The Story of TC PTA
Thornton Creek PTA was founded in 2018 by a group of dedicated anti-racist advocates. We believe in advocating for ALL children in our own public school and beyond. As a national child advocacy organization, the PTA provides a structure to link advocacy work across schools. TC PTA aligns itself with the work of the Seattle Council PTSA (SCPTSA), an organization led by Black, Indigenous, and women of color. SCPTSA provides a strong district-level model for PTA equity work and anti-racist policies that prioritize supporting children through community building over fundraising.
SUPPORTING ADVOCACY AND BUILDING COMMUNITY
TC PTA is strongly committed to reflecting on our school’s responsibilities as a privileged, white-dominant option school in Seattle. We follow the lead of district youth-led groups such as the NAACP Youth Council whose work strongly advocates for ethnic studies within our district and across Washington State. In 2020, TC PTA became Real Renters, directly contributing to the Duwamish Tribe whose unceded territory our school occupies! In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TC PTA spearheaded a regional organizing model by partnering with PTAs across Northeast Seattle to create free pantries with school supplies, masks, toiletries and household goods. The work of TC PTA was made possible by a group of dedicated parents who forged a path for equity work at our school.
EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (EDI) WORK AT TC
The TC EDI Committee was founded in 2015 by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families advocating for their students. The committee was part of Thornton Creek’s Site Council and authored an EDI Policy to integrate an equity lens into many school processes, from hiring to disciplinary practices. Most notably, the EDI Committee advocated at the district level to expand our school’s geozone to provide more public school options to the Magnuson Park community and spearheaded the effort with administrators and staff to replace the school’s Peace Assembly with an event honoring the life, legacy and unfinished work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to bringing advocacy and anti-racist programing to TC, the EDI Committee also became a safe space for parents of color to feel present, supported and able to engage on behalf of their children. In the spring of 2018, a district-investigated incident of racial discrimination related to a change in Principal revealed the school leaderships' unease with centering anti-racist equity work, and later that year, TC PTA was founded.
TC PTA INTO THE FUTURE
In 2018, the founding members of Site Council's EDI Committee shifted their energy away from that governing body, and established the TC PTA to explicitly and intentionally center those furthest from educational justice. This dedicated group of Thornton Creek parents worked to create a safe, welcoming space for BIPOC families and allies to joyfully engage in meaningful work that contributes to our school and to the broader community.
This work, driven by social justice, remains at the center of our mission today, and we invite you to join us. As lifelong learners, we embrace Thornton Creek’s commitment to a growth mindset, acknowledging that we have more work to do and an opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Each PTA member is involved in both a personal and collective journey to learn from our own mistakes, one another and our community partners as we grow in the work we do together. Through Thornton Creek PTA, we are stronger together and part of something larger than our school.
With much gratitude and respect, we recognize the persistence, hard work and dedication of these forward thinking individuals who played an integral role in the founding of Thornton Creek PTA.
TC PTA Founding Leadership 2018/19
Liz Benko, Jay Mas Gilvydis, Christina Pizaña, David Simonton, Tanya Thackeray Wilson
Founding Members 2018/19
Hrvoje Benko, Evan Briggs, Kristy Copeland, Christina Ellis, Dalius Gilvydis, Robyn Hodges, Angela Hyland, Cassie Johnson, Jeremey Johnson, Jac de Haan, Dana Marshall, K.C. Potter de Haan, Bryan Reischl, Paige Reischl, Eileen Rhee, Elizabeth Whitmire (+ 22 others)