There aren’t enough words to honor the work of Camille Casaretti, and in fact all members of our CEC in District 15. Camille, however, is extraordinary! As the president of the CEC she devotes countless hours to chairing and attending meetings at school, district, borough and city levels. She prepares meticulously for every meeting and her reports are informative, clear and extremely well written. She consistently invites people to participate and works tirelessly to ensure that all constituencies are heard. Though all of these are admirable qualities, they are not what makes Camille so special. Camille cares passionately about all the children and families in the district. She is a tireless fighter for equity and integration and is driven by a strong belief in social justice. She is tenacious and committed and responds to every concern and every need that is called to her attention. Camille is a person who is kind and caring, and that is her finest quality. Her generosity of spirit is seen in the hours and hours that she has devoted to our district as a volunteer from the time her children started school, even though she is a working mom. I often wonder if she ever sleeps. So, it is with great pleasure that District 15 gets to honor CEC President Camille Casaretti, a true leader with a heart as big as the whole district. You Rock!
Cateia stepped up to lead the D15 Presidents' Council after several attempts to elect a President. Hesitant at first, she proved herself a fierce advocate for parents, especially those traditionally underserved and less heard. Cateia worked tirelessly and collaboratively with D15's PA/PTA presidents, the district office and FACE, and CPAC to make sure our district parents received accurate and timely information and that they had a voice in decision making.
Claudia Cuateco of The Bergen School is someone who always helps our school community. She works tirelessly and always speaks out to make sure our school community is heard.
Lakisha Wichard has been a stand-out PS 15 parent volunteer throughout this and every school year. A selfless indivifual, Lakisha continued to support staff, attend PTA meetings and serve on the 5th grade committee while dealing with great personal loss due to Covid 19. She is a good friend, sister, mother, daughter, wife and one of the hardest working and most dedicated parents at PS 15.
Brian Malamet has consistently volunteered on Fridays in the lunchroom and during recess for years. In addition to bringing his kind and cheerful disposition as a volunteer, Brian has built close relationships with the children, cafeteria, and school staff. He is always the last volunteer to leave the lunch room, after he wipes every table and has at least a good chat with one of the school aides. He is loved by everyone at PS 29 and we are so very grateful for his volunteer work at PS 29.
Concetta Laux is the mother of fraternal twins attending kindergarten at PS 32 Samuel Mills Sprole School, and the PTA’s co-treasurer. Fairly new to the school, she is generous with her time, available no matter the task, and always has a smile on her face.
Sara Thompson. Fifteen minutes before picking up her daughter from PS 39 for what would turn out to be the last time this year, Sara agreed to take the helm of the PS 39 PA as sole president. Within a week she was hosting bi-weekly meetings on Zoom, leading the charge to answer impossible questions and reassure parents, and making the decisions necessary to adapt the organization to a new, remote environment. And she did it with a smile.
Meema came on board as an SLT member and became co-chair of the Diveristy Team. She recruited parents, helped create our Spanish speaking parent group and was about to start our Mandarin group when Covid happenrd. She brought Roots Connected to our school and the changes have been amazing.
For more than seven years, grandparents Jane and Jack Hochman dedicated themselves to the students of PS 58 traveling 2+ hours to Brooklyn without fail each week from their home in New Jersey. They began volunteering while their granddaughter was a student but enthusiastically continued to volunteer after she graduated. Jack died in November 2019 after battling cancer. Jane says that volunteering at PS 58 was a much-loved shared project, and that the time spent with our students was among their happiest.
Katherine Eban founded the Beast Relief Project at PS 107 in 2013 and has been at it's helm ever since. Beast Relief project teaches children about the need for conservation, instills in them a love of animals, and takes concrete steps to help animals near and far. Each year Beast Relief partners with a different wildlife foundation whose experts guide our 5th graders as they write, illustrate and self-publish a book about an endangered animal. All proceeds go directly to our wildlife partners.
Tom Newberger’s contributions to the PS 130 school community have been enormous. For the past 6 years Tom has dedicated countless hours volunteering his time and has captured all our school spirits and joy in photos. We will always remember his deep dedication to the annual yearbook and how every year he took our Fall Fest to another level with his creativity in creating the Haunted House.
Alexandra Muschamp. Alexandra has done an outstanding job in her first year as PS 131's PTA president. She led the way in developing so many fun-filled events for our students this school year, from the Fall Festival to the Festival of Love. She worked hard to create new community partnerships and pursue fundraising opportunities to benefit our school and our students. We would like to honor and recognize Alexandra for going above and beyond for our PS 131 school community!
Brooklyn New School would like to thank Anna Catherine Rutledge as our Unsung Hero. Anna Catherine brought her spirit and spunk to many years of PTA work on community events, fundraising and as a PTA co-president. She's been impactful on bringing equity to community building. For this work, we nominate her for our Unsung Hero this year.
Elizabeth Cruz has been so supportive of our PS 169 Community for so many years now! She's an active PTA member and all year long helps organize all our family events. Elizabeth is making a huge difference here at PS 169, Sunset Park School and our school is a much better place because of her.
PS 172 parent Joy Leonard has been instrumental in helping run the after school enrichment program. She is an advocate for bringing extracurricular STEM and Art enrichment programs to students at PS 172.
Evelyn Marrero is an "Unsung Hero" for the contributions she has made to the growth of the Dual Language Program at PS 230. Serving on the Dual Language Leadership Team, envisioning fundraising campaigns and speaker forums, supporting families with translation and guidance, and tutoring small groups of students in both English and Spanish, Ms. Marrero has championed the development of a program reflecting high academic standards and parental engagement.
Claudia Lechuga. Claudia is very involved through the PTA, SLT, Community activities, etc. She is a strong advocate for the needs of our families and is always trying to solicit resources to support any activities and materials the school might need and researches grant opportunities. During the pandemic she has worked tirelessly to help families with immediate needs. She is active in her childrens’ classrooms and supportive of teachers and staff. Claudia makes PS 516 a better place.
Esther Fesale is more than the PTA President at PS 676. She is a cheerleader, party planner, classroom volunteer, and community ambassador rolled into one. If a project or initiative will benefit our students, Ms. Esther will be there, front and center, asking how she can help. In addition to overseeing the classroom work and homework of her grandson, a rising 5th grader in our school, she pushed herself to get her own High School Equivalency Diploma, a goal she realized this spring! (Did I mention she usually does all this in fabulous heels?) We couldn't be more proud or more appreciative of Ms. Esther and we honestly don't know what we'd do without her!
Susan Eng, one of our current 8th grade parents, has been an amazing supporter and champion of MS 839. Notably with her commitment to our PTA High School Readiness Committee (HSRC). As a lead on this PTA team, she helped organize a dedicated webpage with a wealth of NYC HS resources and spent countless hours organizing, supporting, and sharing information with our parents as they embarked on the sometimes overwhelming experience of navigating NYC High Schools and the HS application process.