Salem Hills High School PTSA

Home of the Skyhawks - Salem, UT

Coming to a close 

Where did this year go?!

Whenever May comes around, I always feel this way.  It feels that this school year has sped by.  I had really good intentions to post a blog post on this site every month.  Life gets busy and well... that's just how it goes.  But I wanted to share a few parting thoughts as I come to the end of serving as president of the PTSA at Salem Hills High School.

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to all who have supported us in our fundraising efforts.  We got a great response and were humbled by the kindness and generosity of not only the parents of students, but also the community.  Make sure and check the list of businesses that donated and tell them thank you.  I'm excited for the things we will be able to do for the school next year!

I have had quite the difficulty in filling this position for next year.  Those who have never served on a PTA board are hesitant because they don't really know what is involved.  Those who have served in the past would, but now they have jobs and don't feel they have the time it takes.  Some mothers I talked with have decided to go back to college.  All of these reasons are excellent reasons not to want to take on the position of President.  I just want all to know that I am grateful for the time they do have to help and for the many items and funds that are donated to the school.  Again, I totally understand -- life is busy.

We will announce soon who will be the next president of the PTSA.  I am so grateful for her willingness to serve and making time to do so.  I hope she learns to enjoy it as much as I have.  I love being at Salem Hills.  The environment there is a positive one with wonderful teachers and administration and students.  Maybe I like volunteering there so much because it keeps me young :).  Maybe it's because I've made such lifelong friends with others who serve in the PTA/PTSA.  Maybe it's because it is a good distraction from my work that I do at home.  Actually, all of the above.

Each year as I watch the seniors get ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives I am reminded of how precious the time we have with our students is.  I am reminded of how the things they are involved in and the things they learn influence the rest of their lives.  I am also reminded how hard it is to be thrown into the adult world. The choices they make now largely determines the path they will follow.  When I think back to when I was in high school, 25+ years ago, I remember teachers and other leaders that were big influences, but I also remember some of my friends' parents and their examples.  There is another reason I like being involved in the school -- because I get to know my student's friends and other peers.

Parents, we are well aware of the negative in the world that tries to bring our kids down.  We have to be diligent in protecting them from what we can and helping them overcome what we can't.  So, my parting counsel as president is #BeInvolved.  Be involved in your children's lives.  Know who their friends are, know what they are doing, know what they are interested in, know what their struggles are, know what brings them joy, and learn what you can do to help them.


Angela Rogers

Posted by Admin Thursday, May 4, 2017 3:10:00 PM

How donated funds are used 

This last weekend we held a fundraiser yard sale for our high school PTSA. I was humbled by the generosity of the donations we received. What surprised me the most was that the majority of the donations of items to sell did not come from parents or teachers at our school. Most items were donated by older couples, a younger couple with no children of their own, and parents of junior high and elementary students. We also had a lot of support from our junior high PTA board in helping with the sale. We made around $1500, which doubles what we had in our account. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the members of our community that donated and/or purchased items.

These funds we hold precious as we recognize they come from hard working people and we do not spend them lightly. Many who were buying things at our sale asked what the funds would be used for. Our quick answer was for student scholarships and for teacher appreciation and student activities. Just so you don’t think we are using that $1500 frivolously, I want to give a more detailed answer here. Each year we provide 2 students with $250 scholarship each that gets sent directly to their school after they send us their enrollment information. We also provide a small birthday gift to each teacher (at $5 each for about 100 teachers). Just those two items alone adds up to $1000. We also provide dinner to the teachers when they stay late for parent teacher conferences a few times a year (the last couple of years the school has had to help us pay for this). Feeding about 100 faculty and staff 3 times a year is at least $600 if we get a lot of food donated by parents and only buy the main dishes. We also provide awards to students who enter and win the PTA Reflections Arts program, which we usually budget around $200 for. Our PTSA is responsible for the Halloween dance and because it is a stag dance, we are only allowed to charge $5 a person, so we are lucky to break even with what we spend on a DJ, and hopefully cover decorations and food for the dance -- budget $350. Our PTSA holds Respect Week in the spring which is our replacement for Red Ribbon Week where we focus on respect for families, respect for self, respect for others, respect for community, and respect for school. We provide activities and events daily this week and traditionally have sold/given away T-shirts to help the students remember to focus on having respect. We budget $500 for this week. We also do a teacher appreciation week where we provide small gift items of appreciation to the teachers and dinner, and other food items during the week – budget $800. If you are keeping track that is $3450.

Last year we brought in $1000 for our donation drive and made about another $1000 in other fundraising. We received about $350 from the dance and about $350 in t-shirt sales. That is $2700 coming in. Because of that, we have had to make cuts in our budget for Reflections, teacher appreciation week, dinners, respect week, and scholarships. That last one really breaks my heart because I think it is important to support our students who work so hard.

In the past when the PTSA memberships and donations were part of the registration process we were able to bring in much more. Because of a change in state and district policy a few years ago, and due to the fact that registration is now done online, we are unable to have the school receive funds for our PTSA. This has made it difficult for us to be able to connect with parents. Most parents do not know or realize this. We now have an account at Utah Community Credit Union and parents can donate directly at the Salem branch to our account – just tell them it is for Salem Hills High PTSA, or you can donate through this site by clicking on the Membership-Donations link in the menu.

This may sound like a desperate plea for donations for our PTSA, and maybe it is, but we need your help! We just want to be able to continue to provide the support to our teachers, scholarships and other uplifting activities for our students. With teacher shortages across the state it has become ever more important that we show support of our teachers which in turn makes Salem Hills a desirable place to teach. I have seen first-hand how parental involvement in the schools have affected students’ lives for good. Again, I would like to thank those in our community who supported our fundraiser this last weekend and would like to invite parents to support our fund drive we will have in February, which we only ask for at least $5 per family. As Mr. Peery says, together we can make a difference. Go Skyhawks! #BeInvolved

Posted by Admin Tuesday, October 18, 2016 4:58:00 PM

You have no right to complain unless you are willing to be part of the solution 

That is how I was raised.  My mother used to say that whenever I would complain about something.  Maybe that is why I am the way I am today.  I like to solve problems.  I am a programmer and love to troubleshoot problems in code or on computers for others.  I even love doing math because I like to solve problems.  Actually, I think that is one of the main reasons math is taught in school, because the majority of us aren't going to use calculus in our day to day lives as adults, but we do have to know how to be able to solve problems.  Learning math trains our brains to think logically about how to come up with different solutions.  But my post today isn't about math.  It is about being part of the solution.

When my kids started playing in our city league sports when they were young, I didn't like how some coaches would yell at the kids and not let kids who weren't as good play very much.  This bothered me because hey, at this age they don't even keep score, and how is a kid going to get better if they never get to play?!  And even when they do start keeping score, does it really matter in the long run which team in the city wins the most games?  My belief was that it should be fair and fun.  So, I volunteered to coach and coached almost every year of basketball for my daughter from 3rd to 8th grade and my son's soccer team from kindergarten to 7th grade.  I never had any parents complain about my coaching, at least not to my face, but if they did, I was sure ready to invite them to sign up as a coach the next season.  I know the city sports programs struggle to get parent volunteer coaches, yet you hear plenty of complaining going on on the sidelines of games.

I've also spent time listening to some parents complain about our school system and some who will complain about a student's teacher.  But when I ask them to help in the PTA, they say they are too busy and don't have time.  I have to admit, this doesn't sit well with me because of the title of this blog.  Personally, I don't really have "time" to help at the school, but I do.  I believe people can make time for things that are important to them.  Is your student's education important to you?  Do you want to be able to sit with other involved parents and the school principal and share your concerns?  PTA/PTSA has given me that opportunity to be part of the solution.  That said, I recognize that not everyone can serve on a PTA board.  There are many other ways you can help support your student and your student's school.  Honestly, I don't really care if you join the PTA as long as you are doing something to help.  You can help by sharing your thoughts and ideas with those who are on the board to pass along to the administration.  You can help in other clubs and extracurricular activities.  You can even help financially or by donating food or other items needed at the school.  One thing is certain, our schools are better with the support of parents.

I invite you to be part of the solution and #BeInvolved!

Posted by Admin Thursday, September 29, 2016 9:14:00 AM

I used to not be involved with the PTA, and then something amazing happened… 

When my oldest daughter started kindergarten 13 years ago, I had no idea what the PTA did.  I would get a flyer sent home saying, “Join the PTA” and I would ignore it.  Honestly, I felt I had my hands full with my three little ones and figured there were plenty of other moms who could handle the PTA.

When my daughter was in fifth grade, she came home with a flyer about the PTA Reflections Arts Program.  She thought it sounded like fun and decided she wanted to enter something.  She could write pretty well, so I suggested she write something for it.  She said there was a category for film and video and wanted to enter that.  Being the ever supportive mom :), I let her use our video camera and bought a simple video editing program and showed her how to use it.  She created a really neat video and submitted it to the Reflections contest at our elementary school. (And just in case you are interested, you can watch it here.)

A few weeks later, I got a notice saying her video had won at our school and was going to go on to the next level.  Not knowing anything about Reflections, I didn’t know what that meant.  A week or two later, I got an invitation to the Council Level Reflections awards assembly saying she won an award there, so we went to it.  The Reflections chair at the Council level said her entry was going on to the Region level.  By this time I had learned that the Reflections program was a National contest, and that after Region was the State level, and then if she won there it would go to the National level.  I also found out that not very many entries from our state ever make it that far.  So we were pretty excited when we found out that she got an honorable mention award at the National level.  It was a pretty amazing experience and I was very proud of her.

The next year, the Reflections Chair from the previous year asked me if I would be interested in being the chair for Reflections the upcoming year.  You know, since I had so much experience with the program because of Kyla’s winning entry.  I really hesitated.  I do not consider myself an artistic person.  I certainly did not feel qualified to run an arts program just because my daughter’s entry did so well.  However, I also saw how excited my daughter was about entering Reflections again, so I said yes.  I was a little scared when the former chair came over with a tote full of information for me!  I soon realized that I could simplify it and change a few things, and it quickly became my “baby”.  I was the Reflections Chair at the elementary school for 5 years and then at the junior high and high school for 3 years!  I think one year I was the Reflections Chair for all three schools!  I am now in my second year as President of the PTSA at our high school, and I have been saddened that I have not found someone willing to chair Reflections for our high school yet.

Being the Reflections Chair for the PTA, I was part of the board meetings they would have each month.  I was able to participate in many of the other activities and events that the PTA sponsored.  I soon learned how many great things our PTA does to benefit our students, teachers, and parents.  I also learned that it seems to be the same handful of people that are involved.  Sometimes I wonder why more people don’t volunteer or be involved in the PTA/PTSA, but then I have to remember that I never did until I was asked to.  So, consider this your invitation. Volunteer HERE

Our PTA used to be able to take membership payments and donations through the school as part of registration, but due to new Utah laws a few years ago, we are no longer able to accept funds through the schools.  This has caused a major drop in our membership and donations.  We have been living off of previous years’ donations, but that is now dwindling.  So, if you aren’t able to come to the school and help, you can still be involved by donating financially so that the PTA/PTSA can continue to provide the outstanding support to your student’s schools. Donate or Become a Member HERE

The rest of the story…

You might be interested to know, that my daughter is now at college majoring in Media Arts, which is the film program.  Her success with her Reflections entry in video all those years ago sparked her interest in film.  She was a Sterling Scholar finalist in the category of Skilled and Technical Sciences for her participating in film and video at the high school level.  She received enough scholarships to pay for her tuition and housing plus some.  Do I think PTA has played an important part of my student’s life?  You bet I do!  And not just Reflections.  As a high school student she was very involved as a student member of our PTSA and was able to gain a lot of service involvement and leadership experience.  Also, she told me she always liked having me involved in her school, so that's a thing.  Make an impact at your school and #BeInvolved.

Posted by Admin Sunday, August 28, 2016 10:10:00 AM