Inside this issue:
Annual Meeting Highlights | 2019 Award Recipients | 60th Anniversary Planning

June 2019
Vol. 49 No.5

Cooperatively Speaking
The Latest News from PCPI
Happy summer!

For many of us, summer is time to relax and enjoy a change of pace from the rest of the school year. Whether that means summer camp, travel, spending time at the pool, or catching up on things that need attention, I hope you are able to enjoy the feeling of renewal that comes with the season.

Cooperatively yours,

Dianne Rose, M.Ed.
Editor, Cooperatively Speaking

Annual Meeting Highlights
The 2019 PCPI Annual Meeting was graciously hosted by Meg Kennedy-Shaw at the Michigan League at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor May 9-12. The meetings were ably chaired by President Mariah Battison from British Columbia and included attendees from British Columbia, California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, and Virginia.  All enjoyed much camaraderie as they wrestled with the issues that are currently impacting cooperatives.  
PCPI President Mariah Battison learns how adults ride the pedal-go-round at FUMCN.

One of the highlights of the annual meeting is visiting local preschools. This year attendees were delighted to be treated to a tour and  progressive dinner and dessert hosted by  Triangle Cooperative Preschool and First United Methodist Cooperative Nursery Preschool (FUMCN) followed the next day a tour and lunch at  Stone School Cooperative Preschool .

School visits enable the PCPI Board to get to know the parents and staff at different schools and to learn about the history, growth, changes, successes and challenges that each school has experience d. The board takes that information back to the meeting room and uses it to determine how to better support and serve member schools.

Triangle 2019 Visit
Christine Law and Meg Kennedy-Shaw chatting during a visit to Triangle Cooperative Preschool.

Teacher Rauchelle Ferguson introduces her classroom to PCPI Membership Chair Roberta Stuart at Stone School.
Teacher Juli Balestrieri talks about learning at FUMCN.

Decisions large and small were made at the meeting. Highlights are below.
  • Development of the PCPI Communications Plan is ongoing. The plan takes a detailed look at all of the stakeholders associated with PCPI and how we can strengthen our connections with each group through focused contact. 
  • All PCPI publications will be edited and modernized in terms of content and accessibility. How to Start a Co-op is the top priority, and a committee was established to begin the process.
  • Google Groups will be set-up for easy communication among members. Design of the group will be modeled after the system set up by the California Council. The Yahoo! Group will be retired.
  • PCPI has been granted a Google Suite for Non-Profits. The associated Google Drive will serve as the repository for all documents to ease transition among board members, and to allow shared access to historical information. Board members were given access rights and a tutorial on the system at the meeting. 
  • Awards and Travel Grants will be better advertised to members. Starting in September, application information and deadlines will be published monthly in Cooperatively Speaking and frequently on social media.
  • The Cooperative Spirit grants were very popular this year and many applications were received. The Grant budget was increased to better fund requests. 
  • All Canadian schools will be invited to apply for the Katharine Whiteside Taylor Award next year.
  • Payments through the PCPI website will be adjusted to accept international currency. 
  • The financial state of PCPI is strong. Dues for membership renewal for 2020 will be due December 1, 2019. 
  • Driven by the notion that "together we are stronger," the Membership Committee will make a concerted effort to locate non-member co-ops to educate them about the benefits of membership.
Next year's meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon, in Spring 2020. Councils will be encouraged to financially support their President or other delegate to attend. Professional development credits will be given for participation in the meetings and school visits. Be on the lookout for more information, and please plan to join us!

Congratulations To Awardees!

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 PCPI awards, and thanks to each and every one of you for being champions of cooperative education! 

2019 Awards
Award recipients present at the awards dinner (from left to right) Rauchelle Ferguson, Dianne Rose, Julie Soper, Debbie Maxwell, and Mariah Battison.

2019 awards recipients are:

Rauchelle Ferguson
Stone School Cooperative Preschool, Ann Arbor, MI
District Award
Rauchelle has been teaching at Stone School for the past three years.  She is a dedicated educator and teaches her students the love of learning. Her ability to individualize and show love for each child gives them a magical and beautiful preschool experience in which they learn how to demonstrate their love and respect for one another. The children and parents of Stone School are lucky to have Rauchelle as their first teacher.

Debbie Maxwell
Garden City Co-op Preschool, Garden City, Michigan
District Award
Debbie has been the sole Program Director at Garden City Co-op Preschool since 1996. Prior to this, her children attended the program where she also served on the parent board.  Using her teaching background and experience as a mother of three, Debbie has touched the lives of countless families.  She is involved in many professional organizations and serves as a mentor to other programs in the area. Parents believe Miss Debbie to be the foundation in the growth and development of their children making her the backbone of Garden City Co-op.

Nancy Renner
Fort Hunt Preschool, Alexandria, Virginia
District Award
Nancy's many talents - administrative, writing, and even her legal skills - were put to the test over the last two years as the Virginia Department of Social Services sought to change licensing regulations in a way that threatened the existence of cooperative schools throughout the state.  Nancy spearheaded a lengthy campaign with the regulatory bodies, enlisting the help of many volunteers across Virginia. When that route didn't prove successful, Nancy persevered and pressed on for a legislative solution, and as a result of her leadership, a law was passed giving Virginia cooperatives long-term protection from regulatory changes related to parent training.

Ashley Heacock

Andrew Pennock
Chancellor Street Preschool Cooperative, Charlottesville, Virginia

Stafford Ward
Fort Hunt Preschool, Alexandria, Virginia

Outstanding Achievement Award
Parent cooperative preschools in Virginia have a more than 75-year history of providing affordable, high quality, safe preschools to Virginia's families. That history likely would be drawing to a close had three co-op parents not joined in efforts to save Virginia's co-ops from proposed regulations eliminating a long-standing training exemption for cooperative parents.  The collaboration of this group of parents played a critical role in securing a training exemption for co-ops via legislation.  Their united efforts helped to preserve Virginia's parent cooperatives.  

Julie Soper
Garden City Co-op Preschool, Garden City, Michigan
Outstanding Achievement Award
Julie held the office of Secretary, Membership, and President during her time at Garden City Co-op Preschool.  Since graduating she has come back to help with graduation every year.  She is also the school's substitute teacher, and she provides child care during co-op member meetings.  She has a heart of gold and a spirit that lights up a room, and everyone who knows her is better because of it.

Mariah Battison
Burnaby, British Columbia
National Award for Demonstrated Leadership
Mariah doesn't just stand on the sidelines to watch; she rolls up her sleeves and dives in. Her list of achievements is long and varied, including work within her children's preschool and their French language public schools.  Soccer and Scouting organizations have also benefited from her involvement as did the CPPP office where she worked as office administrator from 2008-2017.  She served as PCPI VP Membership for several years including publishing the Directory, and she jumped right into the position of PCPI President when her co-president needed to step back.  Mariah always attends the PCPI meetings with enthusiasm and thoughtful insight and ideas.

Dianne Rose
Hunters Woods Cooperative Preschool,  Reston, Virginia
National Award for Demonstrated Leadership and Recipient of the Robin Garthright Bunster Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dianne is one of the most inspiring, energetic and passionate people you will ever meet. She sees the best in every one of her students and strives to challenge and nurture them every day. She is a consummate professional, supporting colleagues and being actively involved in many professional associations. She doesn't know the word "no", only "how can we make that work?" Dianne does everything she can to support Hunters Woods Cooperative Preschool and the surrounding community. She has also served as the editor of Cooperatively Speaking since 2016, redesigned the PCPI website, and fills the role of Vice President (Resources). She is motivated by her belief that cooperative preschools are good not only for students and parents, but also for the entire community that is lucky enough to have one.

Dr. Anne Eddowes
Sandusky, Ohio
Honorary Life Membership
Anne has made a lifetime commitment, as an educator and an academic, to young children and their families.  In the mid-1960's, she became a member of PCPI, shortly after its founding as the American Council of Parent Cooperatives. For a number of years, she wrote the book review column in Cooperatively Speaking , and in 2007 she edited PCPI's publication Sharing Among Us: Parents, Teachers and Children Communicate .  The depth and breadth of Anne's skills are astonishing and she has not hesitated to share them with us. Additionally, she has been an extremely generous financial supporter of PCPI.

60 Years Already?
PCPI will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2020. Plans are underway for the next Annual Meeting, which will be held in Portland, OR in 2020 (dates TBD).

Have photos or memories to share?  

Photos and other memorabilia from the 50th Anniversary in Indianapolis to 2019 are being collected now. Please contact if you have print or digital photos or other items that you think would be of interest. 

Would you like to be included on the planning team?  

Planning a party is better done with friends.  If you'd like to be a part of the 60th anniversary planning fun, please contact and we'll add you to the team.    

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