Week 37 - May 19 - PTA Newsletter

Dear Sulphur Springs Parents and Guardians,


It was great to see so many of you at McDonald’s for our Restaurant Night and also at our last PTA Meeting of the year.  We appreciate the time you have taken all year to support us and our work with the kids.  

We especially want to congratulate our Founders’ Day Award recipients and our honored volunteers, and I have included their names in our write-up below.  Teachers who could not attend our meeting (because they were working with the kids!) will be honored on Friday at the AR Awards Assembly, and we will have lunch delivered to them at school.

In lieu of our usual Spring Carnival, our PTA will be hosting a special Mustang Day of Fun on Tuesday, May 28, during the school day – that’s the day after our long Memorial Day weekend.  Students will participate in fun field games (some that might be a little wet, depending on the weather), will be entertained by a DJ (the same one from our Daughter Dance), and will be treated to Dominos pizza and Kona Ice.


4-Week Look-Ahead

This Week

  • Yearbooks are on sale until supplies run out!


  • 5/24, 9am – AR Awards Assembly

    • Founders Day Awards and PTA Volunteer Appreciation Awards will be presented to teachers who were honored with them.

  • 5/24 – SSPTA Mustang Store Set-up – Text Yuka (818-749-2203) to volunteer and coordinate times that work for both of you.  


Next Week 

  • 5/27 – No School, Memorial Day

  • 5/28 – Mustang Day of Fun

    • If you are interested in getting involved, please email President@sspta.org.

    • We are in need of 3 pop-up tents for shade, if you have one we can borrow.


  • 5/29 – SSPTA Mustang Store, 12:30-2:00pm

  • 5/30, 7:30am – School Site Council meeting on Zoom

    • The link will be available in that week’s Mustang Message (on Monday).

  • 5/30 – SSPTA Mustang Store, 12:30-3:00pm

  • 5/31 – SSPTA Recycling Drop-Off at all 3 valets (morning only)

    • New volunteers are always welcome!  8:10am-8:50am

  • 5/31, 9am – Spirit Assembly with 6th Grade Awards

  • 5/31 – SSPTA Mustang Store, 10:30am-3:00pm


Week 3

  • 6/3 – SSPTA Mustang Store, 9:00am-1:00pm; then clean-up (for the year!)

  • 6/6 – Last day of school; MINIMUM DAY, students are dismissed at 12:45pm

Week 4

  • Happy Summer!  Our first PTA Meeting of the year will take place at 9am on the first day of school (right after the Principal’s Welcome Back).  We hope to see you there!


Table of Contents

1. Founders’ Day Awards Recipients

2. Weekly Volunteer Recognition – Thank you!

3. List of Urgent Volunteer Needs

- Spring Carnival Replacement (“Mustang Day of Fun”)

- Mustang Store


1. Founders’ Day Awards Recipients

Founders’ Day is special day of celebration for the PTA, as it is when we celebrate the legacy and work of our founders – Alice McLellan Birney, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and Selena Sloan Butler – in improving the lives of all children and their families.  Sulphur Springs PTA continues this tradition by recognizing some of our volunteers who have made an exceptional impact on our school community.

Teacher and staff recipients will be noted in next week’s newsletter, after they have received their awards at the AR Assembly on May 24.  We hope you can join us there to honor their contributions.


Golden Oak Service Award – Jessica Coleman

    The Golden Oak Service Award is the most prestigious PTA award in California.  It is given to individuals who have made a significant long-term contribution to the children and youth in our school and-or our community.

    Jessica has been an active member of the PTA for many years, even during the pandemic, and she has been a source of inspiration to all of us.  Her unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on students, families, the school, and our community is truly commendable.  She has been a member of two PTAs, serving as a classroom volunteer, a program volunteer, an event volunteer, an event chairperson, Room Parent Coordinator, and Vice President of the PTA, before becoming our President.

Jessica has always prioritized creating a fun school environment for all our students, and her efforts have truly made a difference by bringing enrichment programs such as an 8-week Spanish class, the Great Artist Program, and performing arts classes onto our campus. She gave the students an opportunity to be creative and to apply personalized learning strategies, and we know we can count on her to step in when a problem is identified and to find a way to address it.

In addition to her two-year tenure as the SSPTA President, Jessica has also worked outside of our organization, serving on several committees such as the School Site Council, the school’s Safety Committee, the district’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC), the district’s Visual and Performing Arts Committee, and as a Board member and Officer for the CLASS Education Foundation.  Her efforts culminated in the City’s actions to grade, expand, and formally open the parking lot across the street from our school.

Congratulations to Jessica on this well-deserved award.  We are grateful for all that she has done, and the SSPTA will miss her!


Continuing Service Award – The Continuing Service Award is given to individuals for their outstanding and ongoing or long-time service to youth, providing support year after year.

Deering Viola – Deering has been an active member of our PTA for many years and has served in myriad positions during that time.  While she is currently our Treasurer, it is the cumulation of her efforts that led her to be a true treasure to our organization.

    Deering puts in hard work behind the scenes and especially in the management of the SSPTA's finances, playing a crucial role in ensuring our long-term financial stability and success.  We have been repeatedly amazed by her dedication and commitment to the PTA and to our students.  Despite working a full-time job as a nationally awarded civil engineer, not to mention being a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend, Deering has regularly given 80-100 hours (or more!) each month this year and last, which is truly remarkable.

    We commend Deering on this outstanding achievement.  Her professionalism, dedicated work ethic, and deep passion for the PTA have gone above and beyond.  While she is retiring from the Board this year, we are grateful for all that she has given and look forward to seeing her at future PTA events.

Yuka Kawasaki – You may know Yuka as our current Historian, as the former chairperson for Hospitality and Teacher Appreciation Week, or as the continuing chairperson for our Mustang Store.  No matter the role, she has always been a huge advocate for our students and works to ensure that everyone is given credit for the time and energy they put in to all that we do.  Yuka has been instrumental in spearheading our ongoing volunteer appreciation efforts and making this a part of everything we do.

Yuka is a bright smile and a breath of fresh air for our PTA.  She can almost always be found smiling and making the day brighter for others.  She loves to give of herself to the kids, and she regularly takes on roles that others don't want – because she wants what's best for the children.  She can always be counted on to help whenever she is asked, and she goes out of her way to say hi and to bring others into the fold of our PTA.  

We honor Yuka with this award because we know we would not be where we are today if it weren’t for her selfless energy and commitment.


Honorary Service Award – The Honorary Service Award is given to individuals for their exceptional dedication and outstanding service to children and youth in the community, regularly going above and beyond what is asked of them.  

Daynabelle Anderson – Daynabelle has been an invaluable member of the SSPTA, serving as our Secretary for the first half of the school year, leading the "Game Room and Art Day" team, and organizing a successful multicultural fair (for the second year in a row).  Ms. Palacios specifically recognized her contribution for Game Room and expressed gratitude for providing fun activities to the students during recess. Congratulations, Daynabelle, on your achievement!

Karen Preciado  Karen plays a vital role in promoting art education in our school, as a volunteer for the Great Artist Program.  She has also been an outstanding advocate for the inclusion of students in our special education classes, working with event chairpersons, with teachers, and with parents, to make adaptations that allow all of our students to participate in after school PTA events as fully as they would like to.  Additionally, she has been instrumental  behind the scenes in many capacities, such as updating the SSPTA website. Karen's dedication and hard work have made a significant impact on the school community, and she is a well-deserved recipient of this service award. 

Kim Sperling – Kim serves as the Co-Chair for our SSPTA Hospitality Committee, and she also organized several successful stand-alone events like Trunk or Treat, Sweetheart Breakfast, and Teacher Appreciation Week.  She is a regular volunteer for the Great Artist Program, working with multiple classes over the course of the year.  Her willingness to step up to tasks no one else would take on has earned her the trust and support of our principal, the SCV PTA Council (the next level up from our PTA), and the teachers.  We are thrilled to have Kim as our PTA president for the 2024-2025 terms.  

Mellissa de Conza – Mellissa has been a dedicated behind-the-scenes supporter of the school for many years.  She has been an ongoing contributor of school and classroom supplies, a very generous donor to our Roundup auctions, and an advocate for assemblies and enrichment activities for our students.  Recently, she chaired the Women in History event, which was a remarkable feat; along with other key volunteers, she made it an unforgettable experience for the students, personally providing costumes, props, and treats for all the students.  Her hard work and dedication to education are truly admirable and her contributions to the school are invaluable.

Yukari Murase-Louden – Yukari is a wonderful addition to our PTA.  She has selflessly volunteered for almost all our PTA events and activities this year, and we are especially grateful for her taking on the additional hard work and thankless job of being our SSPTA Secretary midway through the school year.  Additionally, her patience and dedication as an active volunteer for the Great Artist Program have helped nurture our students' artistic creativity.  We owe a huge thank you to Yukari for all that she does for our PTA.

Yvette Spencer – Yvette has been a dedicated member of the SSPTA for many years and has helped support fantastic events, such as Reflections, Women in History, the Talent Show, and the Great Artist Program, making a significant impact on the lives of so many students.  Her positive attitude, fun-loving personality, warmth, and patience are just a few of the things that make her so special, to our PTA and to our students.   We know we will see her for years to come, making a difference on our campus.

SSPTA Special Recognition Award – This award was created by our PTA to honor those individuals on our campus who may not have received a Founders’ Day Award but who we recognize as essential partners to our mission.  The people listed below have taken on multiple roles and/or have served those roles in an exemplary fashion – from Room Parents to event chairpersons, from regular event volunteers to creators of special programs, from role models for our campus leaders to our future Board members.

  • Bailey Johnson – Recycling Chairperson, next year’s Historian

  • Chrystal Ramos – Site Council member, next year’s Vice President of Programs

  • Claudia Pineda – Reflections Chairperson, Spanish Liaison, Site Council member

  • Emily Jones – weekly Game Room volunteer

  • Eric Anderson – weekly Game Room volunteer

  • Frank Viola – Room Parent extraordinaire, former Carnival Chairperson and always helper, person with incredible wealth of knowledge and contacts throughout our valley!

  • Gary Laramore – Director for several years of the talent show

  • Gerry Snider – weekly Game Room (art day) volunteer

  • Gloria Kamenos – Room Parent extraordinaire, huge helper and wrangler of others

  • Heidi Wiglitton – Membership Chairperson

  • Hrarpi Kevorkian – active volunteer, especially of the book fair and the multicultural fair

  • Jackie Ruiz – active volunteer, especially instrumental in this year’s Holiday Shop

  • Jamie Fisher – dedicated volunteer, especially for the 6th Grade Committee, next year’s Treasurer

  • Jeanette James – 6th Grade Committee Chairperson, STEAM Night Chairperson

  • Jennifer Salinas – Co-Chair of the Mustang Roundup, instrumental in securing donations and putting on an amazing event that raised so much money, helped to organize our social media efforts and started our Communications off on the right foot

  • Julie Ramey – Room Parent, Book Fair Chairperson

  • Karen Fidaleo – Parliamentarian for the first half of the school year, Restaurant Night co-chair, major volunteer with the 6th Grade Committee

  • Kimberly Acevedo – Room Parent and regular volunteer

  • Maria Ortiz – balloon artist who donated her time to so many of our PTA events

  • Nicole Burch – Yearbook Chairperson, designer of most SSPTA flyers

  • Nicole Carruth – Hospitality Committee Co-Chair, Trunk-or-Treat Co-Chair, Sweetheart Breakfast Co-Chair, Teacher (and Staff) Appreciation Week Co-Chair

  • Portia Franklin – weekly Game Room (art) volunteer

  • Rose Carradine McGee – Talent Show Co-Chair; key volunteer for Women in History, the Great Artist Program, and Reflections Art Show and Contest; classroom volunteer

  • Shamsia Haque – dedicated volunteer, especially for the Great Artist Program

  • Shane Kilmer – Room Parent, active and creative volunteer bringing fun to the school 


2. Weekly Volunteer Recognition

Thank you to all our PTA volunteers for your work this past school week on:  the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and the last PTA Meeting of the year, Game Room (and Art Room!), the Great Artist Program, and preparing for the Mustang Day of Fun!  Plus a special shoutout to our teachers and Ms Palacios who volunteered at McTeacher Night!

Here are our amazing volunteers that the SSPTA would like to recognize right now: 

Adrienne Andalon (T)

Aleen Odadjian (T)

Bailey Johnson

Chrystal Ramos

Claudia Pineda

Daynabelle Anderson

Deering Viola

Emma Villavicencio (T)

Emily Jones

Eric Anderson

Erica Hong (T)

Erin Riley (T)

Frank Viola

Gary Laramore

Gerry Snider

Gina Woolner (T)

Gloria Kamenos

Jackie Ruiz

Jada Dunn (T)

Jamie Fisher

Jen Heuseveldt (T)

Jenna Baker (T)

Jennifer Salinas

Jessica Coleman

Julie Ramey

Juliet Gunn (T)

Karen Preciado

Ken Newton (T)

Kim Sperling

Lisa Henderson (T)

Maria Ortiz

Mellissa de Conza

Nicole Burch

Nicole Carruth

Portia Franklin

Rose Carradine McGee

Sean McNerney (T)

Shamsia Haque

Shane Kilmer

Sophia Leao (T)

Stephanie Mayorga (T)

Tina Collier (T)

Yuka Kawasaki

Yukari Murase-Louden

Yvette Spencer

(T) = A special thank you to our teacher members who are actively volunteering to support, run, or lead various PTA programs and special student opportunities.  You guys are awesome!

And, to all our teachers and staff, Principal Katie Palacios, and our front office personnel (Dionne Hinson, Holly Slocum-Reyes, and Gale Tripp):  Thank you for your support!


3. List of Urgent Volunteer Needs

We have an immediate need for volunteers in the following areas.  If you would like to donate any amount of your time, please reach out to the contact listed:

  • Mustang Day of Fun (5/28), hosted by the PTA

    • If you are interested in getting involved, please email President@sspta.org.

    • We are looking into having a DJ, playing some games, possibly doing some water-based activities, providing a sweet treat, etc.

    • We need at least three pop-up tents to borrow.



  • Mustang Store (May 29, 30, 31) – Yuka Kawasaki, Chairperson (818-749-2203)

    • 5/24 Set-Up – Text Yuka to coordinate the best time.

    • Wednesday, 5/29, 12:30-2:00pm

    • Thursday, 5/30, 12:30-3:00pm

    • Friday, 5/31, 10:00-3:00pm

    • Monday, 6/3, 9:00am-1:00pm and then clean-up


Ways to Connect with PTA:  https://www.sspta.org/pages/ways-to-connect-with-sspta

You can join our PTA with an $8 Membership at https://jointotem.com/ca/canyon-country/sulphur-springs-community-school-pta/join/register     

If you would like to know more about what the Sulphur Springs PTA does for our school, please check out:  https://www.sspta.org/pages/about-us

Email President@sspta.org with any questions!