Viewing posts from: May 2021

2021 NCPTA Award Winners Announced

And the Winners are…

The Awards program of the North Carolina PTA provides us with the opportunity recognize and celebrate the exemplary efforts of PTA/PTSA units, councils, community partners, and individuals throughout our state. It is an opportunity to say “thank you” to deserving people who have contributed greatly to improving the lives of children. NCPTA is incredibly proud to announce the 2021 winners:

Diversity and Inclusion

 Pearsontown Elementary School PTA, Durham

Gwin G Hughes Healthy Living

Evan Finch, Carpenter Elementary School, Cary

Heroes and Helpers

Lanier Lewis, Sternberger Elementary School, Greensboro

Outstanding Student Service

Audrey Guyler, Northern Guilford High School, Greensboro

Outstanding Volunteer

William Herrera, Thomas Jefferson Middle School PTA, Winston-Salem

Principal of the Year

Dr. Janiese McKenzie, Northern Guilford High School, Greensboro

School Nurse

Phyllis Simmons, McDeeds Creek Elementary School, Southern Pines

Superintendent of the Year

Cathy Moore, Wake County Public Schools

Teacher of the Year

Julia Minch, Sycamore Creek Elementary School, Raleigh (1-3 Years Teaching Category)

Elizabeth Jones, Summerfield Elementary School, Summerfield     (4+ Years Teaching Category)

President’s Membership Award

Chapel Hill High School PTSA, Chapel Hill


Outstanding Local Unit and Council Achievement Recognition Awards

Superior Council

Cumberland County Council


Distinguished Councils

Durham Public Schools Council

Wake County PTA Council


Outstanding Local Units

Highcroft Drive Elementary

Old Richmond Elementary School

Pleasant Union Elementary Sch.

Summerfield Elementary

Swift Creek Elementary School


Distinguished Local Units

Northern Guilford High School

Seventy First High School

Sternberger Elementary School


Membership Enrollment Recognition Awards

Ruby Acorn Awards

Holly Springs Elem. School

Ogden Elementary School

Old Richmond Elementary School

The Awards Celebration will be held during our Virtual State Convention. Be sure to join us at the NCPTA Virtual Awards Celebration and Virtual Dance Party on Friday, July 30, 2021 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to be recognized.

COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available to Everyone Ages 12 and Older

The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available to Everyone Ages 12 and Older

Anyone aged 12 and older may now be vaccinated in North Carolina. The vaccine is free everywhere in North Carolina.

The best way to fight COVID-19, slow the spread of the virus and save lives is to get vaccinated and encourage others to get vaccinated. You can visit for information on health departments and hospitals giving vaccinations in your area.

Additionally, schools who need assistance with a vaccine provider for their student population can fill out this form.

Be sure to check out the Vaccines for Teens toolkit for ready-made materials to share with your PTAs, schools and communities.

Updated 2021-2023 Officer Slate

Updated 2021-2023 Officer Slate

The NCPTA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the Slate for State Officers for the 2021-2023 term. The Nominating Committee will present the Slate to delegates at the NCPTA Virtual Convention.

President-Elect: Dr. Shaneeka Moore-Lawrence
My name is Shaneeka Moore-Lawrence and I am honored to be slated as NCPTA President-Elect. NCPTA promotes four things that I hold dearly—students, families, educators, and community. Born in Wilson and raised in Durham, I have been involved with PTA since I was a kindergartener–attending PTA meetings with my mom who was also a teacher at the elementary school where I attended. Fast forward many decades and I am proud to say that I have enhanced my work, dedication, and commitment to PTA in many ways. I have been a parent member of my son’s schools’ local PTAs since he was in kindergarten and he is now a senior in high school; I even served on the PTA Board at my son’s elementary school. In addition, for the last 21 years, I have been a teacher or administrator member of every school PTA in which I have worked. I am passionate about collaborating with and empowering students, families, educators, community members, and community organizations to further the mission of NCPTA to make every child’s potential a reality.

I have wholeheartedly served on the NCPTA Board of Directors for four years and during this time I have been honored to work in several capacities including Convention Committee Chair, Events Committee Chair, Strategic Planning and Human Resource Committee Chair, member of the Executive Committee, member of the Nominating Committee, and member of the NCPTA Internet Access and Device Grant Review Team, and member of the NCPTA COVID Relief Grant Review Team. During the pandemic, I have been blessed to be able to aid NCPTA in reaching its members by spearheading the planning and hosting of the virtual events that we have offered since March 2020 including NCPTA Convention 2020, NCPTA Virtual Learning Summer Symposium, NCPTA & North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services School Reopening Town Hall, NCPTA Gates Town Hall meetings, NCPTA Winter Symposium, NCPTA Youth Symposiums, NCPTA Special Education Inclusion Town Hall.

When not “PTAing”, I am a twenty-one year educator with many years as a teacher and now a principal; I am also active in my home, church, and community. My son’s schedule keeps me busy with daily athletic practice and weekly games; those coupled with my duties as Team Mom and Booster Club President. At my church, I am a faithful member serving as President of the Music Department, Chair of Life Line Academy Youth Programming, Member of the Education Committee, usher, choir director, and choir member. My community activism includes volunteering, mentoring youth and other educators, and more.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Danny Thomas, “Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” My life is sweeter because of the joy I get from helping others. I look forward to helping increase NCPTA’s role in enhancing outcomes for all children.


Secretary: Vacant

In Addition, the Following People Have Submitted Required Materials Indicating Intent to Run from the Floor

President-Elect: Melani Harris McNinch
Melani Harris McNinch is a native of Charlotte where she resides with her husband Jeff and their two children Jocelyn and Griffin who are both enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools magnet programs.  Melani attended Appalachian State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History in 1997.  Following graduation, Melani taught United States History at her alma mater, East Mecklenburg High School. Melani later began a career in human resources working in the telecommunications, life sciences, and technology industries. Her specialties included employee relations, recruiting, and compensation and benefits administration.

Melani returned to school in 2007 to pursue a career in healthcare. In 2010, she graduated from Carolinas College of Health Science’s School of Nursing. Melani is a registered nurse and has spent the past decade leading quality improvement, population health, and business intelligence programs for integrated healthcare organizations. She is currently a healthcare quality leader focusing on Behavioral Health clinical strategy and performance management.

Melani describes herself as a “chronic volunteer,” serving in numerous roles that benefit the children of North Carolina. Locally, she is past PTA president and treasurer at Huntingtowne Farms International Baccalaureate (IB) Elementary, where her son is a fourth grader, as well as membership and advocacy chair.  Additionally, she serves the Mecklenburg Council of PTAs as secretary, following the completion of a two-year term as an at-large director.  Melani is also the president of the Dance Arts Booster at Northwest School of the Arts where her daughter is a dance major.  In 2017, Melani served on the Vote Yes for School Bonds committee during which a record $922 million in bonds for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools won approval via voter referendum. Melani has also been selected to participate in IB parent focus groups, school administrator interview panels, and school leadership teams, providing a parent perspective to district and school-level decision making.  Melani is also a former Girl Scout troop leader and volunteer with the Hornets’ Nest Girl Scouts Council, where she received the Volunteer of Excellence award and was recognized by the Board of Directors with their Appreciation award.

Since 2019 with her election to the NCPTA Board of Directors, Melani has served as a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Membership Committee. She has partnered with the national PTA organization to bring the All Units on Board program to NCPTA which engages the support of the national membership outreach team in helping local PTA units identify barriers to membership and secure dues revenue.  Melani has also partnered with the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Office to provide feedback on plans to ensure North Carolina students received quality instruction during pandemic-related school closures and to develop and enhance this year’s Governor’s School Supply Drive.

Using skills acquired through her diverse professional and personal experience, Melani is eager to continue to share her passion for advocating for the students of North Carolina and helping to identify strategies to engage parents, educators, and community members in using their voice to benefit all children.

Secretary: Bernice Sanders Johnson
Bernice S. Johnson is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. Johnson moved to Wilmington in 1998, shortly after graduating from North Carolina A&T State University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. She later graduated from the Keller Graduate School of Management, where she received a Master’s in Project Management and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management.

Mrs. Johnson currently works at Cape Fear Public Utility Authority where she serves as Senior Project Manager in the Development Services Division.

She was inducted into the Zeta Pi Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. on March 9, 2013. She has served as Public Relations Chair, chapter’s historian, and is currently serving as the Regional Chapter Nomination Chair. In addition, she has served on several regional and national committees.

Bernice has also served as the president, treasurer, and secretary of the Mary C. Williams PTA, vice president of NHC Council of PTAs, and volunteers with several community organizations. She is currently the treasurer of the Myrtle Grove PTSA, Member-At-Large on the Mary C. Williams PTA, and President of the NHC Council of PTAs.

In addition, she is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. where she currently serves as the Financial Secretary.

She is married to Atiba D. Johnson and has two beautiful children, Amir and Atiya.

Ten NC State Reflections Winners Place at the National Level of Reflections

Ten North Carolina PTA Students Receive National PTA

Honors for Their Talents and Creativity in the Arts

Raleigh, NC. (May 3, 2021)— North Carolina is proud to announce that ten NCPTA State Reflections winners have placed at the National PTA level of Reflections. The awards honor creative interpretations of the theme “I Matter Because…” in the areas of special artist, dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

“Reflections encourages creativity; it allows students to express themselves through the arts in ways that they may not be able to otherwise,” said Harold Dixon, president of North Carolina PTA. “NCPTA is incredibly proud that in the midst of a pandemic and virtual learning, we still had a strong turnout in participation in the 2020-21 Reflections program. We are incredibly proud of all the student participants across the state of North Carolina and are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize the students and their creativity.”

Five NCPTA winners have received the National Awards of Excellence, and five have received National Awards of Merit. These national award recipients were chosen from nearly 900 submissions, 223 students representing 38 states for national-level recognition.

Awards of Excellence

  • Katarina Lucia Rosario-Soto, Dance Choreography, McDougle Elementary School, Chapel Hill
  • Annabelle Pate, Photography , Douglas Creative Arts-Sci. Magnet, Raleigh
  • Sai K Pranavan, Special Artist – Music Composition, Morrisville Year Rd. Elementary, Morrisville
  • Ritvik Shivakumar, Film Production, Barringer Academic Center, Charlotte
  • Jacob Cerveny, Special Artist – Film Production, Douglas Creative Arts-Sci. Magnet, Raleigh

Awards of Merit

  • Emily Johnston, Visual Arts, Holly Ridge Middle School, Holly Springs
  • Scott McFarland, Music Composition, Myrtle Grove Middle School, Wilmington
  • Chloe Viviers, Visual Arts, Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill
  • Anna Zwigard, Dance Choreography, R.J. Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem
  • Malavika Thayil, Special Artist – Dance Choreography, Carmel Middle School, Charlotte

These young artists will receive prizes, recognition and the opportunity to have their work exhibited by National PTA. For a complete list of available awards and prizes, please the National PTA Reflections awards page.

NCPTA State Reflections Winners

For the full list of the 2020-2021 NCPTA State Reflections winners, please click here.

NCPTA Reflections Gallery

NCPTA is proud of all the talented students across the state. Click to view all the NCPTA State Reflections winners in the 2020-2021 Online Reflections Gallery.