Originally delivered on 5/1/2021 10:44 am

SUBJECT: May 2021 PTSA Newsletter

May 1, 2021

2020-21 School Year - Volume 15, Issue 9

It's hard to believe we only have 7 weeks left of school! As we look to closing the school year, we also plan for next school year. If you'd like to become more involved in any way, please reach out to us at grptsa@gmail.com. Whether you're looking to help with a specific item or to join the board, or anywhere in between, we always welcome more volunteers!

Staff Appreciation Week

Please join us in celebrating the amazing Grand Ridge staff! 

During staff appreciation week, our Grand Ridge staff will receive gift cards, coffee & pastries, books from their wishlist, notes from families, and a donation to the Issaquah Food Bank in honor of the 2020-21 Grizzly Team. We need your help! 

Write appreciation notes, purchase from the Grade-Level Book Wishlist and/or Sign Up to help. More details available here.

Stay Tuned for Summerfest

We want to wrap up this year with a celebration so are working on Summerfest - the drive through edition! More details coming soon.

Gift-A-Book - Thank you!

Thank you to all the families who donated to the Gift-A-Book program this past fall. Mrs. Gekeler was able to add 66 books to the Grand Ridge library as a result of your donations. This includes physical books and e-books. We really appreciate your support!

PTSA Meeting

Please join us for the last PTSA meeting this school year! 

Monday, May 24 at 4pm via Zoom

And the awards go to.....

Grand Ridge PTSA is thankful for all our school staff and volunteers that help make our school community so amazing. The Awards Committee is happy to announce our 2020 PTSA Award Winners: 

Outstanding Educator - Emily Melograna

The Outstanding Educator Award was given to Emily Melograna, a 4th grade teacher at Grand Ridge. Ms. Melograna has taught for 11 years, has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has taught at Grand Ridge for 6 years, both 4th and 5th grade. Ms. Melograna spent her first 4 years teaching English overseas in Poland, North Korea and Japan. She is passionate about travel and culture, having been to all 50 states and 35 countries. She incorporates travel themes into her classroom, calling the group the “Melotravelers”. Her favorite part of teaching is, “witnessing a student have a “Aha” moment. That moment when a difficult concept becomes clear. It’s simply the best ever.” Ms. Melograna pivoted to remote learning quickly and helped to make the best of the new situation as possible. Her ability to engage kids, draw them out of their shells, and keep them on task even through the computer, has been amazing. She consistently provides thoughtful feedback, as well as praise and encouragement to her students. She communicates frequently with caregivers with newsletters and weekly check-ins and makes it known to them that she is invested in the growth of each student.

Be Grand - Dave Turner

The “Be Grand” Award was awarded to Mr. Dave Turner. Mr. Dave works as the head custodian at Grand Ridge and has been at the school since 2013 after having the opportunity to work as a substitute at schools throughout the district. At Grand Ridge, he enjoys interacting and building relationships with students through discussions of sports and hobbies. Mr. Dave has been on campus the entire duration of the remote learning, working hard to prepare the school for the new learning environment. He participated in the materials distribution for remote learning, the 5th grade drive through graduation event and tiers of hybrid arrival. Prior to the pandemic, at PTSA activities and events, Mr. Dave was always offering his help to make things run smoothly and does so with a great attitude. Mr. Dave takes pride in his work at Grand Ridge and it shows.

Outstanding Advocate - Nate Perea

The Outstanding Advocate Award goes to Nate Perea. Nate is the organizer/leader behind the ISD Parents in Support of a Safe Return to School Group. His passionate leadership has empowered hundreds of families in the Issaquah area to feel safe to speak up and advocate for their kids. He has been in contact with political leaders, with other school districts, providing parents with up-to-date information and also connected other schools and parents to inform the community about students safely return in other districts. Nate is an 8-year member of Grand Ridge PTSA and has helped with PTSA events including being the emcee at the Grizzlies Got Talent Show.

Golden Acorn - Laura Gaffney

A Golden Acorn Award was awarded to Laura Gaffney. Laura Gaffney has served as our PTSA President for the past two years and has served in important roles for the PTSA in years prior including Communications Director and serving on the Auction Committee. Laura has a 5th grade daughter and twin 2nd grade sons at Grand Ridge. As the PTSA President, Laura is admired for how she has stepped into her role and spends countless hours working to better our school in every area the PTSA touches. When we entered the pandemic, Laura led the board through a gigantic pivot and kept the board focused on finding new pathways of helping support the Grand Ridge school community. Laura’s dedication to Grand Ridge students makes it easy to serve alongside her.

Golden Acorn - Kim de Booij-Moors

A Golden Acorn Award was presented to Kim de Booij who is our current Vice President & Fundraising Chairperson. Kim has served on the PTSA board for 3 years since moving from the Netherlands. Her daughters attend Grand Ridge as 4th and 5th graders. Since joining the PTSA, Kim has helped been an integral part of the PTSA fundraising efforts with Orange Ruler and Grizzlies Night Out. Kim has taken on creating the yearbook Kim, and she frequently volunteers at events and was a friendly face within the school prior to the pandemic. She has participated in many facets of our PTSA and she does so with such enthusiasm that it makes others want to volunteer alongside her.  

Golden Acorn - Hannah Coblentz

A Golden Acorn Award was presented to Hannah Coblentz. Hannah serves on the PTSA Board as an Outreach Director and has sons in 2nd and 3rd grade at Grand Ridge. In addition to volunteering within the classroom prior to the pandemic, Hannah orchestrated a playground improvement project that was implemented last summer, started a PTSA Book Club, and volunteered on the district level as the ParentWiser Chairperson. She put together an amazing slate of speakers and educators for the 2020-21 school year, which has provided a lot of support for families over the past year. Hannah is an enthusiastic, action oriented, leader and goes above and beyond to support Grand Ridge students and staff.

Golden Acorn - Toni Hunter

A Golden Acorn Award was awarded to Toni Hunter for her role as Communications Director. Toni has been a long-time member of the PTSA supporting both her 10th grade and 4th grade sons. In her role as Communications Director, Toni, who has amazing organization skills, orchestrated a switch in website platforms, manages the PTSA website, plans and creates the PTSA newsletter. She also handles social media and school reader board messages. Additionally, Toni participates in several district wide committees and is a wealth of knowledge for the entire Highlands community. During this unusual year, Toni is the one keeping that school spirit alive for our PTSA.  

Spotlight On: Mrs. Chapman

Mrs. Maddie Chapman is the PBSES (Positive Behavior Social-Emotional Support) Coach at Grand Ridge. We asked her a few questions so everyone could get to know her a little bit better!

Tells us a little about your life before coming to Grand Ridge: 

Before Grand Ridge, I studied at Western Washington University in Bellingham. I went through the dual endorsement program for special education and elementary education. I moved to Issaquah after college and worked in a resource room in the Seattle Public Schools for a year. After that, I came to Grand Ridge to student teach in a 4th grade classroom. My student teaching didn’t last the whole year, so I worked as a long-term substitute at Cascade Ridge Elementary in a 2nd grade classroom until the end of the year. After that, I was hired in a 3rd grade classroom at Grand Ridge and taught 3rd grade before becoming the PBSES Coach!

Favorite food: 


Favorite children’s book: 

Ruby Finds a Worry

Favorite sports team: 

Seattle Seahawks

Favorite weekend activity in the Spring:

Going on walks with her dog, Zoey

Best thing about being at Grand Ridge:

The students!

Reminders from the School & District
May Materials Distribution

Materials are only for REMOTE students

Dates: May 12, 2021

Time:  2:00pm - 4:00pm

Curbside service. Pull up to the front of the school. Remain in your car. We will bring materials to your car.  

Please post the following in your window for ALL students:


**We strongly encourage you to have a friend/neighbor pick your materials up if you are not able to make this event.

Missing Something?

With the return to in person learning, we have some items that need to be reunited with their kids. If your student is missing something, check out this padlet. If you find the item you're missing, please comment on the photo or send an email to grptsa@gmail.com.

Grand Ridge Resources

Just a reminder that the office has a confidential email: GrandRidgeResources@gmail.com that any student or family member is encouraged to use if they need some additional resources at a time when they don’t have additional money. Don’t hesitate to reach out if there is a need – from a winter jacket to supplies for school, a birthday gift to rain boots. Privacy of any requests will be respected. #grizzlystrong

Free meals for all kids

The Issaquah School District now offers free breakfast and lunches to all children 18 and under. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the free meal program through the end of the 2020-21 school year. This allows us to serve free, nutritious meals to all children 18 and younger, regardless of income or enrollment in the Issaquah School District. Learn more on the ISD website.

Upcoming Events
Monday, May 3
Staff Appreciation Week
Tuesday, May 4
Staff Appreciation Week
Wednesday, May 5
Staff Appreciation Week
Thursday, May 6
Staff Appreciation Week
Friday, May 7
Staff Appreciation Week
Tuesday, May 11
4:00p PTSA Board Meeting
Wednesday, May 12
2:00p Materials Distribution - Remote Students Only
Thursday, May 13
6:00p ISD Board Meeting
Friday, May 14
School Spirit Day - Wacky Tacky Day
Monday, May 24
4:00p PTSA General Meeting
Thursday, May 27
6:00p ISD Board Meeting
Monday, May 31
No School - Memorial Day
Stay Informed

To receive updates in real time, go to www.facebook.com/grandridgeptsa and like or follow our page. We’re on Instagram as well so you can follow our page, grandridgeptsa. You can also visit our website, www.grandridgeptsa.org. Also, make sure you are signed up for E-News from our school and the district.

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