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Naramake Leader Runs for PTOC Prez

For Lisa Lenskold, it's the right time to run for president of the PTO Council, a parent organization that addresses district-wide issues. “There’s a new superintendent and momentum for change in our district,” says the mother of a fifth grader and second grader at Naramake Elementary School.

A representative from each school's PTO will vote for the Council's Board at a the Sept. 27th election meeting.  Lenskold is the only candidate for president.  At the end of the last school year, the PTOC was struggling to recruit a team, including president, for its executive board. At the time, it appeared the organization might have to fold.  However, several candidates volunteered over the summer making for a nearly full slate.

Lenskold, a garden designer and former Wall Street sales manager, was co-president of the Naramake PTO and served two years on the Executive Board.  “I’ve done all the grunt work at Naramake and I’d like to take what I’ve learned to the parents of Norwalk," she says.  "I'm aware of the issues and understand how the system works."

Lenskold met with Susan Marks and BOE member Susan Hamilton before deciding to step up for the president's role.  “I want to make sure we are all going to work together.”

Lenskold's first order of business will be to revisit the PTOC mission and survey parents.  “What is the purpose of a parents group?  What are the three issues parents would like to work on together throughout the district?” Lenskold  says. She doesn’t think the PTOC should necessarily be the only voice of parents. “Everyone should have a voice," she says.  Lenskold does, however, think on some occasions, the PTOC should take a stand.  “ I am not opposed to taking a position on issues, but that is not my decision alone.”

As Naramake PTO President, Lenskold’s focus was on education and building community.  “We focus on the younger parents.  We welcome them and made sure they feel part of the school culture.”  Lenskold notes there were 700 people (there are 425 students in the school) at the Naramake back-to-school PTO sponsored barbeque in early September.

She has many ideas for possible PTOC activities including enrichment programming, special education workshops, budget transparency initiatives, literacy programming and expanding parental involvement. “Why do two schools need to pay to hear the same author speak at each school? ” She has been disturbed by budget proceedings over the last couple of years.  “I get upset when school is pitted against school,” she says. Lenskold plans to actively reach out the school-based PTOs to get them involved in the district "hot" issues.  “We have to get out there and excite them.”

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