For the first time in history, Palmetto Senior High hosted the annual PTSA Appreciation Day on October 22, hoping to encourage more students to join the organization.
The current PTSA membership surpasses 700, but teachers and parents are looking to build on the number. “The goal is to inform the students about the PTSA and all it does to support curriculum, resources, technology, and their edu-cation,” AP English Literature teacher Andrea Spivak said. “Ms. Farkas suggested that we do something. Originally, we had thought of doing something outside of school and then we decided that maybe we could do this membership drive together and offer an afternoon tea for the core of the PTSA.”
Students were shown a promotional video provided by a former student- member of the PTSA, accompanied by a PTSA appreciation lesson in their English classes that described the purpose of the PTSA. An incentive to join will come through a food party, given to the class that produces the most new members.
In addition to creating special programming, the Palmetto PTSA raised and invested over $100,000 into the school in the past year, including technology upgrades, a dedicated computer lab and various materials to support curriculum enhancement.
The tea and snacks following school hours were held in the media center along-side a meeting recognizing the PTSA president, Anna Hochkammer, and awarding her with flowers. The drama department also performed a small preview, incorporating a song from their latest production of “Little Women” for faculty members.
“It’s really shocking and surprising,” Hochkammer said. “I’m used to being somebody who honors and recognizes other people and I don’t get that much of that in this line of work, so having this kind of event it a little bit overwhelming. I’m incredibly flattered and incredibly honored that people think highly of the work I am doing.”
Fees to join are $6.50 for an individual student membership, although family membership of up to three is also offered for $36.50. Dues are recycled back into student education funds, contributing to textbooks, study guides, computers and sound equipment, among other things.
“The PTSA has done so much for this school and for its reputation,” Spivak said. “We feel it’s time to let [students] know about how much we appreciate all their effort.”
Emily Diez is a senior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School.