Media Contacts:
Gracemarie Rozea, President
Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq. Executive Director
518-452-8808 (office)
518-817-3017 (cell)

November 6, 2017 (Niagara Falls, NY) – Nearly 400 NYS PTA delegates, members, exhibitors and education colleagues attended the New York State PTA’s 121st Annual Convention on November 3 – November 5, 2017 at the Niagara Falls Conference and Events Center, representing nearly 300,000 PTA members in more than 1,400 schools throughout the state.

NYS PTA convention delegates set PTA policy – guiding advocacy and the organization’s focus – by voting on resolutions and discussing critical issues facing New York’s children, families and educators.

Judge Verda Colvin at NYS PTA Convention 2017

“Every year, dedicated NYS PTA members convene to renew PTA’s vision and mission for children and education,” said NYS PTA President, Gracemarie Rozea. “It is exciting that nearly one-third of those in attendance are first –timers, recognizing the important and critical work NYS PTA members accomplish each and every day in support for children, families and educators.”

National PTA Past President Chuck Saylors joined delegates at convention, highlighting the role of PTA in advocacy, family engagement, and programs for children.

An amazing keynote from Judge Verda Colvin, Georgia Superior Court Judge, focused on our commitment to children. Judge Colvin, the first African American female appointed to the Macon Judicial Circuit, discussed her experiences in youth courts, and how family and community engagement can make a difference for every child.

(L) NYS PTA President Gracemarie Rozea and (R) NYS Teacher of the Year Amy HysertAmy Hysick, the 2017 NYS Teacher of the Year from the North Syracuse Central School District, shared her own inspirational story and passion for teaching, discussing how we can all support student motivation and increased engagement on all levels.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia joined Laura Feijoo, President of the NYS Council of School Superintendents, for a fireside chat on Sunday morning as the last General Session of the Convention. Commissioner Elia and Dr. Feijoo together with NYS PTA President Gracemarie Rozea and Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky tackled a wide array of topics, including the new federal law, testing, standards and assessments, family engagement and supports for children.

Delegates discussed and voted on nine resolution retentions, eight updates, and two rescissions to policy, and learned about many issues at convention workshops, including: Hot Topics in Education: What You Need to Know Now to Support Children; Troubling Connections; Financial Education; Collaboration is Key! How PTAs, Parents, Educators and Superintendents Can Work Together to Support Children; The Importance of STEAM Education for Your Child’s Future; The Messy Truth: When Implicit & Explicit Bias Gets in the Way of Leadership that is Diverse & Culturally Responsive in Your School and PTA; Inside the ADHD Mind: Where it Wanders, Why it Wanders, and How to Help it; Why Real Family Engagement Matters; How Does Economic, Social, Academic, Professional and Cultural Diversity Affect Your School Community? Why Should School Funding Matter to You?; Executive Function Difficulties: Helping Students Be Successful; Sexting, Texting and the App Problem; and Federal and State Education Policies: How They Affect Your Community and Why Advocacy is Key.

“Annual Convention is a time when NYS PTA members can speak with one voice in supporting children,” 1st Vice President Judy Van Haaren explained. “Importantly, delegates attended a variety of workshops on a range of topics including male engagement, supports for students with disabilities and English Language Learners, bullying and school safety and family and community engagement. Delegates will now go back to their local PTAs better equipped to help shape the future of education and support our children.”

You can review convention activities on twitter @NYSPTA with the hashtag #NYSPTAConv2017, or the NYS PTA Facebook account,