The Greatest Gift


Assemblies, greenhouses and gardens, field trips (lots of field trips), class room parents, school pictures, yearbooks, school supplies, scholarships. Sounds like what every elementary school child should experience, doesn’t it? But these events are not provided by the school district. They are gifts given by the Katonah Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

It’s astonishing what the PTO accomplishes every single school year. And the truly amazing feat is the consistency from year to year. Consistency is vital so all KES graduates, whether they are currently in 12th grade or Kindergarten, ultimately have a shared narrative of their KES experience.

The PTO is, essentially, a phenomenally well run non-profit. So who does this stuff? For free? Who spends months planning the Family Dance? Or the Spring Fundraiser? The Halloween Fair? The Yearbook? After School Activities? With absolutely no expectation of return? Or even a “thank you”? It’s not done by KLSD. It’s done by YOU! Members and contributors of the KES PTO! You are the greatest gift.

Thank you to all of you who do so much to support the KES PTO and provide tremendous educational opportunity and experiences for all the children of KES, past and present! Your help, hard work, time, expertise, and resources are absolutely vital.

Here are some fabulous pictures from the KES PTO Spring Fundraiser. Who took them? A volunteer. Naturally.

  • Anne Foray


PTO Spotlight Shines on The Holiday Boutique with Nicole Mata





In honor of the PTO Holiday Boutique (December 9), the PTO Spotlight shines on Nicole Mata, Chairperson of the Holiday Boutique Committee.


  • The Holiday Boutique is December 9. What are the odds I can get a bunch of my shopping done at the Boutique? In a variety of price points?

The KES Holiday Boutique is a great community event that brings together local crafters and vendors. There is something for everyone at a wide range of prices. Vendors typically sell items with a max of $175, with the bulk of the items in the $25-$75 range. There are also fun vendors selling items that allow kids to shop on their own, having prices low enough that kids can feel the independence of shopping. One highlight of the day is also the KES Kids Shoppe, this is a beloved portion of the Boutique where KES Kids have the chance of having a table where they make and sell all on their own special items. Kids LOVE the opportunity of getting involved and seeing the reward of selling their handmade items and seeing the buyer’s excitement in learning about their items.


  • What’s the most difficult aspect of organizing an event of this size?


This event is a fun one to organize as you have the chance of scouting out and procuring new and amazing vendors each year. It can be daunting to keep track of all the vendors, activities, space layout, marketing, flyers, etc. But it is all worth it when the day comes and I see how happy all the vendors and patrons are.


  • How many volunteers does it take to run the Holiday Boutique?


Ideally, we need volunteers to run the raffle table, which last year we used 2 per hour. We also offered popcorn last year for $1 and water for sale for $1 volunteers was used for that as well.


  • Is there a vendor you’re really excited to see?

WOW, hard question! There are so many amazing vendors and artisans. I cannot really choose a particular one. A few that stick out for me are Custom Fairy Houses, Mini Lego figurines, Handmade stuffed animals, and, of course, our very own Mrs. Eckler and her husband’s deliciously famous sweet treats!


  • What would you like the KES parents and/or the public to know about the Holiday Boutique?

I think the most important thing to impart to the community is to come out and support all the local artisans, in this fantastic event that supports our wonderful KES school!

-Anne Foray


PTO Spotlight Shines on Teryn and Julie and the Halloween Fair






In honor of the KES PTO Halloween Fair (Oct. 28!) the spotlight shines on PTO Chairpersons, Teryn Kendall and Julie Creech


What is your favorite part of the Halloween Fair?

TK: I love that it is good, old-fashioned fun! The vintage carnival games are nostalgic for me, but also completely entertaining for the kids. It’s the best of both worlds!

JC: What I love most is the Haunted Hallway.  It’s right out of an amusement park!  What’s more is the fact that 4th grade students play a big role in designing and working at the event.  Seeing both parents and students having fun and working together is special.


By the numbers: how many volunteers, how many tickets, how many prizes, etc…

We have a committee of 10 parents helping us plan everything from food to prizes to games.  Then, of course, there are the class parents and parent volunteers — they fill 240 shifts on the day of the Fair!! Without these “boots on the ground,” the Fair could not take place. In addition to the class booths, parents volunteer on the day of the fair to blow up balloons, man the ticket tables, and run the cash register in the Black Hat Cafe, among many other tasks — they fill another 30 shifts! And that’s not even including the students who help out on their class booths, the community service volunteers who staff the prize booths and craft tables, as well as the past year’s co-chairs and committee members who volunteer their time attending planning meetings and responding to frequent emails and texts. Also, a shout-out to George Cook, KES’ Head Custodian, and his team.  It truly is a school-wide effort.

Most challenging aspect of chairing an event of this size?

All the nitty gritty details.  No single task is all that challenging, but when taken collectively it is quite daunting. The key for us so far has been delegating what we can to our amazing committee and then just making a list and checking the boxes as we go.  There are always little things that pop up that you just have to address as best you can — “Who is going to paint this year’s date on the wooden signs??” — but then someone steps up and problem solved.  This community loves this Fair and everyone wants it to be a success.

What do you want parents to know about the Fair?

The reason we volunteered to co-chair the Fair is because we both genuinely love it. It is a great chance just to be with your kids in a fun, screen-free, festive environment surrounded by friends and neighbors. The KES community truly shines on this day.


Anything else?

The Halloween Fair is not just for the kids, it is also a great opportunity for parents to connect.


OCTOBER 28, 2017 11 -3:30




– Anne Foray