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Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena PTA needs people willing to help

By Staff | May 28, 2009

LAHAINA — This year, the Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) faces another election with few candidates to fill the open positions.

“Normally, elementary schools have the most officers, biggest boards and largest memberships, but for some reason, not so at this school,” PTA Vice President Jeff Rogers explained.

“Even if you don’t have a child at Princess — I haven’t for five years — you can support the PTA. Remember, the ‘P’ stands for ‘Parent.’ Maybe it should stand for ‘People.’”

With five open positions on the PTA, Rogers hopes to reach “a few hearts willing to help the students and staff of this wonderful school.”

The Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena PTA has been anchored for the last few years by President Tehani Villalobos, Treasurer Ilima Greig-Hong and long-standing Teacher Representative Lori Kaufman. 

“As a longtime PTA officer at both the local (Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena, Lahaina Intermediate School and Lahainaluna High School) and the state level, it has been my privilege to work with many of the most hardworking and dedicated members of this community. These ladies that have been holding down the Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena PTA ‘fort’ are no exception,” Rogers told the Lahaina News.

“This skeleton crew has been able to keep this important child-advocacy organization together while providing many services, programs and financial assistance the PTA is known for.”

This small group has been able to provide scholarships, teacher grants and field trip grants; support the school’s Poetry Festival, May Day celebration and Teacher Appreciation Week; and stage the Student Excellence Awards.

These programs require fund-raisers, such as the annual Fun Walk, the most time-consuming activity the PTA tackles every year.

Villalobos said the community can help the PTA and the school by volunteering their time at Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena and various PTA events and programs throughout the year.

With help, the PTA could bring National PTA programs to the school.

She explained, “A stronger PTA would be able to bridge the community and school together, creating a unified voice for the students of Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena and helping them have support and the resources to help each student reach their highest potential. 

“The National PTA has many wonderful programs that are already established for our unit to utilize and implement, but because we do not have the manpower, we are not able to bring these wonderful programs to our school.”

PTA members are asked to attend two general meetings a year (one at the beginning of the school year and one at the end) and volunteer to help at PTA events and programs. 

PTA board members are required to attend one monthly meeting and actively participate in PTA events and programs.
The Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Parent Teacher Association will hold its celebration of Student Excellence this week Wednesday, May 27, at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

This special event recognizes two students from every class and grade level who have shown improvement in their academic or social development.

Recipients are given award certificates signed by the Maui County Council, lei from parents and families and refreshments.

Prior to the awards ceremony and dinner, the PTA will hold a short meeting. One of the agenda items is the election of officers.