November Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Robin Lutton, our November  Volunteer of the Month.

Robin is a doer!  Field trips, birthday bashes, passport.  If you put out a sign up genius request for volunteers, her name is probably on it.  Also she is a co-chair of the passport program.
She’s passionate about environmental education and a person who authentically cares for all the children in our school that she comes in contact with. She is generous with her volunteer time and gifted at teaching.
She has given many years to The fourth grade finding urban nature and is very good at explaining wildlife and plants. She’s also a beach naturalist and enjoys volunteering in the community on low tide days.
She was in the Peace Corps and loves music! She has a 6th, 4th and 1st grader – all girls
Here’s what one friend said about Robin:
“Robin is someone I admire because she’s quietly committed to and passionate about the school being the best it can be. Our conversations are always deeply enriching to me, because she’s thoughtful, inquisitive and engaged. She’s always willing to jump in and help, as well as learn about the community and its needs. She’s a valuable asset, and our community is so lucky to have her and her family here. “

Robin is a rockstar parent volunteer and we so appreciate her contributions, big and small to help our school succeed!  You probably see Robin in all kinds of roles around school like passport testing, recess and lunch monitor, in the classroom and more.


Congratulations and thank you for all of hard work, Robin! Enjoy your dedicated parking spot in front of the school for a month!



Have an idea for our next Volunteer of the Month?  Let us know:


Join us this FRIDAY 8AM! Donuts, Donations & Discussion

Gather and discuss our school’s fundraising approach and how we use PTA Funds.   We committed to these interactive discussions when we started our Direct Give campaign this year, and the need for such discussions is clear given recent news articles about equity in PTA funding.  We strongly encourage you to come and participate in these discussions.   Please join the PTA Board, Principal Kischner, and fellow GHES parents to learn and share your thoughts.

Please join the conversation:  Friday, 11/2 – 8AM:  School Cafeteria


Donate to Direct Give Now!

“Direct Give” is our simple, straightforward annual fundraising campaign during which we ask families and the community to contribute towards our annual fundraising goals of $360 per student. The best way to donate is through Kindful online:

More details on Direct Give and the fun activities happening during the campaign can be found here.


October Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Stacy Pritchard, our October  Volunteer of the Month.

Stacy is mom to Elliot (1st grade) and Nolan (kindergarten) and loves spending as much time as she can volunteering at Genesee Hill. When she isn’t at school she is an avid runner and baker, loves cheering on her boys’ soccer or baseball games, is team mom for her boys’ various sports teams and is most happy spending time with her two boys and husband Joel.
In considering candidates for October, Stacy was an overwhelming favorite choice considering all of the work she has done quietly behind the scenes and the amount of work and time she has committed to our school and her enthusiasm for supporting our educators and youth.
Stacy is a room parent for both Elliot (1st grade, Ms. Lewis) and Nolan (Kindergarten, Ms. Henderson). She helped, before school started, with PTA packet stuffing and worked with Cindy in the office a few times in the last couple of weeks getting new school year paperwork filed and input.  Alongside another parent volunteer, she set up two display walls for Ms. Ritzman and Ms. Henderson in their hallway.  She’s signed up to help Nurse Sue do the upcoming health screenings for K and 1st. And, she’s also done lunchroom monitor duty. There’s more.  She has helped Ms. Lewis and Ms. Henderson in various roles and last year spent lots of time in Ms. Cook’s class and summer enrichment program support.
We thought it was remarkable the amount of time a relatively new parent was willing to commit to our school and are so thankful to the contribution of this hardworking, humble and kind individual.

Congratulations and thank you for all of hard work, Stacy! Enjoy your dedicated parking spot in front of the school for a month!

Have an idea for our next Volunteer of the Month?  Let us know:


Additional Details on Staffing Adjustments for the 2018-2019 School Year

Many schools across the Seattle Public School District have been affected by budget cuts for the 2018-2019 school year, and unfortunately, Genesee Hill is one of those schools. Our school was affected for a few reasons. Current enrollment is 678 students, which is below both the 692 student projection that the initial budget was based on last February and the updated projection of 686 this past June. Also, the shared equity priority that the district implements preserved staffing at schools with higher needs and reduced staffing at schools with greater resources and deeper programs that could absorb adjustments easier, like Genesee Hill.

Principal Kischner, Ms. Dunn and Ms. Henn worked closely with the Building Leadership Team (BLT) and PTA leadership to implement the budget adjustment in ways that respected the amazing staff members we have at our school, minimized disruption at the homeroom level and followed contractual guidelines. Starting October 1, the following plan to address the budget adjustment will be implemented:

  • Reduce Physical Education to 1.6 teachers
  • Eliminate our 0.5 Technology teacher
  • Reduce our Math Specialist to 0.8 (four days/week)
  • Shift our new Art teacher position to PTA funding
  • Use savings from last year’s budget

Principal Kischner will be hosting a discussion about this plan and the budget adjustment at 5:30 pm Tuesday, September 25 in the library. Additional information about the plan for our school are included in his letter emailed to families September 24. Additional information on the district-wide staffing and budget adjustments can be found on the Seattle Public School District website, and questions can be emailed to Principal Kischner directly at or


Save the Date – General PTA Membership Gathering Oct 4

Please join us at our first General PTA Membership Gathering of the school year on Thursday, October 4 from 6:15 pm – 8:00 pm in the Genesee Hill Elementary lunchroom.  Childcare is provided for school aged children.  Our Fall Membership Gathering gives our membership and community an opportunity to learn more about our PTA’s vision and goals, activities and events planned for the year and how you can get involved, whether it is sharing your time, talents or resources. Our Fall Membership Meeting is also where will we fill our open board position (Vice Treasurer), accept nominations for participation in the Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly and review and approve our revised 2018-2019 PTA Budget.

PTA General Membership Meetings are open to all current PTA members and the community. However, if you are not a member and would like to vote at the meeting to elect the board and approve the budget, please join the PTA now. (Please note that your PTA membership is an annual membership and must renewed each school year.)

Open Elected Board Positions and Nominees
Greg Deviny – Vice Treasurer

Open Appointed Board Positions
Legislative Advocacy Chair(s)
Nominating Committee

*If you are interested in being nominated for one of the open board positions (elected or appointed positions), please let me know.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Erika Rasmussen, PTA President


District Staffing Adjustments and the Impact on Genesee Hill

On September 20, the Seattle Public School District posted information on staffing adjustments for the 2018-2019 school year. These adjustments will impact Genesee Hill Elementary School by decreasing our staff. The school must submit its staffing adjustments to the district Monday, September 24. That evening, Principal Gerrit Kischner will email families an update on the school’s staffing changes, how we will be addressing the impact and why staffing adjustments are happening at our school. In follow up to the email, he will be discussing the staffing adjustments with families who are interested and able to attend at 5:30 pm Tuesday, September 25 in the school library. This is before the special Trudy Ludwig presentation, which begins at 6:30 pm. Information will be posted here on the blog when it is available. If you would like to contact the Seattle Public School District directly, you can email


Special Presentation – Understanding Our Kids’ Online & Offline Social World: Friendships, Cliques & Power Plays

The Genesee Hill PTA is hosting bestselling children’s author Trudy Ludwig, who will be talking to parents about topics that have become more and more prevalent for kids growing up today: cyberbullying, social ostracism and how kids can engage in kind, caring ways.

Trudy’s emphasis is on empowerment – giving school communities the tips, tools, and resources that help children connect and engage with their peers in kind, caring ways. In this adult presentation, she’ll discuss the latest research in relational aggression, cyberbullying, the nature of boys’ and girls’ friendships, social ostracism and inclusion, kindness in a digital world, and many other timely and important topics related to bullying. On September 26, Trudy will lead student presentations for K-2 and 3-5 grades to address bullying/friendship issues in an age-appropriate manner. She will also provide a staff presentation to help school staff members in their ongoing efforts to promote a safe, social-emotional learning environment for our students.

The presentation will be at 6:30 pm Tuesday, September 25 at Genesee Hill Elementary, and all community members are welcome. RSVP here: Child care will be provided for school age kids.

*We will have a handful of books available to purchase the night of the event. 


September Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Michael Busby, our September  Volunteer of the Month.

Our volunteer of the month is Mike Busby.  Mike is our Treasurer on the PTA and is a great example of a volunteer who contributes to our school outside of school hours.  In his role as Assistant Treasurer and now his second year as Treasurer, Mike leads the PTA Finance team in the enormous role tracking our expenditures and keeping us financially responsible.   In addition to the hundreds of hours he spends each year in writing checks, balancing our books, maintaining our non-profit status, and preparing our taxes, he also continuously challenges the PTA to ensure the dollars we spend are true to our mission and our membership created and approved budget.   And yes…this is a volunteer position!

Mike is dad to Aidan (5th Grade) an Ian (2nd Grade).  He has worked at T-Mobile for 8 years in Telecom Product Strategy.  When not at his day job or doing volunteer work for the school, Mike is an avid skier, cyclist and loves camping with his kids and wife, Maureen.

Congratulations and thank you for all of hard work, Mike! Enjoy your dedicated parking spot in front of the school for a month!

Have an idea for our next Volunteer of the Month?  Let us know:


Apply to Volunteer and Make a Difference

Students are motivated to achieve more when parents, caregivers or other significant adults get involved in their school. 

We are building a diverse, inclusive, and culturally competent volunteer program to best serve our students. We encourage people of different cultural, ethnic, educational and national backgrounds to apply to volunteer at Genesee Hill.

Apply now so you’re ready when opportunities arise! We are currently seeking volunteers for the following: Click on the link to sign up for each job.  The volunteer application process includes:

Complete the online Volunteer Application (required yearly)

Have a copy of your current, government issued photo ID available to upload – or present to the front office or to volunteer coordinator, Rene Bibaud

Complete the Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention course (online). If you taken the course previously, please submit a copy of your certificate of completion or the month/year the course was completed.

If you need a paper application, please request it from the school office where you wish to volunteer.

Rene Bibaud – Volunteer Coordinator