Founders' Day 2022

Founders' Day 2022 Program

2022 Founders' Day Program 8.5 x 5.5 Final.pdf

2022 Honoree Foam Boards

Part of the NECPTA Founders' Day tradition is to share the foam boards that each school makes to honor their new Texas PTA Life Members at the ceremony. Please enjoy this slideshow and be sure to check out the foam board next time you are at your school!

Northeast ISD Council of PTAs 2022 Life Member Honorees

Deb Caldwell

This Texas PTA Honorary Life Member Award goes to someone who has worked at our district for over 17 years in Community Relations, Institutional Development, Government Relations, Grant Development and now in External Relations. She is well known by the staff and volunteer leadership across our district because she does her job so very well and displays an unparalleled loyalty to the NEISD community and our students.

One volunteer community advocate describes, “Everyone knows dealing with the government can find us in complicated waters. Her gift to us all is that she navigates these waters, explains these waters and all through the eyes of a person focused on caring for and lifting up students and families of NEISD. She provides fact and timeliness and a fair inside knowledge of what we need to know to care for our students as a district, as a council, as a PTA and as a parent. She understands policy and what it ultimately means to the success of each student. And she is willing to share that understanding with anyone in the room.”

Other council PTA leaders shared that, “She is always so kind and answers questions in a patient, thorough, easy to understand way.” and “She has the “knack” to get everyone involved by answering questions and giving suggested reference sites to become an advocate in your own way.

A district staff leader shares that, “She has her finger on the pulse of the community. She sits at the center of a web of information, associations, communications, and a network of contacts. When a thread of that web vibrates, she tracks its source, analyzes, and interprets the information, then translates it into how it will impact you, me, our children, our parents – essentially our entire community.

She is approaching 20 years with the district, and through those years, she has gained a reputation of public service, providing practical advice, counseling, and coaching. She does not judge your shortcomings, instead she values and praises your strengths.

She comes to you when you need her. And she welcomes you when you show up unannounced to run ideas by her.”

Finally, a board trustee shares, “I have worked with Deb for a very long time. She is very professional and always available to help me. She is the epitome of the phrase “as duties assigned”. She is always willing to help, no matter what the task. She is an excellent writer, communicator, and event organizer. I have come to rely on her for many things and appreciate her so much. She is so deserving of this award."

NEISD Council of PTAs is proud to honor our Deb Caldwell with a Texas PTA Honorary Life Membership Award. Thank you Deb for helping to make every child’s potential a reality.

Katie Brown

This award recipient truly embodies the spirit of PTA through her commitment to our mission of advocacy for all children. She has promoted PTA’s purpose to secure for all youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social education.

We are honored to present this award to an individual who has shared her time and talents with nonprofit organizations in multiple states over the span of her, as she refers to it, “professional volunteer” career. As part of a military family, she participated in PTAs in California, Hawaii, and Virginia, starting in 2004.

Upon moving to Texas, she began her NEISD service at Hardy Oak Elementary as a library volunteer. At Lopez Middle School, she served as Healthy Lifestyles chair and

later became PTA President. This was one of many times her passion for education, advocacy, and PTA compelled her to step up when there was a need. A fellow board member shared, “This impressed upon me that she truly cared for our students, and she led with patience, grace, and fairness to keep our focus on our PTA mission.”

At Reagan, she was, and still is, a passionate supporter of the band program, helping with fundraisers, as Concessions VP, and as President of the Band Parents’ Association. For Reagan PTA, she served as Partners in PTA chair, Parliamentarian, and 1st VP. She was also SHAC co-chair for several years.

Her leadership skills led her to participate in the North East Council of PTAs for the past five years. She served first as a mentor, then became Council 2nd VP followed by 3rd VP.

She has assisted with various Council Committees and events such as Founders’ Day, nominating committee, financial reconciliation, Reflections, and hospitality. This year, she stepped up again to fill a need. Although her youngest child graduated high school in 2021, she agreed to take on two huge jobs for Council. She is the current chair for the NEISD PTA Used Book Sale and serves as Mentor Lead for the Churchill cluster.

Do you see a pattern here? This honoree does not shy away from large jobs or big responsibilities. Katie Brown has been a role model for others, completing her duties accurately, promptly, and reliably. She is highly knowledgeable and has been a phenomenal volunteer for many years. Katie has valuable input and feedback to give to our board discussions. She shows kindness, understanding, and respect to everyone she works with. Her attention to detail, leadership skills, organization, dedication, and generosity have made her a tremendous asset to every role she has undertaken in service

to students. Katie has a giving heart, and Council has been fortunate to have her on our board. Another PTA board member stated, “Katie is one of the most selfless, dedicated, and most importantly, kind, volunteers I have ever had the privilege of working with. She commits herself fully to everything she does. The world, especially my world, is a better place because Katie Brown is in it.”

Please join me in congratulating Katie Brown on receiving the Texas PTA Extended Service Award.

Kelly Lepeska

Kelly Lepeska had been involved in PTA for many years. She has served in various positions at the local and council level such as: Hospitality Chair, Run for the Heights chair, Secretary, Advocacy Chair, Room Mom and Staff Appreciation Chair. She has served on Nominating Committees and Financial Reconciliation Committees. Kelly takes every position and role to the next level and leaves it better than how she found it.

Some examples of how she has done this are:

As Advocacy Chair for NEISD Council of PTAs, we got a very last-minute National PTA Grant that she accepted quickly and planned for accordingly- spreading the message of affordable internet to those who qualify. We were at three events and spoke at the district convocations about this amazing program - six months later, COVID hit. Little did we know at the time, but her quick action and positive attitude helped many. She co-hosted a Candidate Forum with Raise Your Hand Texas and Root Ed. She took the lead and pulled off a fabulous panel that helped educate voters on their candidates. She hosted a panel discussion and Facebook live event about teenage and child vaping that opened many eyes to the dangers and popularity of vaping for our students. She also worked hard to compile information from school board candidates running in the November 2020 Elections so that the voters in NEISD could make informed voting choices.

As hospitality chair, she created YouTube videos to share with our locals to inspire their staff appreciations- both with affordable or even free gift ideas and with presentation ideas. Kelly is practical and offered support to many around the district, despite budget constraints.

Kelly brings a lot of leadership and community perspective to discussions and problem solving sessions we have as a board. Her strong voice brings a valuable perspective to be considered. She has a heart for the PTA mission and NEISD Council of PTAs is so lucky to have her on the team.