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PTO Board Elections

BALLOTS will be sent home on Friday, May 5th. 

    Get to know your candidates!

    Vice – President Candidates:


    Brittney Coffey

    I love this school, and I am excited to submit my application for the PTO VP. For the past three years, I have been extremely involved as a parent volunteer and working alongside the PTO. As an active member of the ECC team, I have enjoyed creating a “family” within our awesome school. I have been room-mom for Mrs. Van der Veer & Mrs. Coffey (no relation—but, my 8yr old thinks it’s super cool to have a teacher with the same name). Professionally, my background is in corporate marketing and as a fitness business owner. Currently, I am the Assistant Director of Business Development for a girls multi-sport camp. As a regular attendee of PTO meetings, I am keenly aware of how the board functions. As the VP, I will bring strong leadership, energy, and a team-oriented focus to carry out the goals of the PTO.


    Jennifer Foster

    I have worked in child centered non profits my entire adult life.  I excel in organizing events and and creating and maintain camaraderie.  I want to be a part of the Excel PTO board to continue to foster the sense of community that has been so important to me and my girls.  I believe that children do better in an environment where they feel wanted, connected and accepted.  Parents are more engaged in education when they feel connected and are accepted as they are.  This is what my family has found at Excel and I would like to be part of continuing this.



    VP of Volunteers Candidates:


    Amy Copeland

    I taught second grade in Arkansas for several years and have a good understanding of what it takes to make a school successful.  I believe parent volunteers are very important to the function of the school and I would also really like to be involved in all aspects of Excel next year.  My son will be attending Kindergarten next year.  I also work part time and have a flexible schedule so I know I can donate lots of hours when needed.


    Amanda Nieser

    This year was our first year at Excel Academy.  As a family we have been profoundly impressed with the dedication and talent of the Excel community, and I would love nothing more than to give back to that community by offering my service as the Vice President of Volunteers.  Professionally, my career in office and project management has given me the skills to expertly organize large-scale events and projects, and my background in writing and marketing has offered me the opportunity to master the art of communication, not to mention quite an array of software programs!  Personally, i’m just a fan of building relationships and helping people! I believe strongly that the effect of a parent’s contributions to their child’s education cannot be understated, and I would honored to be a part of a team with the same philosophy.


    Jennifer Pepper

    As a professional, I have managed volunteers for eight years. Six of those years as the Program Director for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and two years as the Divisional Director of Volunteer Services for The Salvation Army in Denver. Personally, I have volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, Youth Soccer Coach, Team Captain for Relay for Life, and participated in events for Nature’s Educators.  I enjoy working along-side other volunteers, because of their interest and dedication to the organization they are devoting time to. As my second child moves through Excel Academy, over the coming 4 years, I would like to become involved with Excel Academy as member of the PTO. I believe strongly in the mission and vision of this school, and would be grateful if I were chosen to be their ambassador of volunteerism.



    Treasurer Candidates:


    Dennis Cisco

    My name is Dennis Cisco and I would like to be considered for the Excel PTO Treasurer position. My wife and I have been with the Excel family for a year with our children Kara (2nd) and Zach (K). We strongly believe in being part of the community and want to be part of the success at Excel. I’ve been a CPA nearly my entire career and have no issue rolling up my sleeves getting into the detail then stepping back to communicate to financial statement users so they clearly understand. My background working with large and small corporate tax departments as well as small business cultivated the soft skills to work across functions and collaborate folks to work toward common goals. My career in taxes will serve the Board well in the position of Treasurer. In addition to my work as a tax manager I also keep the books and records for a small business using QuickBooks and perform the reconciling summaries for financials, bank accounts and information for the owners. It’s my sincere desire to serve the PTO board and Excel community.


    Becky Schovanec

    I am interested in serving as Treasurer for Excel Academy as a way to give back to the school and participate more fully in the school’s activities.  My qualifications for the Treasurer position include over 15 years managing complex budgets including a project portfolio of over $25 million/year, as well as being responsible for a departmental budget.

    My background includes over 20 years working in IT, evolving from a network engineer to project manager to Project Management Office Director.   In my free time, I enjoy gardening, genealogy, traveling and spending time with family.

    In addition to increasing my involvement with the school, I feel it is important to participate in community service as a model to my son Thomas.



    Description of Roles (from our By-laws):

    President. The president shall be the principal executive officer of the Corporation and, subject to the control of the board of directors, shall in general supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the Corporation. The president shall, when present, preside at all meetings of the members and of the board of directors. The president may sign contracts, or other instruments as shall be required by law to otherwise be signed or executed; and in general shall perform all duties incident to the office of president and such other duties as may be prescribed by the board of directors from time to time. 

    Vice-President. In the absence of the president or in the event of the president’s death, inability or refusal to act, the first vice-president shall perform the duties of the president, and when so acting, shall have all the powers of and be subject to all restrictions upon the president and shall perform such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him by the president or by the board of directors. The Vice-president shall also assist the president in managing events and administrative tasks, as needed.

    Secretary. The secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the board of directors, shall have custody of the seal of the Corporation (if any), shall have charge of such other books and papers as the board of directors may direct and shall, in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of the secretary. 

    Treasurer. The treasurer shall have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the Corporation, shall deposit all such funds in the name of the corporation in such depositories as shall be designated by the board of directors, shall keep correct and complete books and records of account and records of financial transaction and condition of the corporation and shall submit such reports thereof as a board of directors may, from time to time require. In addition, the treasurer shall perform all duties normally incident to the duties of a treasurer, and such other duties as a board of directors may determine from time to time.

    Good to know:

    - PTO Board of Directors members are elected for two year terms, alternating Treasury, Vice-president and VP of Volunteers, with President and Secretary. 

    - Applications to the board are collected in March/ April every year, for the positions available for the upcoming school year, with elections being held in April or May. 

    - In case a term ends early, a special election will be held for the remainder of that term only.

    2017-2019 Election Timeline:

    4/01 Announce via Friday Folders, Excel Files, Posting, Broadcast  e-mail, word of mouth

    4/01 Applications available online and from office

    4/21 Application deadline at close of business at 4PM 

    5/6 Ballots sent home 

    5/12 Ballot return Deadline 4pm

    5/12 Close, Certify & Count ballots after close of business at 4PM 

     5/16 Announce new PTO Board
    New Board assume their positions as of 7/1/17

    Current Board Bios

    President - Suzanne Harris

    Term (2016-2018)

    I have been the PTO Secretary for the past two years. I have observed the leadership of the current president and would like to continue and build on the ideas she has implemented. The team approach, which has been fostered the past two years, has made the PTO successful and I would like to assist in continuing the PTO’s mission with a seamless transition.

    I have a 1st and 3rd grader attending Excel. I am the Office Administrator for a Family Law office and have worked for the firm for over 20 years. Along with being the PTO Secretary, I am part of several committees and actively involved with the Excel Community Connections. I have volunteered and assisted with most of the major events at the school, as well as volunteering in the classroom and on field trips. I am committed to Excel and want to provide as much support and assistance as I can.

    Vice President - Alicia Smith-Hoagland (Term 2105-2017)

    My name is Alicia Smith-Hoagland.  I have lived in Colorado my whole life and in the Arvada area specifically for 10 years.  My son Dylan is in second grade and we have twin toddlers who will also attend Excel in 3 years.  I have been a geriatric physician assistant for nearly 10 years. I have served on leadership boards several times in the past and I understand the challenges involved.  I will bring thoughtfulness, compassion and a “can do” attitude to the PTO meetings. Choosing to send our son to Excel for his education has been a wonderful experience.  We have been constantly impressed about the educational programs, as well as the competent, kind and caring staff and the involved parents.  It is my desire to get more involved with the school by joining the PTO board.  I am excited to serve the Excel community in this way.  

    Vice President of Volunteers - Shelley Smith (Term 2105-2017)

    I respectfully submit my candidacy for the position of VP of Volunteers on the PTO Board.  My experience as an Elementary Educator has given me a broad understanding of the educational community.  I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in 2004 and taught in the Orange County School system.  My volunteering experience at Excel Academy for the past three years has helped me learn the unique elements of Excel.  I have enjoyed volunteering in a variety of ways; from the lunchroom, to the classroom, to major fundraising events like Laps for Learning, to being a founding member of the Excel Community Connection.  I have a flexible schedule that allows me to commit to the causes that matter most to me: my family, my community, and my children’s education.  My family is supportive and encouraging of my efforts.  I am extremely passionate about our school and the positive upslope we are on.  I am an excellent fit for this role and able and willing to commit to the responsibilities of this position.

    Secretary - Laura Payette (Term 2106-2018)

    I really enjoy being part of the Excel community. Since I work full-time, it’s sometimes hard to participate in daytime activities. Serving on the PTO board would be an excellent way to contribute more fully at a time of day that works with my schedule. I document and distill information on a daily basis as part of my job, so taking notes, distributing them and communicating outwardly from the PTO is easily doable. (Professionally I work as an instructional designer, which means I help write, design and deploy corporate training; it involves working with many people across the world to gather key information, focus it and distill it to its essence, all in an engaging and relevant manner.) I also really enjoy connecting people and would be glad to be one of the faces of the PTO who helps connect others, whether to each other or to key information.

    Treasurer - Christine Sanders (Term 2105-2017)

    Thank you for considering me for the Treasurer position.  To very briefly summarize, my husband and I own multiple companies.  I perform all accounting duties for our businesses and provide reports/documentation to our Corporate Accountant, so that quarterly and annual tax returns are filed timely.  My day-to day accounting responsibilities include: utilizing QuickBooks Pro 2014 to reconcile bank statements, prepare deposits, assigning correct Chart of Accounts for all debit and credit entries, issue check payment to Vendors and organize/document/file all logs, receipts, etc. within and outside of QuickBooks [e.g. invoices that checks are written for, receipts for any credit card charges, etc.  I’m confident my accounting skills and background make me a solid candidate and I would be honored to serve as the next PTO Treasurer.

    Excel PTO,
    Apr 10, 2017, 6:38 PM
    Excel PTO,
    Apr 10, 2017, 6:38 PM
    Excel PTO,
    Apr 10, 2017, 7:06 PM