May Volunteer of the Month – Kiki Elbel

Congratulations Kiki Elbel - May Volunteer of the Month

Kiki’s name comes up every time we discuss the volunteer of the month recognition and I’m so proud to finally announce Ms. Kiki as this month honoree.  

Kiki is involved in so many volunteer positions that it’s hard to keep track.  She has logged HUNDREDS of hours, donating her time to the student’s and staff of GHES.

Kiki provides support in the Global Passport program, The Global Reading Challenge (including the organization of materials too) study club, library support, book fair and so much more. 

People say Kiki “fills in the gaps” and is “behind the scenes” and is extremely appreciated by so many. 

When we asked Kiki to explain why she gets involved, here’s what she said:

“I love being apart of this community and watching my (and neighboring) children grow and learn! I was fortunate to assist with the IslandWood trip and witnessed some amazing growth in our 5th graders. My true passion is reading and encouraging others to read, so you will find me in the library most days, but I am always on the lookout for ways to help our teachers and staff for they have the most difficult job of all! “

I personally appreciate the joy and kindness she spreads to those she comes in contact with.  

Congratulations Kiki.  We appreciate you!

Kiki will be provided a special parking spot at the front of our school for the month of May. 


Spotlight on Genesee Hill Sponsor: Dr. Adrianne Cook of West Seattle Natural Medicine

Thank you, Dr. Cook!

Dr. Adrianne Cook is mom to a 2nd grader and Kindergartner here at Genesee Hill, and is one of seven providers at West Seattle Natural Medicine. We thank her for being a Den level Sponsor of Genesee Hill Elementary.  Den Level sponsor businesses provide at least $1000 of support within a school year.

West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic provides naturopathic primary care to all ages. Dr. Cook specializes in digestive disorders, fatigue, thyroid disorders, and hormone balance. Dr. Cook says it is a pleasure living and working in such a great neighborhood community.


April Volunteers of the Month – Julie Forcum and Christine Kraynek

Congratulations to both Christine Kraynek and Julie Forcum – the co-chairs for the Fundraising committee and our Volunteers of the Month. 

As the fundraising chairs, the team set out early in September finding creative and meaningful ways for our school to raise funds to meet the needs of our students staff and families. 

Both of these incredibly committed volunteers have done so with such an incredibly considerate eye on inclusion,making sure many voices were heard throughout their efforts. And they continue to do so.  

Julie is mom to Avery in 2nd grade and Brayden a 5th grader at Fairmount Park. Christine is mom to William in 2nd grade and Samual in 4th grade.   

I reached out to a couple close friends to say a few words and for Julie and Christine to comment on one another. Here is what they told me:  


I’m not even sure where to start in thanking Julie for all of her time in volunteering.  She pulls all-nighters to organize, rally, count, decorate, research, ask for donations, find volunteers, etc, etc, etc ….  to help facilitate anything that needs to be done. From art projects -to a major fundraisers –  to volunteering in the classroom- to advocating for new legislations, she’s gone WAY above and beyond.  Julie is detail oriented, thoughtful and diligent and has given a 120% of her time and attention to volunteer activities at Genesee. We’re so lucky to have people like Julie giving back to our kids and community – Shellly Freeman

Julie is an inspiration!  To say she is busy is an understatement.  She gives so much of herself in ways that many don’t see or recognize.  She came to the fundraising role with fresh new ideas on ways to get involvement during Direct Give with muffin morning, student voting and a principal stunt for reaching our goal.  She even danced on the street corner in the (not so sweet smelling) fox costume to get people excited about giving.   Julie worked tirelessly on the Auction – planning, procuring, printing, picking up items, setting up, wrapping up.  I honestly can’t tell you how many hours she spent over the year and especially the last month, but it was equal to or more than a full time on top of being a mom and working.  She donates time to our school through her role on the PTA Board and her daughter’s 2nd grade classroom AND is also at Fairmount Park doing much of the same for her 5th grade son.  Julie is a superstar and I am personally thrilled she is being recognized with Volunteer of the Month!  Christine Kraynek


I can’t say enough great things about Christine. She was my vice president the year i was president of the PTA. She was ready to roll up her sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty from day one. She found passion with getting to know the bylaws and dove in deep and thoroughly. She got our PTA back up to speed, in compliance, and set up for future streamlining on so many practices with regards to enrichment, board of directors nominations, and other day-to-day business transaction protocols. Christine sees every detail to the end. No stone is left unturned. I imagine this was how she ran the auction this year as well. She is a yes girl and will share her amazing creative talents and energy and wit in a time of need. But she has a strong backbone and principled compass, willing to push back when things need to be steered differently. Kelley O’Connor


Christine gives so much of her time and energy to our school.    She tirelessly steps up to fill her own role as well as whatever needs to be done.   She was also a volunteer at 3 other elementary school auctions to ensure those schools continue feel good about volunteering at our auction!   Her stamina for taking on things on is amazing and she inspires me to be a better community member through her service.  Thank you Christine! You are amazing. – Julie Forcum



Post Auction Online Sale

Our auction was a great night! Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make our auction a great night for our school. Please check out more on our auction page. And for those who did not attend (or those who did) help us reach our fundraising goal (we did not meet it) buy shopping at our online site. There are some great sign up items!

Click here now to shop (requires registration)


New Spring Enrichment Class! Animation Maker (3-5)

We have just added a new beginner Animation Maker class for grades 3-5 for Spring session. The class will be offered on Thursdays and taught by Coding with Kids (, the same vendor who offers the popular Little Coders and Game Development classes.

Animation Maker – Beginner (3-5), Thursdays, 2:30 – 3:30 PM, $245/session (10 classes):  Enter the world of movie and game animations! Students will learn the core skills of creating simple animated movies, creating 2D and 3D characters and animating them. Take your learning beyond stop-motion animation with real animation design tools. You will get to create real computer graphics and build animations like the pros!  NOTE: A parent volunteer is needed in exchange for priority enrollment and a tuition discount. Please contact the Enrichment Coordinator prior to enrollment. 

Enrollment for Animation Maker will open tonight (Friday, 3/15) at 7 PM.  The enrollment deadline for this class will be extended to 3/29 at 5 PM.

REGISTER via Homeroom HERE

Enrollment for Spring enrichment classes and Study Club is currently still open and will close on Friday, 3/22 at 5 PM. Login to Homeroom to check class availability.


March Volunteer of the Month – Lisa McGinty


Congratulations to Lisa McGinty 

Lisa is new to our school this year having moved back to West Seattle after five years away in California and Michigan.  They moved back this Summer and Lisa hit the ground running. 

I first met Lisa at our VERY first volunteer opportunity helping fill back to school packets.  And she hasn’t stopped since.  She is a constant contributor at our school, helping in big and small ways sharing her talents and skills with our lucky students. 

She is one of those people who just consistently and authentically shows up - for other people, for friends, for the community. She is genuine and kind, always with a smile on her face. I've had the great good fortune of knowing her since our boys were in diapers, and on many occasions have personally benefited from her generosity and grace. She has a passion for Lincoln Park and spends a lot of her time volunteering there as well - West Seattle is better with her in it!" -Kristen Corning Bedford
Kristen Corning Bedfor
Friend and GHES Parent

Lisa is mom to Fin- a fourth grader in Mr. Junkersmans class and wife to Paul McGinty.  They also have a pet crayfish. (!)

Aside from her work at GHES she’s been an art director and designer for over 20 years. And she’s a Forest Steward and manages FLiP (Friends of Lincoln Park). With FLiP, she organizes and leads volunteer groups in urban forest restoration events at Lincoln Park.  She loves the snow and snowboarding with her family.

You can find Lisa, often at school volunteering in countless ways including library help, book club, class events and field trips, art auction project help and enrichment support!

When asked why shes chooses to volunteer at school, she said:

There’s always a need and I really enjoy helping teachers and staff, which in-turn, helps the students. Our students and school community are amazing!

We are so lucky to have her as a part of our community. 

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


Spring Enrichment and Study Club Enrollment Starts 3/5 @ 7 PM

SAVE THE DATE! Enrollment for Spring Enrichment and Study Club classes will open on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00 PM.

Spring enrichment classes  start on Monday, April 1st, and run through Friday, June 14, 2019.  Study Club will also start on April 1st but will run through June 21, 2019.  Students enrolled in enrichment classes also have the option of registering for post-enrichment Study Club classes (June 17-21, 2019). Course days/time, fees and descriptions can be viewed the  Enrichment Course Descriptions page.

Enrollment is online only and will take place via Homeroom – an online after school enrichment portal where you can enroll, purchase and manage all your student(s) classes in one convenient location.   If you already have a Homeroom account, all you have to do is login to book classes.  If you do not have an account, you’ll only have to sign up once and your student(s) profile will be saved for future sessions.  Note: Enrichment course offerings can be viewed on the Homeroom site in advance, however, classes cannot be added to your cart until registration goes live at 7 PM on 3/5.

REGISTER via Homeroom HERE

Videos and detailed instructions on how to enroll are available on the Enrichment page.

Questions? Please contact the Enrichment Coordinator.


The Genesee Hill PTA Needs You!

We currently have the following board positions open:
1.     Legislative and Advocacy Chair(s)
2.     Membership Chair

In addition to these open board positions, we have the following needs for support:
1.     Nominating Committee
2.     Volunteers on activities and committees; please check out the Volunteer page
3.     People interested in board positions for next year

Please let us know if you are interested in the above board and volunteer positions or if you have any questions about them. Contact PTA President, Erika Rasmussen, at