association — now Parent-Teacher and Student Association hasn’t been heard from as much, due to a couple of bumps in the roads from the pandemic.

While the students of the school are back in the buildings, the PTSA meetings are still being held online via Teams.

Gloria Kruzner, the school’s PTSA president of almost a year, speaking through email, has explained how the PTSA has been holding up due to the pandemic, what’s in stock for this year, and the significance of the added ‘S’ in the well-known acronym.

I want to point out that we are a PTSA and we welcome and want student participation,” Kruzner said. 

The students’ creativity and ability to problem solve has inspired Kruzner and the rest of the PTSA to push through the challenges that had sparked due to COVID-19 and held their meetings online. 

In an effort to help families who have been struggling during the pandemic, $25,000 was donated by the school’s community while the PTSA helped out with Ballard Cares, a community fundraising response to COVID. 

“This was a group effort between the school, Ballard Foundation and the PTSA,” Kruzner said.

By the end of this fundraiser, $163,000 had been raised and was donated to families that had been struggling during the pandemic.

“It felt good to be part of that effort and help support our own community,” Kruzner said.

Shelley Rousseau, now the school’s PTSA treasurer, was previously involved with Friends of Salmon Bay for four years before taking her role for the school.

Now, also through an email interview, Rousseau explains what’s new with the PTSA and how her first year as the school’s Treasurer is going.

“I enjoy finding ways to help the school and support our community,” Rousseau said. “I have a background in finance and education, so this is the perfect role for me.” 

As treasurer, Rousseau is always dealing with anything relating to finances — mainly for fundraising events which involve lots of coordination with the leaders of each event, officers and the committee chairs. 

“My role is to help process contributions and to ensure that the systems we use work as intended,” Rousseau said. 

In the hopes of raising $75,000, the PTSA will soon be starting the fall fundraising direct appeal. 

BASH, the school’s annual auction fundraiser connects Ballard families, but has been canceled for the past two years due to the pandemic. This school year’s gathering has been planned for Sunday, April 3rd in Belltown.

“This spring, we hope to hold the traditional ‘BASH’ auction event, which was canceled for the last two years due to COVID,” Rousseau said. 

The PTSA’s annual fall event is coming up and while COVID had caused some hiccups last year, lots of money had been saved and this year started out financially strong despite the complications the pandemic has caused. 

“PTSA is such a great group of parents, staff, teachers and students,” Rousseau said. “I wish we could meet in person.”