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Mamaroneck's PTA Moms Mingle, Share Ideas at Workshop

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Keiko Tannenbaum met several fellow PTA members from other schools in the district, like Lisa Samson, at the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Council's leadership workshops Monday night, a chance she rarely gets.

Tannenbaum, co-president of the Central School PTA, attended the 7:30 p.m. event held in the Mamaroneck High School library in hopes of learning something new.

"I know some parents from other schools through my son's sports teams, but that's a different context," said Tannenbaum, whose son is in fifth grade. "It's always nice to meet new people in the district who are committed to their children."

The PTA Council hosts the leadership workshop annually. After guest speaker Kelly Chiarella, regional PTA director, addressed the room, everyone broke into groups. Tannenbaum selected the "PTA Values, Traditions and Progress" workshop. Melany Gray, former PTA Council co-president, led the group in a discussion about the PTA's evolving role as an advocate for their schools, and not just a service organization.

Gray mentioned the Mamaroneck PTA's opposition to the 2percent tax cap over the summer.

"It's definitely an important forum for anybody, but especially for those coming into the position," said Tannenbaum, who is serving her first term as co-president.

Tannenbaum looked to those members with years of experience, like Jayne Lipman, who is a member of the high school PTA.

"It's good to communicate and share ideas," said the Mamaroneck resident.

Rina Beder, the council’s curriculum liaison, was scheduled to lead the "communications, feedback and sources of information" workshop, which was combined with "PTA Values." She said she liked the leadership event because it teaches you, "Not to assume what you're thinking is what everybody else is thinking."

The Westchester and East Putnam regional PTA has 55,006 members and seven million nationally, said Chiarella, who comes from the Yonkers school district.

"It's always good to be reminded that your school is part of a large network," Tannenbaum said.

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