It could be you!  At the end of the month, one PTO volunteer will be selected for recognition and a $10 Starbucks card — this organization runs on caffeine!  Thanks to everyone who has helped this year!


We couldn’t pick just one in February, because these two make too great pair — Ida Giancola and Pam Obratil!  Ida and Pam work with Michelle DeNigris (August 2017 VOTM) on the bulletin boards and display cases.  We are dazzled by the creativity of these folks, and by their dedication to a never-ending job — with so many school events always coming and going, it takes a lot of time to keep the displays relevant and fresh.

Pam was also a regular presence during the Pete’s Dragon rehearsals and performances — one among the many Westwood parents who spent countless hours inspiring a love of the performing arts in our kids.  Ida and Pam both have 3rd graders at Westwood.  Thank you to both of you, and we can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next!


Kristine Pesho is our first hero of 2018 for wading in where few dare to go — PTO bylaws reviews!  This kind of dry, technical work is not exactly the type of fun that PTO is known for, but it’s necessary work and ultimately makes us better as an organization.

Kristine helped organize an awesome Internet Safety presentation over the winter, and she was frequently sighted at Holiday Shop wrapping and wrangling shoppers.  Kristine has a first and fourth grader at Westwood.  Kristine, thanks for all that you do!


Sandy Onyshko took on running the Holiday Shop this year, and wow was it in capable hands!  On any given day in November and December you had a good chance of running into Sandy in the aisles of Dollar Tree, Five Below, and every store in between.  It took a small army of volunteer gift wrappers and shopping helpers to pull off this event, and through it all Sandy was there to coordinate everyone’s efforts and make sure every student had a great shopping experience.  Sandy has a 2nd grader and a 4th grader at Westwood.  Thanks Sandy!


Becky Vura and Erica Zaffiro are PTO’s power Work Session couple.  Every Tuesday morning Becky and Erica complete office projects that teachers have requested — photocopying, collating, stapling, you name it and they do it.  Becky and Erica represent PTO at its best — showing up week after week with simple acts of service to support our school.

Becky is a glutton for PTO punishment and also moonlights as a Promotions coordinator, counting thousands of tiny Box Tops that add up to some serious change.  Erica’s daughters are in 3rd and 5th grade, and Becky has a 1st and 5th grader at Westwood.  Thanks for your hard work Becky and Erica!


October would have been a difficult month, if we did not have Tracy Deets on our team.  Tracy was responsible for setting up and organizing the Scholastic Book Fair.  She took care of all the details and even helped out the office with making the lists for Lunch with a Loved One for three grades.

For many years, Tracy has been a fabulous volunteer and we are lucky that she will be here a while.  Her youngest is in second grade.  Thank you for all your hard work, Tracy!!


In September Rachel Hazelwood contributed immensely to the Westwood Walk by working both the recess walks and the Walk event itself.  Rachel also designed and set up the fabulous fortune telling booth for Mrs. Nanney during Fall Festival.  Rachel cheerfully volunteers for the unglamorous jobs that need to get done, and she stays until the bitter end to make sure everything is wrapped up.

Rachel has two sons at Westwood who are in first grade and third grade.  Rachel, you make Westwood a better place!


Rachel H


In August Michelle DeNigris was hard at work before school started decorating the glass display cases and entry hallway.  She rolled with the “Road to Success” school theme for the year and integrated transportation and construction items into cool 3-D displays. Michelle has also worked her decoration magic during Staff Appreciation Week, and she can be counted on to pitch in wherever and whenever help is needed.

Michelle has been volunteering at Westwood for 5 years and has four sons, the second youngest of whom is a 3rd grader at Westwood.  Thanks Michelle, you rock!