The Parish School Blog

Thank You, Parish Parents and Volunteers!

Written by Amanda Arnold
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Each year, we celebrate the many ways you all have supported the school this past year – as parents, as volunteers and often as both! From helping in classrooms to organizing events to beautifying our campus, you all do so much to make this school a richer environment for each student, and we are very appreciative!

Please view this video to see the many ways volunteers have supported the school this past year.


Volunteers of the Year

While there are so many people that help make this school better – our room moms, event chairs, office helpers and more – our staff narrowed down the many remarkable nominations to the following individuals. Please join us in wishing them each a sincere “thank you” for supporting our school and students.

Above and Beyond Award - Claudia Soto

Overwhelmingly nominated, Claudia has been one of our top volunteers for years. She could be found many days of the week helping in administration with data input, sorting spirit items, combing through yearbook photos, printing and distributing PTO reminders, helping to set up for The Village parent socials, putting together student birthday gifts, helping with mailings, the list goes on and on... Not only that, but she also was frequently found helping in the classroom and re-shelving books in the library. “Although the Soto-Barreda family will not be back with us next year, they have left an indelible mark on The Parish School forever,” said Janice Straker, Events & Volunteer Coordinator. “Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude!”

Volunteer of the Year - Tracie and Chuck Bates

Tracie and Chuck Bates are always looking at ways to support their class (the Engineers) and the greater school community. “They supplied us with tools for our makerspace, indulged us with chocolates, and even lunch for our fairytale picnic,” said Engineers Teacher, Meagan Rosales. “Both have been so thoughtful about supporting our teaching team.”
Additionally, Chuck lead Junior Achievement activities with all lower elementary classes and has volunteered to speak with parents on how to financially plan for their child’s future. For Mother’s Day, he coordinated an upcycled frame project for the Engineers class that he distributed to families across Houston, due to the COVID-19 school closure.
Tracie co-chaired Teacher Appreciation Week and was ready to implement her ideas when the in-person event was canceled. She has many great plans in the hopper though, as she plans to chair the event again next year! She was also a huge help with unloading and distributing the hundreds of plants from our annual poinsettia fundraiser, and makes time to attend all school events.

Board Member of the Year - Tommy Jamail

Tommy, a Parish alumna grandparent, joined the board of trustees in 2016. Since then, he’s been instrumental in securing donated office furnishings for the school, including some very nice workstations for the modular building. Speaking of the modular building, Tommy engaged Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm, to provide consultation on the school’s newest installation and to re-develop the campus master plan. “Tommy really came through for us on the modular,” said Cheval Bryant, Head of School. “Adding the extra space was a pivotal change for Parish and will forever be a part of our history!”

PTO President & Vice President - Meghan Peterson & Elise Lammers

Both Meghan and Elise have served two terms as PTO President and Vice President. They have been ready to step in and help as needed, faithfully leading all PTO meetings, and have spent countless hours responding to emails, phone calls and text messages from Events & Volunteer Coordinator, Janice Straker. They actively keep parents informed of school activities via the school Facebook group – The Parish Parents Forum, recruited other key volunteer and event host positions, keep room parents updated on school activities, and even hand-delivered gifts to Parish community partners across the city during the holidays.

More Outstanding Volunteers!

While we'd love to award everyone, we also wanted to acknowledge all the other amazing nominees, as well as the event chairs who put so much time and resources into ensuring our fundraisers are successful, as well as the room parents, for your continued support of our teaching staff!

Thank you all!


Jennifer Campo
Erin Eisenman
Su Hale
Lori Martin
Susan McConn
Katherine Smith
Alicia Waits
Ashley Willett
John Williams
Sarah and Eric Zoerb

Event Chairs

Susan & Brian McConn and Ofi & Vuk Vujasinovic
Future's So Bright Gala

Stephanie Von Stein & Dr. Mark Schusterman and Lisa & Buzz Baker
Giving Voice to Children Luncheon

Room Parents

Eloisa Arteaga
Brandi Boyd 
Cory Canon
Erin Eisenman
Margaret Farnsworth
Kristen Fluellen
Hayley Gwyn
Su Hale
Melissa Hawthorne
Susan McConn
Evelyn and Kim Nordin
Natalie Pennington
Chanel Shorts 
Katherine Smith
Suzanne Streit
Zooey Stringer
Anna Taylor
Cristina Walter
Alicia Waits
Ashley Willett
Jessica Williams