June 3, 2021
TCPG and Site Council board elections
Electing the Board
  • There are no contested positions, but we'll proceed with the elections process as mandated in our bylaws.
  • Read candidate statements for nominees below.
  • Chair and committee positions are still open and your participation is welcomed! See a list of vacancies at the bottom of this page. For more information, please contact chair@thorntoncreek.org or volunteer@thorntoncreek.org.
  • Note that candidates running as co-chairs are running as a team, so votes for either of them will be cast for that team.
  • Positions marked with an asterisk (*) are voting positions on the Site Council executive committee.
  • Information about the Thornton Creek Parent Group and Site Council officer, chairs, and committees' roles can be found here.
How to Vote
  • Voting will begin Thursday, June 10, 2021. Check your inbox for your Google form ballot (be sure to check your spam box!). Due to no access for parents/guardians inside the school building this year, paper ballots will only be available between 2pm - 4pm on Thursday, June 10 at the library courtyard doors (entrance at the rain garden, corner of 40th Ave. and 77th St.).
  • Voting closes on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 8:00 a.m.
  • After the voting closes, results will be tallied and sent by Site Council Special Edition Newsletter, June 17.

Questions? Contact volunteer@thorntoncreek.org
NOTE: Gmail may clip the content of this newsletter. View the full version on the web here.
Candidate Statements
We thank the following TC community members for stepping up to lead TCPG and Site Council for the 2021-22 school year! We encourage you to consider volunteering to fill one of the vacant positions, listed in the section after the Candidate Statements, below.
Candidate for Chair*
Though she's spent her career writing and editing for some of Seattle's top magazines and websites, Chelsea Lin is still uncomfortable writing about herself in the third person. She first fell in love with Thornton Creek on a tour six (six?!) years ago, when her now rising fifth grader was just a wee preschooler; she fell in love again this year watching her pandemic kindergartner navigate Letterland through Teams meetings. Though Chelsea's heart will always belong to the hospitality committee—because there's nothing people love more than Pie Day and homemade cookies—she's excited about the opportunity to lead Site Council through a(nother) transformative year, with peace and patience and baked goods. 
Candidate for Secretary
Roddy Theobald is the parent of rising first grade and preschool students at Thornton Creek. He does education policy research for American Institutes for Research in Seattle.
Emily Mitchell
Candidate for Communications Committee Chair*

Hi! My son will be a 5th grader at TC. He's benefited greatly from the wonderful, caring staff and community here. I've been part of the communications team for 4 years now, and I'm excited to help guide our evolving communications streams to more effectively reach every family. 
Candidates for After School Enrichment Committee (Co-Chairs)
I have been a co-chair of the After School Enrichment committee for three years now, and have been lucky to work with my co-chair, Megan Tremain. I have two kiddos at TC – one in 1st grade and one in 3rd grade. Megan and I look forward to hopefully reinstating the program this school year and providing students and families with fun and safe after school enrichment opportunities.  
megan tremain
Lisa Berman and I have been co-chairs of the After School Enrichment (ASE) committee for three years. Together, we are up for the challenge of integrating ASE back into our kids' lives! I currently have a son in 3rd grade and a daughter that will start at Thornton Creek soon. On weekdays (when I'm not driving the kids to and from school), I run a small architecture business with my husband. On weekends, our family enjoys playing sports, throwing the ball for our dog and camping. 
Candidate for Facilities Committee Co-Chair
Jana Dilley is the mom of two Thornton Creek kids in kindergarten and 3rd grade. She is a certified arborist and has been a professional urban forester for almost 20 years. She is deeply familiar with landscape restoration and maintenance. As Facilities co-chair in the 2020 / 2021 school year she has been working with parent volunteers and the District over the past year to renovate the Thornton Creek preschool / K / 1 courtyard and the rain garden / library patio area. She has run more volunteer landscape stewardship work parties than she can count. In her professional life she manages a pollution prevention community engagement team for Seattle Public Utilities, including the City of Seattle's residential urban forestry engagement program, Trees for Seattle, and the Rain Wise program to install rain gardens. She has a passion for getting kids outside and digging in dirt.

Jana needs a Co-Chair! She can handle the outside landscaping work but needs someone else to handle the building / inside / lost and found work. Does this sound like a good fit for you? Your participation as co-chair is welcomed! For more information, please contact chair@thorntoncreek.org or volunteer@thorntoncreek.org.
Candidate for Fundraising Committee (Co-Chair)*
Kathleen Phan
Kathleen is a mom of two spunky daughters going into 4th grade and 1st. She works at the University of Washington as Director for Advancement for College of the Environment, connecting the philanthropic community in support of students, faculty and world class research. She moved from the Bay Area six years ago and is grateful for the friends her family has made at Thornton Creek. On the weekends you'll find Kathleen and her family hiking, biking, and eat veggies grown from their garden.

Your participation as co-chair is welcomed! For more information, please contact chair@thorntoncreek.org or volunteer@thorntoncreek.org.
Candidates for Health and Safety Committee (Co-Chairs)
Courtney is the parent of two daughters who will be going into 3rd and 5th grade next year. She has enjoyed volunteering at Thornton Creek in classrooms and the library, and last year served as Health and Safety co-chair alongside Erica Seddig. Courtney has also worked as a nurse at Virginia Mason Medical Center for the past 13 years. While navigating the ever changing covid pandemic has been challenging to say the least, she is looking forward to next fall and ready to help make our return to full time school be the safest it can be! 
Erica’s family joined Thornton Creek Elementary when the new building opened and her daughter entered as a kindergartener. Her daughter is now a rising 5th grader (!), and her son will be a 3rd grader. That first year set a strong foundation of friendships and love for the school community that only continues to strengthen as the years go on. Erica has been a health educator and counselor for teens, women and the homeless focusing on disease prevention and community health. This past year, Erica served as co-chair for the Health and Safety Committee alongside Courtney Bell. They have been immersing themselves in local and national COVID guidance in order to bring information and resources to our school. This fall, with full in person learning planned, the Health and Safety team will continue to keep Thornton Creek’s safety as a top priority.  
Candidate for Volunteer Committee
Jenny Pinto is helping to run this year’s volunteer committee because she’s a big-time believer in the motto “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Mom to two Thornton Creek studentsa rising 5th grader and a rising 3rd graderJenny’s also a wife, a friend, a freelance writer and an expert parallel parker. She’s a lover, not a fighter, but this past year definitely felt like an uphill battle, and somehow she made it through with her sanity (mostly) intact. She says, “Bring it, 2021-2022!"
Open Board Positions
Many vacancies remain. Please consider stepping into one of the following roles. For more information, please contact the current committee chair (linked below), or contact chair@thorntoncreek.org or volunteer@thorntoncreek.org.
Vice chair* - currently Elizabeth Duffell
  • The vice chair supports the chair position, and in the absence or disability of the chair, performs the duties of the chair.
Treasurer*/Finance Chair - currently Jacob Clark Blickenstaff
  • Prepares the budget, keeping and disbursing all monies of the TCPG, and managing a committee to ensure accurate books of accounts of all transactions of the Parent Group.
Curriculum Chair* - currently Jesica Avellone
  • Supports Expeditionary Learning, Responsive Classroom, and all alternative curricula used in our unique program through educating the parent community and supporting the strength of these programs.
  • Compiles and produces the yearly expedition newsletter.
District Relations Chair* - currently Susan Callari
  • Monitors proposals that are under consideration by the school board and school district.
  • Fosters and maintains relationships with other schools and educational groups.
  • Represents the views and concerns of the Site Council to the larger Seattle Public School community.
Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity (EDI)* - Vacant
  • Plans and implements school-wide diversity events for students, families, and staff.
  • Supports and encourages discussions about diversity at Thornton Creek to facilitate understanding and celebration of differences.
Facilities Co-chairs - currently Jana Dilley, Zoe Kappelman
  • Proposes and implements improvements to and maintenance of facilities, including landscaping, water quality, and earthquake preparedness.
  • Manages the lost-and-found.
Fundraising Co-chairs - currently Kathleen Phan, Jennifer Schlobohm
  • Plans and coordinates events to raise funds for Thornton Creek Parent Group
Grant Writing - Vacant
  • Research and pursue available funding and donation sources. 
Hospitality Chair* - currently Karen Wirkala
  • Organizes the welcoming events for new families, and first day of school coffee. 
  • Plans a variety of appreciation events for teachers and staff.
  • Coordinates school tours.
Ombudsperson - currently Sarah McVay
Parent Enrichment - vacant
  • Organizes parent education events.
  • Produces a yearly summary of expeditions, such as the Expedition Newsletter. 
Recruitment and Hiring - currently Anna Marshall
  • Promotes and facilitates parent participation in hiring Thornton creek teachers, staff, and administration.
Special Education Chair* - currently co-chaired by Julie Shin, Beck Weinhold
  • Supports community building among and advocacy on behalf of families of students with special needs.
  • Promotes inclusion of students with special needs in all school activities.
  • Plans and coordinates parent education events relating to special education.
Thornton Creek Is a Box Tops for Education School. Look for new BLUE Box Top coupons on products (e.g. Cascadian Farm cereal), and then just scan your receipt. Get the app at BTFE.com.
Our Office Depot School ID# is: 70107343. Purchases of school and office supplies at Office Depot will return a 5% credit to Thornton Creek. www.officedepot.com/a/content/back-to-school/5percent/
Submitting news or thank-you notes for publication: Please read the submission guidelines. Then, e-mail your item to the editors. Blurbs must be plain text (no Word documents) and generally have a 200 word limit. Attach any image as a PNG or JPG image file. Content is due on 2nd and 4th Mondays for the 1st and 3rd Monday editions.
Advertising Review/Approval Process: Per Seattle Public School Board Policy, outside materials must be approved before being distributed. The materials must meet district criteria, be approved by the Office of Public Affairs, and be submitted with the approval form attached. You can find details regarding the review/approval process here. All requests to include information in newsletters should be submitted via this process.

Jessica Williams-Nguyen, Chair
Elizabeth Duffell, Vice-Chair
Jacob Blickenstaff, Treasurer
Roddy Theobald, Secretary


Tel.: 206-252-5300
Fax: 206-252-5301

Principal:  Alexandra Benfield
Asst. Principal: Laurie Miller

Bell Times:
8:00am to 2:30pm

Wednesday (remote)
8:00am to 1:15pm

Call 206-252-5304, or e-mail the office.