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So far Joel Niemeyer has created 43 blog entries.
Ballard High School PTSA President

History comes to life at BHS with new hands-on learning tools

New social studies primary source kits are a hit

Students are engaged in analyzing several primary sources on Ancient Mesoamerica (maps, ancient texts, illustrations, and a photograph of statuary) from one of the Jackdaw’s Primary Source Kits

Thanks to Direct Appeal, Ballard High School students are able to get a more hands-on experience with replica primary sources. These resources really do bring history to life. The level of interest and engagement is exponentially higher than teaching with traditional work-sheets or textbook. This also allows students the opportunity to more authentically practice the skills of historical analysis. By engaging in this rigorous work, students are able to use these critical analysis skills well beyond high school to become savvy consumers of news, articulate debaters and thoughtful citizens of the world.

Your Ballard High School PTSA funded several of these primary source kits this last funding round, and we encouraged teachers to request more of them next time we do grants. What a great and wide impact for so many Ballard High School students!

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By | 2017-11-15T23:51:43+00:00 November 15th, 2017|Direct Appeal|1 Comment

Corporate Matching can double your donation

You can donate more dollars with help from your company

Do you know about corporate matching? Many companies in the Seattle area have corporate matching programs, which means that when you make a donation to a 501C3 non-profit (like your Ballard High School PTSA!), the company will match the amount that donation, anywhere from 50% to 100%! All you have to do it let your HR department know that you’ve made a donation, and would like your company to match it.

The last few year, 10-12% of our Direct Appeal revenues have come from corporate match dollars. That is thousands of extra dollars for the Ballard High School PTSA to use to help cultivate and excellent educational environment for all Ballard High School students.

We included a list of companies that we know have these programs in the Ballard High School PTSA Direct Appeal mailing you received. Check that list to see if your company is on it, and let us know if your matching company is missing- we’d love to add them to the list.

Look for more information on our Corporate Matching Program page and donate today!

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By | 2017-11-14T15:24:20+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Announcements, Direct Appeal|0 Comments

Fall 2017 Grants are out the door!

On October 24, 2017, the Ballard High School Grants Committee was convened at Ballard High School. It was a long afternoon and evening! The committee heard about 30 presentations from your Ballard High School staff, and we are thrilled to have given out more than $55,000 in grants!

To give you an idea of what we funded:

Here are a few examples from our fall 2017 grant distribution on October 24, 2017:
  1. $11,000 to the Science Department for brand-new microscopes with rechargeable batteries, a new set of laptops (and we threw in a cart for them too!), and super-cool macro lenses that Botany students can put on their phones–as well as other needed supplies
  2. Another (another!) Smart Projector for the Math Department
  3. Over $4,500 to World Language for brand-new headphones, general supplies, and guest visits
  4. $2,000 to Michael James’s effort to raise funds for a brand-new concert tuba
  5. $3,500 to the Special Education Department for new laptops, education assessments, and other supplies
  6. Over $3,500 to Health and Fitness for new weights and other items
  7. $5,000 toward a new Mindfulness program at BHS
  8. We even helped our World Champion Robotics Club to the tune of over $3,000

This post may be light-hearted and fun, but we take how we use your dollars very seriously. Read more here about the process we use to be able to help cultivate an excellent educational environment for all Ballard High School students. And read here about, and donate today, to the Ballard High School PTSA Direct Appeal program, fundraiser we run over the Fall and Winter to fund these awesome grants.

The above is why so many of your Ballard High School PTSA do this. We enjoy the process, the meeting, the opportunities to get to interact with our wonderful staff and students, and the ability you give us with your fantastic support, to help achieve our mission: Create an inclusive, supportive community that cultivates a tradition of excellence for all students.


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By | 2017-11-14T01:50:49+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Announcements|2 Comments

It’s Grant Applications Time!

For many in the Ballard High School PTSA, giving away money is time we really look forward to. We are just getting to that time of year where its Fall Grants season. Applications and Guidelines have been provided to Ballard High School staff members, and they will be submitting applications soon!

If you’re interested in reading up on the Ballard High School PTSA Grants Process, check out this page.

If you’re a Ballard High School staff staff member, download the application and process description and submit your application!

We will be meeting this year on October 24th for staff to present their grant applications. We’ll have a full committee of PTSA board, BHS parents, BHS students, and a few members of our wonderful staff. It’s always a spirited, high energy meeting, and a process we really enjoy.

Look for updates here about how we are spending the generous donations of the Ballard High School Community as we continue to do everything we can to cultivate an excellent educational environment for all Ballard High School students!

By | 2017-10-03T15:13:51+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

SPREE is a big hit again!

The Ballard High School SPREE, the all night, alcohol free, drug free party was another huge success!

A few hours after a wonderful commencement ceremony, newly graduated seniors started loading on to buses at 9:30pm, and headed out for a long phone/device free all nighter at the Family Fun Center and The Urban Loft. The excitement was palpable, even as they had to surrender those devices, as well as keys and other “contraband”!

The buses rolled in right on time at 6:00am the next morning, and while you could certainly sense a little less excitement, there were big smiles on the faces on a couple hundred tired kids.

A gigantic Thank You to our SPREE Chairs: Carolyn Stalter and Peggy Gudgell, who worked all year to make this event a success. Thanks also to the chaperones who tagged along all night, charged with the thankless tasks of watching the doors!

We really feel strongly that this is a great way to the year for our Seniors, and I hope the kids enjoyed this as much as they appeared to, and that the event lived up to the expectations written all over their faces.

By | 2017-06-20T14:28:27+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

We have a new Board!

Your 2017-2018 Ballard High School PTSA Executive Committee
  • President: Chris Witeck
  • Vice President: Jenny Peters
  • Treasurer: Deborah Haensli
  • Secretary: Kimball Mullins
 Congratulations to all of you! New terms begin July 1, 2017.
By | 2017-06-09T15:43:59+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

Final PTSA General Meeting of the year

The last 2016-2017 General Meeting of the Ballard High School PTSA is coming up!

Be there: June 8th, 6:00 PM, Ballard High School Library

A celebration of this awesome school year, this is going to be a great meeting and we’d love to have you there! We have a very full agenda that we are going to try to get through quickly, so people can leave in time for the concert at 7:30. We’ll end our evening with a display of some of the wonderful things this PTSA has been able to supply through our Grants Program. Also:

  1. A summary of our financial position and a vote on a new budget
  2. A report from our principal, Keven Wynkoop
  3. Introduction of our new Head Librarian
  4. Election of new PTSA officers
  5. And maybe the most fun of all: Golden Acorn and Outstanding Educator Awards! You’ll want to be here for these as the folks that are getting these awards are very very deserving indeed

Grab the agenda for this meeting right here!

Don’t miss this meeting – it’s going to be a lot of fun!

By | 2017-06-09T15:58:20+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments

Would you like to make a difference? Join the board, or let us know how you can help!

Are you interested in helping Ballard High School ensure that teachers, families, and students have access to the resources, tools and support they need for the best education possible? Do you have experience fundraising, coordinating or planning? The Ballard High School has opportunities for the 2017-2018 school year, either for committee members or for smaller, well-defined and short-term volunteer opportunities. Whatever your experience, chances are we have an opportunity for you to contribute. As part of the Ballard High School PTSA, you can make a difference by helping to cultivate an excellent education environment for all Ballard High School Students.

For the 2017-2018 school year the following positions are open:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Secretary

We also have some non-elected positions open, which give you an opportunity to both have a vote and contribute, and open up the possibility of more down the road.

We’d love to have your help! Please read more, and tell us how you would like to help

About the Ballard High School PTSA:

The Ballard High School PTSA is made up of the elected positions of President(s), Vice President(s), Treasurer, and Secretary as well as the appointed positions of Volunteer Coordinator, Membership Chair, Legislative Liaison, Nominating Committee Chair, Principal, and Building Leadership Team (BLT). These positions have one seat, one vote- shared positions share one vote.

In addition, the Ballard High School PTSA is also made up of several standing committees. Committee chairs and members do not have a vote, but play a crucial role in the everyday work of the PTSA.

Open Elected Positions:

The Ballard High School PTSA Executive Committee is made up of the elected positions of President(s), Vice President(s), Treasurer, and Secretary. The following elected positions are open for the next school year. These positions will be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by attendees in a PTSA Board meeting. Once elected you have the choice of serving in this position for a maximum of two years.


The Ballard PTSA President(s) is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the organization. They will preside over PTSA Board and General Membership meetings. They set the agendas for all PTSA Board and General Meetings. They Ensure that pertinent PTSA information is distributed to membership. They also determine appropriate and investment interests of the PTSA general membership. They work with the treasurer to oversee appropriate allocation of funds per established annual budget and they are an approved PTSA check signer and available to treasurer as needed to go-sign PTSA checks approved PTSA check signer and available to treasurer as needed to co-sign PTSA checks. In addition, the President will work with PTSA Board to recruit chairs for committees. They will also attend “PTSA and the Law” training session

Vice President:

The Ballard High School PTSA Vice President will perform the duties of the President when the President is absent or unable to serve. They will plan all PTSA meeting agendas with the President and will work with all committee chairs to ensure they have all of the necessary information they need to perform their duties.

The Secretary Attends PTA-sponsored workshops or trainings. Keep an accurate, concise, permanent record of the proceedings of all meetings of the association and of the executive board. These minutes are the legal record of the PTSA and the original copy of the minutes is known as the master copy. Prepare a list of unfinished business items for the president and assist with preparation of the agenda, if requested. Prepare the minutes and give a copy to the president soon after each meeting. Record of each motion voted upon. Record of results of any election and votes cast.
By | 2017-05-16T03:03:18+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s PTSA Awards Time Again at Ballard High School

Every year, your Ballard High School PTSA gives out Golden Acorn and Outstanding Educator awards. If you have a suggestion as to who should receive one of these awards, please let us know. We need your help to step up and nominate that teacher who always goes that extra mile, or to that quiet contributor from among our PTSA community, who always chips in to help!


Submit Your Suggestion Now!


Golden Acorn

The Golden Acorn Award is offered by the Washington State PTA in recognition of a volunteer(s) for his/her dedication and service to children and youth. It recognizes volunteer service “above and beyond” a particular job description.


Outstanding Educator

The Outstanding Educator Award was created to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding educational opportunities for children and youth that are beyond the normal scope of their jobs to make the learning environment fun, beneficial, and challenging.

Recipients of both awards receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.

So who’s already won an award?
So many contribute! We do try to acknowledge people that have not been recognized in the recent past. Please take a look at recent recipients of these awards here: Ballard High School PTSA Award Recipients
By | 2017-03-31T18:28:58+00:00 March 31st, 2017|Announcements|0 Comments
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