Mitchell Elementary PTA General Meeting


Tuesday, August 27, 2014


Call to Order:


The General Meeting of the Mitchell PTA was held in the cafeteria on August 27, 2014. The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m. by president, Shannon Gittleman, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Ms. Gittleman’s daughter, Molly, a Mitchell third grader.




See attached sign-in sheet. A quorum was established.




Ms. Gittleman welcomed all parents to the first PTA meeting of the 2014-2015 school year. She mentioned that Mitchell’s PTA was the first to be inducted in Florida. She introduced our new Principal, Ms. Anderson, and our new Assistant Principal, Mr. Moon. She introduced our theme for the year: “Do More of What Makes You Awesome.”


Reading and Approval of the Minutes:


The motion by Jenny Hart to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2014 General Board meeting as distributed was seconded and passed.


Officer Reports:


President’s Report (Ms. Gittleman):


Ms. Gittleman acknowledged and thanked the many members of the PTA who had worked countless hours over the summer on behalf of Mitchell. She especially thanked those, including Tien Tien Shein and Deedee Bland, who had worked to get our new PTA website up and running. She thanked the other committee chairs by name as well, for their hard work over the summer.


Vice President of Volunteers (Ms. Bell):


Ms. Bell mentioned that she wanted to get new families to Mitchell involved in the PTA, and that her committee had utilized a green form that went home in the first day packets to gather expressions of interest from parents. She also mentioned that people could volunteer through the new PTA website, and encouraged people to get involved ASAP because committees are already working. Committees that especially need volunteers include RIF and Heritage Night.


Corresponding Secretary (Ms. Shein):


Ms. Shein discussed her work over the summer on the website and encouraged PTA members to use it to fill out forms, get information, etc. Paper forms can also be downloaded there. She also asked everyone to “Like” us on Facebook. She talked about the many other ways that the website can be used.


Treasurer’s Report (Ms. Russell):


Ms. Russell reported that she met with the audit committee over the summer, and that the audit committee found the financial records of the PTA to be in order. She also stated that she is looking for a volunteer for the 2015-2016 year to take over preparing the tax return for the PTA as the Mitchell parent who has been preparing it will be leaving the school.


Ms. Russell reviewed the Budget-to-Actual Report. She highlighted the changes. This year the Fun Run is in house rather than being run by an outside vendor, and so expenses are down because of this. Also, the golf tournament was rained out last year so this is a major change. This year we are able to accept credit cards online, and for this we have to pay out to PayPal, 2.2% per purchase. The school supply kits are a new program, but for budget purposes should be a wash. This year we are adding the 100 year Centennial celebration, as well as Heritage Night.


The motion by Kathy Hill to approve the 2014-2015 budget was seconded and passed.


Principal’s Report (Ms. Anderson):


Ms. Anderson welcomed everyone and reported that the year is off to a great start. She reported that enrollment so far was up to 638 students. She said that Mitchell continues to enjoy a reputation for academic excellence, and is a Grade A school for the third consecutive year. Her focus is on student achievement. She has two main goals for the year: the teachers will teach and the students will learn. And all of this happens with the assistance of the PTA. Mitchell teachers are top quality. She plans to hold a symposium at the end of October on the new Florida standards.


Ms. Anderson reported that our children’s safety is of the utmost importance. She encouraged parents to use the Gomez car line. She reported that we have been assigned a resource officer, Mr. Weaver Rodgers, who will be working with the students off and on, and will be at the school once a week. The Tampa Police Department also checks in daily regarding safety.


Ms. Anderson also reported that, based upon her review of the SKIP surveys, she has listened and noticed that parents are asking for after school enrichment activities. Therefore, we will be starting with offering Chess Club and Webby Dance, both of which will probably start in October.


Ms. Anderson also announced that there is an Open House next Thursday night and encouraged everyone to come. Conference night will be the week of October 16. She thanked the PTA for supporting her. She said that she loves what she does and truly believes that what we do here is better than anyone else in the school district. Ms. Anderson introduced Mr. Moon, our new Assistant Principal.


Mr. Moon then introduced himself, described his background and talked about his goals for the year. He said that he is very excited and pleased to be at Mitchell.


Standing Committees:


PTA Membership (Ms. Gittleman for Ms. Walters):


Ms. Gittleman reported that dues went up $1 to $6, but the difference is that everyone will receive a Fun Card, which will give discounts and incentives to local businesses. There will be membership tables set up on September 3 and also at Open House.


Box Tops (Ms. Gittleman for Ms. Norbom):


Our first Box Tops collection will be due on Friday the 29th. She also said that we could go to for an electronic promotion.


Fun Run (Ms. Woodward):


Ms. Woodward reported that Fun Run is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser for the year. There will be a Pep Rally on September 19th in the afternoon. A donation envelope will be coming home, and you can also donate online. She also talked about the new Spirit Sticks, which will be introduced for Fun Run this year and will be used throughout the year for the kids and will create excitement for them. She said that a lot of volunteers will be needed at the Fun Run.


Golf Tournament (Ms. Tilman):


Ms. Tilman announced that the golf tournament will be held on Friday October 24th at Macdill Air Force Base on the South Course. She said that there will be lots of sponsorship opportunities, good food and fun prizes. She encouraged everyone to look in their folders for registration forms in mid September.


Centennial (Ms. Sledge):


Ms. Sledge is the Co-Chair for the Centennial Celebration. She reported that the year kicked off with a fantastic clap in by the parents and staff.   The celebration will continue all year long with something every quarter.   We will also be selling items, including door hangers made by Lisa Woodward. The last day to order the door hangers will be September 4th. Another Centennial item you can order is a Tervis Tumbler with a yellow lid. Sunday February 22, 2015 will be Mitchell Day, and the school will be opened for a large celebration.


Bobcat Buddies (Mr. Bland):


Mr. Bland explained the purpose of the Bobcat Buddies program and said that he will need a lot of help and volunteers to make the program work.   The commitment for the tutors is for 30 minutes once a week and each tutor stays with the same child throughout the year. This is Mr. Bland’s second year as the chair of Bobcat Buddies. Last year the Bobcat Buddies read to three times as many kids, had three times as many tutors and started six weeks earlier. For this year the target is 2-4 kids per class, which covers about 100 children. The start date will be the middle of September. Mr. Bland asked for the PTA to be ambassadors for the Bobcat Buddies program, and passed around a sign up sheet for the program.


Guest Speakers:


Mitchell Foundation (John Boyer):


Mr. Boyer explained that the Foundation partners with the PTA, the Administration and the School District, and tries to help out with capital improvements needed at the school. He detailed the things that the Foundation had provided for Mitchell during the past ten years, including the fence, art boards, an art kiln, smart boards, Heart Strings, Morning Show equipment, laptops, and TV screens. During the coming year, technology improvements will be the Foundation’s focus. They meet during the first Thursday of every month at 8 a.m. Everyone is invited to join. The Bobcat Bash will be held on January 17th, which is the Foundation’s major fundraiser.


Heart Strings (Sandy Fasulo):


Ms. Fasulo discussed the history of Heart Strings. Heart Strings used to be funded by the Foundation, but now it is self funded with contributions from parents. All Kindergarteners participate, but in 1st through 5th grades it is an elective. In Fourth and Fifth grades it takes place before or after school. This year Heart Strings has combined the sign up form with the financial contribution form. If parents have questions Ms. Fasulo invited them to e mail her, or Amy Quinn, or to contact Dr. Jefferis directly.


SAC (Kathy Hill):


Ms. Hill is the SAC Chair. She described the function of SAC, whose main job is student achievement. The SAC works to create the School Improvement Plan and implement it. They normally meet the first Thursday of each month. The meetings are open to all.


Dad’s Club (Dave Maddux):


Mr. Maddux encouraged all Dads to sign up for the Dad’s Club. Their motto is “Involved Fathers Make a Difference.” The second Friday morning of the month they meet with the kids at 7:30 a.m. for an All Pro Dad’s breakfast.


New Business:


Ms. Zentara, who is working on memory books for the 5th graders, discussed some changes to the way the books are going to be produced .


Ms. Gittleman also welcomed the Centennial Committee and the Heritage Night Committee as new committees this year.




See Agenda for important dates.


No further business.   The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.




Becky Ferrell-Anton, Recording Secretary


Approved As:


Date: ___________________           Read: _________

Corrected:   ________________