Bonnie Russell

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Bonnie Russell
Syracuse, NY
Empire State PTSA, Albany, NY

Personal and Professional Information

  • Resides in Syracuse, NY, with husband Charlie. Son Ryan and daughter Molly are both recent college graduates that are gainfully employed and living on their own. Likes to crochet, read, play piano, and spend time with family.
  • West Genesee Central School District: School Information/Communications Officer (2006-Present); Website Coordinator (2002-Present); Adult Education Director (2001-2006)
  • Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield: Quality Management Trainer (1996-2001); Project Manager/ Manager/Supervisor (1992-1999); Personal Computer Support (1988-1992); Financial Specialist (1985-1988)


PTA Involvement

Current service includes:

  • National PTA: Local Unit PTA Boot Camp Advocacy 101-Co-Speaker; Slated Candidate for NLRC
  • Southeastern Region PTA: Assistant Director supporting 7 units and one council (2018-present)
  • Empire State PTSA: Member (2014-present)
  • Member of 9 other units in the state of NY; 3 other states; National PTA State Presidents Club

Previous service includes:

  • National PTA: Workshop Presenter (2016, 2018); Convention Microphone Monitor (2017); Gun Safety Task Force (2016-2017); Legislation Conference Attendee (2015, 2016, 2018); Convention Attendee (2008, 2014-2019)
  • NYS PTA: Immediate Past President, State and Local Relationships Committee Chair, Elections Committee Chair, Technology Comm. Chair, Budget/Finance Committee member, Social Media Consultant (2016-Nov 2018); President (2014-2016); Vice President (2009-2011, 2012-2014); Website Specialist (2011); Nominating Committee Member (2007, 2010); New York Parent Teacher Editor (2008-2010); Parent Involvement Chair (2008)
  • Central Region PTA: Past Region Director/Special Assignee (2010-2018); Assistant Director (2004-2010, 2013); Region Director (2005-08); Region Treasurer (2004-05)
  • Council/Unit: Empire State PTSA President (2016- 2018); West Genesee PTA Council President (2008-2010); West Genesee Middle School PTA Shared Decision Making and PCIC Rep. (2004-2007); Stonehedge Elementary PTA-President (2002-2004), VP-Legislation & Awards (2001-2002), Publicity/Cultural/Reflections (2004-2006), District Council Rep. (2001)

Community Involvement

Current service includes:

  • McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center: Volunteer (2018-present)
  • NYS Child Mentoring Program: Mentor-(2016-present)
  • Meals on Wheels: Kitchen Helper (2000-present)

Previous service includes:

  • NYSPRA (NY School Public Relations Assoc.): Treasurer (2013-2015); member (2005-present)
  • Church: Lay Leader for Communication (2008-2009); Acolyte Coordinator (2003-2007);
  • Campfire Board of Directors: Vice President for Finance (2001-2003); Candy Coordinator (2000-2002)
  • Girl Scouts: Cookie Coordinator (2005-2008)

Honors and Awards 

  • National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • NYS PTA: Diamond Award; Growth in Leadership Phase 1 & 2; Honorary Life Member; Distinguished Service Award; Advocate in Action Award; ACT Award