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National PTA Names Center for Family Engagement Equity Fellows

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
703-518-1242

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 14, 2020)—National PTA is pleased to announce that five PTA leaders from across the country have been selected to serve as equity fellows with the Center for Family Engagement over the next year. The fellowship is part of National PTA’s efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion throughout PTA.

The equity fellows are:

  • Valentina Conetta (Connecticut)

    Valentina Conetta is president of APPLES PTA in Stamford, Conn. As president, Conetta is focused on ensuring families from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life are engaged and represented in the school and PTA.

  • Tiffany Foster (North Carolina)

    Tiffany Foster is president of Durham Council of PTAs in Durham, N.C. and serves on National PTA’s membership committee. As a PTA leader, Foster is focused on combating negative stereotypes while creating intentional dialogues that enhance PTA’s diversity efforts. 

  • Katrina Long (Georgia)

    Katrina Long is the principal of Reese Road Leadership Academy in Columbus, Ga., and an active member of the school’s PTA. The demographics at Reese Road Leadership Academy are changing, and Long is committed to learning and using best practices to close gaps between subgroups at the school.

  • Caridad (Mini) Martinez (Florida)

    Mini Martinez is president of Crystal Lake Elementary School PTA in Lake Mary, Fla. She is passionate about advocating for all families and developing practical and relevant resources for PTAs around equity.

  • Heather Zirke (Ohio)
    Heather Zirke currently serves as president of Berea-Midpark Middle School PTA in Berea, Ohio. She is committed to learning and using diversity, equity and inclusion strategies to attract and retain diverse voices in PTA. 

“Our school communities are incredibly diverse, and it is critical that all families feel welcomed and supported and that their perspectives are represented,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “We are thrilled to select Valentina, Tiffany, Katrina, Mini and Heather to serve as equity fellows. They are exceptional leaders who are committed to ensuring the perspectives and needs of all families are represented and supported in all school communities.”

As fellows, Conetta, Foster, Long, Martinez and Zirke will expand their knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and best practices. They will also support the development of tools and resources that will help guide PTAs nationwide in becoming more equitable. Additionally, they will share their knowledge and experience with their local stakeholders and champion equity in their own communities.

“When we ensure that all communities have a voice and share power in shaping PTA, we gain strength and effectiveness in helping schools improve and making a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of every child,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “The equity fellows will play an important role in supporting PTAs across the country in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. We look forward to the positive change they will help us create in all school communities and for all children.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.