The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

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The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

Unveiling the unsung Heroes: A spotlight on the remarkable contributions of parents in the PPCS journey

Four parents entered their child’s elementary school classrooms to aid teachers, but unknowingly went beyond the routine responsibilities of a teacher’s assistant. Their contributions were not just valued, but sought for a bigger purpose. The Parent Teachers Association (PTA) at Pines Charter Schools has not only expanded the horizons of Ms. Santos, Ms. Poore, Ms. Toussaint, and Mr. Raymond, but has also touched the lives of over 3,000 students with unforgettable memories. 

Ms. Santos, PTA’s most recent member of the four, hoped to become more involved in supporting the school. She recalls, “I find [PTA’s] work really rewarding and helpful as a parent myself, who appreciates detailed communication and a sense of community at school.” So after joining the Pembroke Pines Charter School (PPCS) system in 2017, she quickly became a foundational part of the school’s events.

By volunteering for PPCS’s events, I feel a sense of accomplishment that my time is being spent in a productive way, helping to make the middle and high school experience the best it can be for all of Charter’s students, staff and families.

— Ms. Santos

Though a lot of her duties include managing the social media accounts and creating promotional materials for both Academic Village’s middle and high school, Ms. Santos takes most pleasure in “planning events like Academic Village Middle’s Fun-a-Thon, serving at all of the teacher/staff luncheons and assisting SGA with Homecoming prep.” She continues, “By volunteering for PPCS’s events, I feel a sense of accomplishment that my time is being spent in a productive way, helping to make the middle and high school experience the best it can be for all of Charter’s students, staff and families.”

For PTA’s President, Ms. Toussaint, being a part of the organization grants a greater insight of how much Charter families are willing to contribute toward their child’s success. “Even for events that may not seem like a lot of effort was put into it, now that I’m on the back end, it’s a lot of work. As a parent, I really can just appreciate the time and effort that was put into these events, especially knowing that they’ve learned so many life skills for the future.”

Most of all, throughout the 12 years Ms. Toussaint has given back, seeing the students’ growth over the years has been the most impactful. She recalls, “I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of seeing kids I’ve known since elementary school, and now they’re adults.” Celebrating beside them from President’s Honor Roll ceremonies to the night of graduation, she takes great pride in being a part of every student’s journey at PPCS.

Working closely beside Ms. Toussaint as her Vice President, Ms. Poore aimed to become more involved with the school as well. “When my oldest son was in elementary school, I was working all the time, so I wasn’t able to be in school. But, when I finally got the opportunity to [be a member of PTA], I jumped at it.” 

From 2013 to the present 2024, bringing students, faculty, and parents together has always been her favorite part of the work. “There’s nothing like the satisfaction of finally seeing plans come to fruition. Whether it’s an event for the teachers, or something as big as the Homecoming Dance, seeing the kids’ eyes and hearing parents express such gratitude is what makes all of it worth it.”

This previous November, while students flooded into the cafeteria, the behind the scenes work of Mr. Raymond transformed the room into a Hollywood night students would never forget. From the minute he was approached to join the operation, he always aimed to “have a greater impact on a greater number of people.” 

Working with the Student Government to create a different, yet memorable ambiance and design throughout the years, he’s given his designing work a new audience. He shares, “Through my influence, we’ve taken the Homecoming Dance to a level that no other school could have imagined, and really create memories that will last a lifetime.” Each year, he works with more students, parents, and staff to set the stage for the night, while also appreciating the opportunity to know each person on a deeper level. 

Over the course of his journey in the PTA, Mr. Raymond’s engagement at the school lies in his heartfelt ability to unite and inspire every student, parent, and staff member. “Taking a space that you all see every day, such as the cafeteria, and transforming it into something that no one recognizes when they walk in suspends reality and creates a new set of memories in a space you’ve never seen in this way before.” 

As the parents’ children walk across the stage in the coming months, the organization will not cease. Their acts of service extend beyond the Class of 2024, still focusing on every detail to perfect the year’s biggest occasions. Imagining, planning, promoting, and executing behind the scenes has created an insurmountable impact on students for 13 years without fail, and will continue to exceed expectations for the Charter community.

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About the Contributors
Kara Warren, Managing Editor
Hey guys! I’m Kara Warren and I’ll be the Co-Managing Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. As a senior, I can’t wait to promote every student, experience, and activity going on inside AND outside of school! If you ever need to contact me, reach out: [email protected]!
Abby Santos, Photo Staff
Hi! My name is Abby Santos and I am a senior. This is my first year on the CHAT, and I will be working as a photographer specializing in Sports and Student Life. I’ve been working with photography and digital media for years. I’m also part of the Flag Football team! If you’d like to contact me, you can reach me at [email protected]

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