By Maire O’Neill
Los Alamos High School staff was treated to a magnificent feast for lunch on Friday catered by members of the Topper Parent Organization (TPO.)
Some 30 parents prepared everything from posole to some delicious, decadent chocolate mousse concoction containing fudge and Heath bars. Several parents were on hand to set up the luncheon and serve the staff.
PTO president Janine Tulenko has been involved in her son Jack’s schools as a parent volunteer since he was in second grade at Aspen Elementary School. This will be the last year on the committee for Tulenko, Diane Harte, Laura Bohn and Gloria Dunning as their students will graduate in May 2013. Cecilia Frank, whose son Brandon is a junior, has agreed to lead the group next year.
Harte has been in PTO or TPO since her daughter, Amber Groh, was in fourth grade at Barranca Elementary School. She heads up student appreciation activities for the group and participates in all TPO events.
“I love talking to the staff. LAHS has such a caring staff. They have all been wonderful to my daughter and I have become friends with many of them,” Harte said.
Laura Bohn runs the TPO wish list program and has been involved in PTO and TPO since her daughter Jessie entered kindergarten at Aspen.
“The wish-list program fills some of the gaps for school staff who are constantly buying stuff they need with their own money,” Bohn said. “We are extremely lucky to have the caliber of education we have at LAHS for a public school. It is a pleasure to help the staff out any way we can.”
Bohn says her daughter has had four great years at LAHS and is very well-prepared for college. She added that she hopes someone will come forward to run the wish-list program next school year.
Also heavily involved with the LAHS Band Boosters, Gloria Dunning is the TPO communications coordinator.
“It is so important that we as parents let our school staff know how much we appreciate them. So many staff members go the extra mile for our students every day. They do so much behind the scenes to help our kids be well-prepared for the future,” Dunning said.
Cecelia Frank is already recruiting her committee for the next school year. She has been volunteering since her son Brandon was in Little Forest Pre-School and on up through Ponderosa Montessori, Pinon Elementary School and Los Alamos Middle School. She also donates water and food to the school nurse’s office and snacks to the NJROTC program. She particularly enjoys treating the LAHS staff to lunch.
“Our school staff should be treated with great respect. They work so hard and are great mentors for our kids,” Frank said. “She is hoping some of the freshmen parents will get involved and follow their student up through the next three years.
LAHS Principal Sandy Warnock praised the TPO for providing support and appreciation for the staff through the “Teacher Wish List” and delicious lunches.
“The wonderful home-cooked main dishes, salads and desserts are a treat the staff looks forward to every year,” Warnock said. “The time and energy our parents put forth to make this happen is appreciated by all. We are very lucky to not only have great students, but great parents as well.”
Secretary Karen McCullough said she has worked at LAHS for more than 16 years, during which time the TPO has provided many wonderful luncheons.
“Every time the date of the luncheon is announced, I immediately put it on my calendar. This year’s repast was fantastic,” McCullough said. “This generous action is such a treat for me as I rarely take the time to make a lunch before dashing out the door. Thank you TPO members for making my day!”
Teacher Stephanie Mitchell thanked the TPO for “providing a delicious luncheon” for the high school staff.
“The variety and quality of food was amazing. I especially appreciated the variety of salads. Everything was delicious,” Mitchell said.
LAHS parents interested in becoming more active in TPO may email firstname.lastname@example.org.