Krysia Lynch (outgoing Chairperson) address
In rounding up the PTA year and her time as PTA Chair, outgoing Chairperson Krysia Lynch outlined some of the achievements of the St Andrew’s College PTA in 2018 – 2020.
Firstly, I would like to thank all of those who are leaving The St Andrew’s College PTA; Adriana, Francesca, Hilary and John, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful skills with the PTA. You will be missed but fondly remembered!
To everyone, on the PTA Committee, I would like to thank you for your steadfast support of me as Chairperson, not just since the last PTA AGM in May 2019, but throughout my Chairship, which I took on unexpectedly in September 2018. In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to the two Principals I worked with; Mrs Joan Kirby and Ms Louise Marshall, and also the Principal of the Junior School, Mrs Sarah McCormack. I would further like to extend my thanks to the Deputy Principals and also to the entire College Support Staff, including the front office, the facilities management and the catering staff.
During that time I think we achieved great things together. We changed the way we run the Charity Lunch, transforming it from a Ladies Lunch into a Parent's lunch, which in today's gender fluid society was an important step for a forward thinking College such as St Andrew's. We also explored different ways to dispense our charity donations, looking towards several local charities with strong College connections, some of them very small, rather than focusing everything on one well known charity.
We instigated a raffle for our main charity event, enabling all those who did not attend the event to still support the charities, thus encouraging a sense of cohesiveness and community. The raffle alone contributed a sizable portion of our total fund raising effort.
We also looked at incorporating a fun element into our lunch by having both entertainment and a compere.
We grouped together parents' coffee mornings to ensure greater attendance and cohesion, and we instigated an international parents information session twice a year, which proved highly successful. We offered parents the option of a coffee evening which was popular with parents who worked in the early morning and were not able to attend our customary morning coffee sessions.
We started to use the College's website for more of our events and also to showcase the work of a strong and vibrant PTA to members of the public who have an interest in the school.
We moved away from the bi-annual second hand uniform sale and offered parents many opportunities to restock their children's wardrobes by instigating mini second hand uniform sales throughout the year!
We also restructured the way we collected payments, moving to Eventbrite for large events such as the Quiz and the Charity Lunch.
We invested in a SUM UP account enabling us to take electronic payments for any event we were hosting.
We instigated the option of co-opting up to four parents into the PTA, (ex officio), which makes organising large events easier. In addition, we ran an up-to-date "interested parents" list which we were able to follow up for events throughout the year.
We marked the College's 125 Year Anniversary by organising two legacy pieces; a canvas and a sculpture. We presented these formally to the College on behalf of the parent body in December 2019. We also supported other 125 events within the College, notably the 125 Ball, which Hilary Ros and Adriana were so instrumental in organising. For our annual parent teacher quiz, we inaugurated a 125 cup, which was won for the first time last year by the parents.
More recently we instigated online coffee mornings and information sessions for parents on zoom which proved highly effective and participatory.
We have also gathered an online set of resources which are now available for parents to access on the PTA part of the website and we are in the process of producing our online webinar series of informative talks for parents and guardians, perhaps during lunch time.
In the run up to the PTA AGM we offered a fair transparent and open process for PTA nominations and elections to the committee and the Board of Management.
Of course we also continued with our traditional events such as our parent talks, our valedictory event, our pre Debs event, our quiz and our support of college events such as the One Act Drama Festival MUN, Music and Dance festivals and sporting events.
The essence of learning is making mistakes and we also made a few of those, which serves to make us stronger and more informed!
I am delighted to have been able to nominate Gail Beatty as the next Chair of the St Andrew's PTA and I wish her every success. I look forward to supporting her in every way I can, and also to the continued evolution of the PTA under her stewardship.
One again, my sincerest thanks to the PTA committee 2018-2020 and also to all the parents in the school without whom there would be no PTA!
Zoom AGM 5th November 2020.