Newsletter for the week of March 13, 2023


In this issue:

  •  Next PTSA meeting: March 22
  •  Vaping speaker: March 29
  •  Bravo to Math Olympiad
  •  Staff Appreciation signups
  •  Emergency Prep Corner
  •  Staff Spotlight
  •  Thank you, sponsors
  • News & events

Stay informed about what’s happening at Leota 


See you at the next PTSA meeting on March 22

Mark your calendar: The next Leota PTSA General Membership meeting will be Wednesday, March 22, at 7 pm. (Note the rescheduled date!) Zoom link will be shared with members a couple days before the meeting.

Come to the meeting and learn how YOU can make a difference at your child’s school. Elections for next year’s Leota PTSA Board are coming up in May. The Treasurer and President will soon max out their terms, so those roles--along with other Board roles--will be open to new volunteers.


For parents: How to talk to your kids about vaping

You may be aware that vaping of nicotine or marijuana can cause long-lasting health problems for your children, but do you know how to talk to your kids about it?

The Leota PTSA is hosting a parent-education program to address this urgent topic. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Samantha Haley, a primary care pediatrician at Woodinville Pediatrics. Dr. Haley will share facts about vaping’s effects on tweens/teens and provide useful tips on talking to your kids about vaping.

The talk will be on Zoom and will take place Wednesday, March 29, at 7-8 pm. A Zoom link will be sent a couple days before the event.

This talk is open to all parents and guardians of current Leota students. Please mark your calendar for this very important event.

Bravo to Math Olympiad

It is full speed ahead for your Leota Math Olympiad team!

Congrats to the top 12 Leota students who competed in the MathCounts chapter competition: Gagana Rudra Bodala, Guhan Thiagarajan, Nalyn Annepu, Rishi Khante, Ronit Agarwal, Liam Chang, Varun Ramanathan, Aadi Shah, Andy Yang, Sushanth Vegineti, Jonathan Park, and Isaac Lo.

Going on to the MathCounts state competition at the end of March are Gagana Rudra Bodala, Guhan Thiagarajan, Nalyn Annepu, and Ronit Agarwal.

Also, moving forward in the Math is Cool state competition in April are Guhan Thiagarajan and Nalyn Annepu.

The highest Leota scores in the MOEM competition came from Nalyn Annepu and Rishi Khante (who tied for 1st); Gagana Rudra Bodala (3rd); and Ronit Agarwal, Ishan Awasthi, and Guhan Thiagarajan (tied for 4th).

Way to go, mathletes! Way to represent Leota!



Volunteers needed

Learn how you can help make Leota more awesome

Staff Appreciation events

Can you believe there are only a few more months left in this school year? We’re finishing strong with another soup lunch in April, and a few opportunities to spoil our wonderful staff for Staff Appreciation Week in May. Please click the links and see where you can help. Volunteers, we appreciate YOU!

April 5: Soup
Staff Appreciation Week: Gift cards
May 8: Donuts and treats
May 10: Taco bar


Reminder: Volunteer background checks 

To volunteer on campus at Leota or any other facility in the Northshore School District, you’ll need to submit an online application for a Level 1 background check. Volunteers must update the application every year, and it must be completed before the first day of volunteering. To begin the process, visit the district’s Become a Volunteer webpage. 


Emergency Prep Corner

Tips to help families navigate emergencies


Tip: What to do in the event of a school evacuation

Evacuation is the designation that NSD uses when it’s safer for students to be outside rather than inside, such as an interior gas leak or unstable building structure due to a natural disaster. In an evacuation, students and staff leave the building using similar procedures as in a fire drill.
In the event of an evacuation, parents are urged NOT to rush to school to pick up their child. Our school is in an area where additional traffic may impede needed emergency vehicles from arriving. Once the situation is under control, students and parents will be coordinated to be reunited in a safe, orderly, and timely manner. All emergency contacts and parents need picture identification in order to pick up their student.


Did you know? Leota has received praise from the Woodinville Fire Department for its coordination and safety measures during evacuation drills. Great job!   Check out the next PTSA Newsletter for another emergency prep tip!

Did you know? Leota has received praise from the Woodinville Fire Department for its coordination and safety measures during evacuation drills. Great job! 

Check out the next PTSA Newsletter for another emergency prep tip!


Staff Spotlight

Get to know the teachers and staff who make Leota a great place


Taryn Bakkane

School Counselor (6th grade this year)

Favorite meal? Anything breakfast, but especially eggs Benedict.

What do you like to do on weekends? Camping, gardening, reading, hiking, and rockhounding!

Tell us about your pet. Lucy! She used to be a wild little dog but now she loves to snuggle and eat treats.

What kind of books do you like to read? All types of fiction: science fiction, fantasy, happy ones, sad ones, thought-provoking ones, funny ones. :)

Do you speak any languages besides English? Working on my Norwegian!

What’s on your bucket list? I’d love to do some sort of hut-to-hut backpacking trip in an awe-inspiring mountain range.

Melanie Spencer

Main Office Secretary, ASB Secretary

What do you like to do on weekends? Hike, spend time with family, and go to sporting events.

Why did you decide to work in education? Really enjoy helping middle-school-age students and helping families.

Which sports teams do you follow? Mariners, Seahawks, and Valparaiso Baseball.

Tell us about your pet. Beau, a Bernese Mountain dog. He is super-sweet.

Do you play an instrument? Piano.

Favorite TV shows? Anything on Hallmark. :) Or HGTV.

What kind of books do you like to read? All genres.

Favorite travel destinations? Hawaii, Lake Chelan.

Check out the next PTSA Newsletter for another Staff Spotlight!


Thank you, sponsors 

We couldn’t do this without you 


The Leota PTSA would like to thank all of the Paving the Way donors, and especially this year’s sponsors (listed below). Our programs and events are possible because of you all!  

Lionheart Champion: Sylvia Bagley 

Lionheart Hero: Cheng Peng 

Lionheart Friends: Theresa Held, Monique Coleman, Fleur Tanner 


Your generosity is already at work! To date, projects and programs include:  

  • Improving the sound system during emergencies 
  • Fixing the refrigerator door in the nurse’s office 
  • WEB T-shirts 
  • Choir 
  • ASB


Let’s get social 

For the latest news and opportunities, follow us on social media:  

Join the Facebook page Leota Middle School PTSA  

Join the Facebook private group Leota PTSA Volunteers and Info 


About us 

Leota PTSA is a parent, teacher, staff, and student membership organization that advocates for all students. We make a variety of educational and community programs possible at Leota. For more information, visit www.leotaptsa.com

We hope this biweekly newsletter is a valuable resource to learn about the events, programs, and opportunities available to all Leota families. Thanks for reading! 

We welcome your feedback and suggestions for the PTSA Newsletter. Please email them to communications@leotaptsa.com


Copyright © 2023 Leota PTSA, All rights reserved.