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State honors PTA leader for years of service
State honors PTA leader for years of service
Posted on 09/03/2015
Each year the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) recognizes community members or groups in recognition of their outstanding contributions to education.


Dori Tate, who has been active for years as a volunteer with school PTAs, the Puyallup PTA Council, the Washington State PTA, and her community, has been selected as the 2015 WASA Region 111 Community Leadership Award winner.


WASA presents the award based on criteria in the following categories: benefit to students, leadership, motivation, success, cooperation and coordination with the local district, recognition by others, and history of service.


In a letter nominating Tate for the award, Superintendent Tim Yeomans attached a detailed list of her many volunteer roles over the years and wrote, “In addition to the attached information detailing her outstanding commitment to PTA, I would like to nominate Dori Tate for this recognition for her relentless commitment to our children, and for her efforts to mobilize the parents of the community, through PTA, to support and promote a healthy and nurturing educational environment for our children.”


Yeomans added, “She is an outstanding partner for the Puyallup School District in helping to communicate effectively with the parents of our students and the community at large. Her service at the school, district, regional, and state level in PTA is unmatched by anyone in our area.”


The Puyallup School Board honored Tate during its June 1 meeting, and the audience responded with a standing ovation. Directors shook hands with the longtime school volunteer and presented her with the engraved plaque that she first received in May at the WASA regional meeting.


Recognizing years of leadership

Tate began as a school volunteer in 1996 when her oldest of two sons started kindergarten at Zeiger Elementary School. Within three years, she was named the school’s PTA committee chair, marking the beginning of what has been another 16 years of leadership to local school PTAs, the Puyallup PTA Council, and the Washington State PTA.


Tate’s two sons, Ian and Colin, attended Zeiger Elementary, Ballou Junior High, and Rogers High schools. Tate remained active with each of their elementary and junior high school PTAs, serving in leadership roles including president and membership chair.


She also served for many years, including this past school year, as Puyallup PTA Council president. The Council oversees all PTA units in the Puyallup School District.


This year Tate will serve as the council’s outgoing president and secretary. Since 2004 she has also helped as its auction chair, co-membership chair, school district liaison, and webmaster.


Tate’s calendar has been just as full the past 11 years volunteering with the Washington State PTA. This past year, the Puyallup resident served as a leadership director, “PTA & the Law” training presenter, and an executive committee board member.


She will continue to serve this year as the state’s leadership director, overseeing trainings for all elected PTA officers in Washington and helping with the annual state convention next spring.

Tate has also agreed to serve on more than a dozen other state PTA posts since 2004, including vice president, Region 5 director, and membership director.


Districtwide, the Puyallup resident served on the 2003 and 2012 superintendent search committees. She also helped over the years with the elementary and junior high boundary committees, as well as a parent involvement policy committee, health policy committee, and safety advisory committee.


Passionate about reading, Tate began in 2010 and continues today as a volunteer with the Communities In Schools of Puyallup Good Samaritan Readers program. She started her service at Karshner Elementary and continues this year helping Sunrise Elementary students.


Volunteers like Tate commit one hour each week to help students in grades one through three who struggle with reading.


“Once you get kids to realize what reading is and you make it something they want to do rather than a chore, you get them hooked forever,” Tate said.


Tate has won numerous awards and recognitions, including a Zeiger Elementary, Ballou Junior High, and Puyallup PTA Council Golden Acorn Award. This top PTA award is presented to a volunteer in recognition of his or her dedication and service to children and youth.


Tate said she is proud that lines of communication have been opened over the years between the school district, PTA groups, and parents.


“We want to be a resource to help parents navigate the waters of public education so it’s less scary when they first come into the system,” she said. “The wonderful thing about PTA is there is always a place for anyone who wants to volunteer or needs help.”