Westbriar Elementary School PTA

There has been so much work behind the scenes to get this PTA year started, we want to express our sincere appreciation to the following volunteers:

March 2020

  • Thank you to Nandita Kalyan who organized our Westbriar Spelling Bee on February 20th.  Thank you also to Ms. TamMrs. Fuselier, and Jan Srock who served as our Spelling Bee judges as well as Mr. Simms-Smith who served as our announcer.
  • Thank you to Amy Blas for putting an end to our winter doldrums and coming up with a great idea for our Westbriar community -- the 80s vs. Current Hits Dance on February 28th.  We enjoyed dancing the night away with our kiddos and had a great time reliving the "glory days of our youth" in our 80's attire!
  • Thank you to Crystal Petersen, who coached 14 Westbriar 6th graders to compete in the Virginia Science Olympiad, Division B, Fairfax Regional.  Our team did really well, placing 8th overall out of 24 middle and elementary school teams.  Next up:  Science Olympiad State Competition.  Good luck Falcons! 
  • Thank you to Crystal Petersen as well for coaching 16 of Westbriar's 5th and 6th graders from September until January to get them ready for the AMC 8, a national examination in mathematics for students in grade 8 or below.  Westbriar students were high achievers, averaging a 10.9 when the worldwide average for 5th and 6th graders was 8.5 and the worldwide average for all test takers, up to grade 8, was 9.43.  And thank you to Mrs. Cockerill for administering the AMC 8 test for Westbriar.
  • Thank you to Crystal Petersen for making copies every week for the PTA when called!  We know where she spends her Tuesdays ...!
  • Thank you to Suneeta Rana, our VP of Membership, for getting our Westbriar PTA named as a Fairfax County Membership All Star!  The award signifies that our membership has stayed the same or grown since last year.  Thank you, Suneeta!

February 2020

  • Thank you to Ms. Karen Hall, who put together Westbriar's first PI Night on Friday, 1/31.  Thank you as well to Westbriar administration and staff for their wholehearted support of this celebration of math through games.  And thank you to our Westbriar community who donated over 50 pies, Rice Krispy Treats, and other desserts to support our love of learning! 


  • Thank you to Jesse Holtslander and Nisha Thakker, who have put together a slate of great dining out options so our Westbriar community can enjoy one another's company and benefit the PTA at the same time. 


January 2020 Thank You Notes 

Thank you to Eunice Joshi for organizing a super fun Skate Night in December!  Our Westbriar community always loves this event.  Eunice and the volunteers who sold tickets that night made it a fun and memorable night for all involved!

Thank you to administration, front office staff, and other staff members for staying late after your workday had ended in order to ensure the safety of our students enrolled in our PTA basketball class when their instructor was unexpectedly absent.  We know it is above and beyond your scope of work to take care of 25 students, notifying parents, and monitoring kids while their parents come to get them, and we so appreciate your being there for us.  Thank you for being part of our Westbriar family! 

December 2019 Thank You Notes

  • Thank you to Julianna Lieu and her crew of volunteers for putting together a very fun, very successful Book Fair.  Not only did the Book Fair net nearly $7500 in proceeds, but it also served as a great event for students, teachers, and parents.  What a luxury to go shopping together in the Westbriar library and come away with the gift of a good book.  Thank you, Julianna, for your hard work organizing, locating, relocating, dealing with errant technology, and counting the pennies of the students who brought in their full piggy banks -- what a gift to our school!


  • Thank you to Rhonda Gleditsch, who patiently counted almost $700 worth of BoxTops for Education.  While we no longer run classroom competitions, we are still collecting BoxTops that you clip off of your purchases from the grocery store. Rhonda volunteers to painstakingly read, organize, and send in our box tops.  It's not an easy job (have you seen the tiny print on those things!?!) and we really appreciate her doing it!!  If you have questions about the transition to electronic submission of BoxTops for Education, please contact Rhonda.


  • Thank you to Katie Chernyak for her amazing work on the Winter enrichment schedule -- 21 extra-curricular classes that Katie has booked for your students to enjoy over the course of the winter.  Katie does a great job of finding new and exciting classes, finding friendly and agreeable vendors, and reserving all of the different building space needed for all of the classes.  


  • Thank you to Jenni Bae of #iCare and Debbie Alsado, Ewa Meoni, Carly Guinn, Alissa Roth, and Meg Caudill of Fairfax Friends Forever for leading Westbriar through National Inclusive Schools Week.  The daily lessons were fun and informative, and we were proud to see our students and staff on the early morning news on December 4th.  


  • A long overdue thank you to Dr. Bell and StemTree for the $1000 donation to our PTA.  Dr. Bell, we so appreciate your generosity and support of our community.  We look forward to continued collaboration in the future to bring additional STEM opportunities to Westbriar students. 


November 2019 Thank You Notes

  • Thank you to Amanda Aragon, who put together an amazing new event for our school, Pumpkin Fest!  We had a great crowd of students and parents come out to enjoy dinner, buy pumpkins, take family portraits, enjoy an art maze, go trunk or treating in the gym, and especially -- unmistakably -- they enjoyed the raffles donated by our amazing Westbriar staff!!  This event, with all of its ambitious undertakings, was Amanda's creation, and we so enjoyed ourselves!  Thank you for your amazing organizational skills and hard work, Amanda!!
  • Thank you to Gulcin Ross, a member of our Copy Crew upon whom we've relied for several weeks to make copies for the Wednesday Folder of every Westbriar student.
  • Thank you to Julianna Lieu, for putting together tables, umbrellas, storage for our new outdoor classroom in the school courtyard.
  • Thank you to our intrepid Jennifer Sellers for putting together our Westbriar Book Donation Program.  Clean off your shelves and send in your gently used children's books for our teachers to use in our classrooms!  This program was Jennifer's brainchild, with the goal of providing additional materials for new classroom teachers at no cost to those teachers.
  • Thank you to Gulcin Ross for verifying, editing, and submitting our Westbriar Directory for printing.  Thank you to Suneeta Rana, Trish Vanstory, and Crystal Petersen distributing the printed directories.  Didn't get one?  Join the PTA and we'll send one home with your student!
  • Thank you to Jenny White for organizing Stock the Staff Room for the 6th grade in October and the 5th grade in November.
  • Thank you to Jesse Holtslander and Nisha Thakker for taking over on our Dining for Dollar$ bookings.  Each time we dine out together, we improve our Westbriar camaraderie and help out the PTA at the same time! 

           October 2019 Thank You Notes:

Thank you to Elisa Clifton, our Walk to School chair.  Elisa organized and promoted a very successful Walk to School event on October 2nd.  We will have several more Walk to School Wednesdays this fall and spring, during which students who walk to school can pick out tokens for their W2S necklaces.  Keep on walking -- it's so much better for our environment than driving in your car!

Thank you to Jennifer Sellers, who managed our spirit wear orders this year.  She designed the options, managed and promoted the ordering process, collected all payments, and sorted and handed out all of the different orders.  Now we're all decked out as Falcons!  Thank you, Jennifer!

Thank you to Anahita Kamjou, who has set us up for our first Falcon Arts program this year (the replacement for GRACE Arts.)  Anahita recruited volunteers from every classroom, edited artist info and projects for presentation, and ordered all the art supplies for the year for the entire school to enjoy the program.  Special thanks as well to Stenwood PTA, for sharing their Creative Bee program with us, so we didn't have to reinvent the wheel.  Thank you, Anahita!  And thank you, Deanna Heier(Stenwood PTA President) and Lisa Mak(Stenwood PTA VP of Social Affairs.)

Thank you to Angie Gutenson, Hina Jumani, Gulcin Ross, Trish Vanstory, and Valerie McFalls, our bylaws committee, for putting together a new set of proposed bylaws for our PTA to adopt this year, nicely in time for our bylaws revision due date!

Thank you to Natalie Lueders, Brooke Edwards, Olga Feschenko, and Hina Jumani, our Display Case committee.  They are doing an excellent job of creatively decorating our PTA display case in the front hallway.  Their work informs, sparks interest, and lightens up the hallway for all to see!

Thank you to Jenni Bae, who organizes Westbriar's #iCare inclusion program, for her work in putting together a school-wide curriculum teaching inclusion for all.

Thank you to Crystal Petersen, Valerie McFalls, and Jessica Chen, who are our parent volunteers for Science Olympiad this year.  They have recruited students for teams and are organizing and prepping them to compete in the regional Science Olympiad this fall.  Good luck, Westbriar!

Thank you to Roopa Chowbey, our Odyssey of the Mind chair.  Roopa has recruited teams and coaches who will prep throughout the year and then compete in the spring.  The student teams gather regularly with their coaches.  They learn how to solve complex problems in a group setting, and they get to know one another, too.

Thank you to Nandita Kalyan, our Spelling Bee chair.  Nandita has registered Westbriar in the Scripps Spelling Bee competition.  Soon you'll hear more about registration for our Westbriar Spelling Bee, which is set for February 20th. 

September 2019 Thank You Notes: 

  • Thank you to Jennifer Sellers, who managed our spirit wear orders this year. She designed the options, managed and promoted the ordering process, collected all payments, and sorted and handed out all of the different orders. Now we're all decked out as Falcons! Thank you, Jennifer!
  • Thank you to Anahita Kamjou, who has set us up for our first Falcon Arts program this year (the replacement for GRACE Arts.) Anahita recruited volunteers from every classroom, edited artist info and projects for presentation, and ordered all the art supplies for the year for the entire school to enjoy the program. Special thanks as well to Stenwood PTA, for sharing their Creative Bee program with us, so we didn't have to reinvent the wheel. Thank you, Anahita! And thank you, Deanna Heier (Stenwood PTA President) and Lisa Mak (Stenwood PTA VP of Social Affairs.)
  • Thank you to Jennifer Sellers, who chaired our super-fun Back to School Fun Night on September 13th.  Jennifer arranged for all seven food trucks, promoted the night, arranged for and wrote out instructions for all the carnival games, marshaled volunteers to bake and donate over 30 cakes for the cake walk, and managed about 25 volunteers on-site at the event.  Because of her work, we all had a great time together.  Thank you, Jennifer! 

Thank you to Jennifer Sellers, who chaired our Field Day shirt order process!  And to Suneeta Rana, Natalie Lueders, and Principal Tam for pitching in with sorting, folding, and handing out to our students.  Nice work! 

And Thank You to: 

  • Jennifer Sellers, who served as our PTA President for the last two years, but continues to be completely involved by chairing the Field Day shirt program, the Spirit Wear program, Dining for Dollars, Cultural Arts Assemblies, and Back to School Fun Night. (And that's just this fall!)  Back to School Fun Night was a lovely evening filled with community, fun, and great food -- thank you, Jenny, for all of your hard work!
  • Aja Chaker, our rising kindergartener liaison, who arranged playdates for incoming kindergarten students (and parents) over the summer.  Aja also manages the Westbriar marquee sign on the curb at the school.
  • Suneeta Rana, our VP of Membership, who has worked tirelessly to make our PTA easy to join and fun to be a part of.  This is Suneeta's 14th and last year as a Westbriar parent, and her 6th year as a PTA chair or board member.
  • Deirdre Naughton, our continuing PTA Treasurer, who wrapped up the 2018-19 year balanced to the PENNY, and who drafted this year's budget (and who, once our new budget is passed, will write every check all year long.)
  • Angie Gutenson, who manages all PTA social media and sends out fun and informative posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Julianna Lieu, who put together refreshments for our PTA Meet and Greet on Monday, 8/26, for lots of new and continuing parents to enjoy.  Julianna also continues as our PTA Secretary, and she'll be taking our minutes at every board meeting and membership meeting, all year long.
  • Siritha Bathula, our new PTA Webmaster, who has already applied her magic to our homepage -- check us out at www.westbriarpta.org !
  • Katie Chernyak, our continuing VP of Enrichment, who put together a dazzling array of 24 diverse enrichment classes for our students to enjoy before and after school this fall.    

Westbriar Elementary School PTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Questions?  Please contact  PTA President or Website Administrator

© 2019 Westbriar Elementary School PTA
1741 Pine Valley Drive
Vienna VA, 22182

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