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PTAC Essence Award

Without volunteers the PTA would not exist. We appreciate every one of them. The PTAC Essence Award is to recognize an outstanding PTA member of the Greenwich Public Schools PTA communities, who through exemplary achievement, has inspired others, demonstrated selfless spirit and made a significant difference in our school community (individual school or district wide). This individual is a willing member of a team, whether in a leadership role or in the trenches performing thankless tasks that need to be done. The devotion to the goals and values of the Greenwich PTAs is demonstrated in this individual’s ongoing involvement and willingness to make our school community better for all constituents.

In 2017, a Lifetime Essence Award was created that specifically honors an active, long-standing impactful PTA volunteer who has contributed over the course of many years through a variety of positions and schools may be awarded at the discretion of the Essence Award Committee. A maximum of one recipient for the Essence Award and one recipient for the Lifetime Essence Award will be selected each year.




PTAC Essence Award Winners

2018: Kathleen Yu

2017: Meredith Vartuli

2016: Amy Leahy

2015: Julie Faryniarz

2014: Gayle Hagegard

2013: Lisa Davidson

2012: Wendy Figueroa

2011: Lauren Rabin



PTAC Lifetime Essence Award Winners

2018: Sue Moretti Bodson

2017: Patti Jomo






2019 PTAC Essence Award Nomination Process


An individual must be a member in good standing in one or more of the 15 Greenwich PTAs in order to be eligible for this award. Members of the PTAC Executive Board and the Selection Committee are not eligible, nor are past award receipients.

Nomination process

Parents, teachers, staff, students, principals, administrators, or members of our Greenwich community may submit nominations. A 500-word maximum nomination narrative addressing the award criteria above should be submitted to Maria Merrill or Kara Mendelsohn, Co-Chairs of PTAC Essence Award Committee, at no later than April 29, 2019. Please note the same application is to be used for both the Essence and Lifetime Essence Award nominations.

The 2019 Nomination Form can be found here.



Selection Process

A committee of six people will review each nomination. The committee will include the Essence Award Committee Co-Chairs, two PTAC Executive Board members, one Greenwich PTA Co-President, and one additional Council Committee Co-Chair. The nominees will be evaluated against the criteria set forth above. All nominees will be recognized at the last PTA Council regular meeting. The Essence Award recipients will be announced at the PTAC Essence Award Ceremony at the end of May. All nominated individuals will be recognized for their contributions through the local media or PTAC webpage.