July 16-18, 2015 - Richmond Marriott - Downtown

Our thanks to all those who attended our Annual Conference. We provided over 60 workshops covering a myriad of topics. Fifty two companies/organizations filled the exhibit hall with great program and fundraising ideas as well as business solutions. They are all represented in our Virtual Exhibit Hall until Dec. 31 – for your convenience.

The conference began with an awards breakfast where the School Nurse of the Year - Sharlene Stovall, Volunteers of the Year - Dorothy Walsh and Mary Hagopian were recognized. Virginia's First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe graciously received Virginia PTA's Child Advocate of the Year, citing her service in providing meals for school children. Membership awards were presented to our PTAs.

We also received greetings from Secretary of Education Anne Holton, who also presented a workshop. Video greetings from National PTA President Laura Bay and Governor Terry McAuliffe were shared.

It was amazing to see so many PTA members participate in our annual meeting where three resolutions were presented, "The Dangers of E-Cigarette Smoking," Dyslexia Resolution," and "Parental SOL Opt-Out Designation on Non-End of Course (EOC) SOL Tests". All three resolutions were approved, some with amendments.

Virginia PTA, District PTA, Council PTA, and Local Unit PTA revised bylaws were presented to the voting body and approved. The delegates considered those bylaws article by article to ensure everyone had an opportunity to debate. One revision in bylaws called for a membership dues increase from $1.00 to $1.50. Some of the salient points raised were: Virginia PTA had made over $60,000 in budget cuts that would have impacted service to our local units; even at raising it to $1.50, Virginia PTA dues remain one of the lowest of all state PTAs dues. For over twenty minutes many delegates spoke to and asked questions about the proposed dues increase. The article with the dues increase passed with an overwhelming majority.

The resolutions and revised bylaws will be available on our website and included in the Local Unit Presidents Mailing scheduled for August 14th.

Delegates also elected the Virginia PTA officers for the 2015 – 2017 term: President-Elect - Sarah Gross, First Vice President of Training - Amy Harbert, Second Vice President of Membership - Donna Colombo, Secretary - Scott Rhyne, and Treasurer - Irene Smith.

The meeting closed with words from Virginia PTA President Brenda Sheridan, highlighting her term. Brenda received the President's Honor Award and National PTA Life Achievement Award for her dedication to all children. Brenda goes on to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of National PTA.