PTA conference Nov. 23 features top speakers, youth summit

Two Delawareans selected for national committee
October 8, 2013

Gov. Jack Markell, Sen. Tom Carper, Sen. Chris Coons, and Rep. John Carney head a list of distinguished participants scheduled for the 2013 Delaware PTA conference, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at St. Georges Technical High School in Middletown. Other top speakers include Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, National PTA President Otha Thorton, and a representative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students.

The day’s activities include two panel discussions. The morning panel will focus on college affordability and what Delaware is doing to increase access to college for Delaware students. The afternoon panel will focus on anti-bullying and school safety.

Attendees also can participate in any two of the following workshops:  Best Practices in Excellence in Family Engagement in Education, Emerging Minority Leaders and Culturalism, Special Education: Gifted Children/Creative Minds, Social Media and Technology Tools for Nonprofits, Updates on Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, Health & Wellness: Family Fitness and Nutrition Guidelines, Blueprint for Academic Success, President/VP Training (including parliamentary procedure), Treasurer Training (IRS guidelines), Legislation and Advocacy, and College Finance.

This year’s conference also will feature DPTA’s first Youth Leadership Summit. Students from middle schools and high schools across the state will participate in a daylong conference. This summit will be co-facilitated by the Delaware Special Olympics Project UNIFY. Leah O’Neill, a sophomore at the Charter School of Wilmington, is serving as coordinator for the Youth Summit. She represented Delaware at the PTA’s National Youth Leadership Summit this summer.

Delaware PTA leaders selected for national committee

For the first time ever, two Delawareans have been selected to serve on National PTA committees. Delaware PTA President Yvonne Johnson serves on the field service committee, and Bill Doolittle, DPTA vice president for legislation, serves on the special needs committee. The selection process is very competitive.

“I am so honored to have been chosen to serve on a National PTA committee,” said Johnson. “As I enter the final months of my term as state PTA President, I am reflecting on all the important work DPTA does on behalf of all children. I look forward to making a difference on a national level for all children."

Doolittle hopes to contribute to the education of children with special needs through his committee appointment, saying, “I look forward to ensuring that all of our special needs children and their families are heard at the national level and that the strongest possible advocacy is applied to advance policies to fully support the needs of our exceptional children in order to give each child the opportunity to meet his or her potential.”

Sponsors for this year’s Nov. 23 DPTA conference include the Delaware State Education Association and Nick Hoeschel of Rockwell Associates. Supporting the Youth Leadership Summit is the Delaware Special Olympics Project Unify.

For further information about the DPTA the Youth Leadership Summit or to register for the conference go to