PS 9 PTO 2019-2020 Election Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30 pm!

Parent involvement is important to the success of our school. The PTO does its part by improving communication between the school and parents, raising funds, and creating continuity from year-to-year for parent volunteers.






WHAT  PS9 PTO Spring General Election

WHEN  6:30 PM, TUESDAY JUNE 18, 2019 at PS 9

WHO     All PS 9 teachers, parents and guardians are eligible to vote.

HOW     You may only vote in person, so please come out and vote!


Nominations are now closed. Below is a list of the open roles and candidates for each.


Download the election notice in it’s entirety here: Election Notice



The only qualification for all Executive Committee offices  is that the candidate be a parent, guardian or caregiver of a child in the school. Nomination s are now closed. Get to know your candidates! All candidates are listed below by position and in alphabetical order (by surname)



  • Nzingah Diallo (running on a slate with Raul Rothblatt):My name is Nzingah Diallo and I have two wonderful daughters that attend PS9 My girls love the PS9 community and have such an enthusiasm for being there that I feel obligated as a parent to add to their experience in any way that I can. I hold a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University and have had a modest career as an artist/contemporary photography, with numerous accolades and exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, and Africa.  I have taught photography at Temple University and held a position of Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of South Florida.  I received a Fulbright Scholarship in my field of study and conducted research in West Africa and have conducted various philanthropic projects with orphanages via the arts. I am currently a board member, volunteering my time at Friends of Bright Minds Community Prep. and also hold an active role at Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy on the PTC Events Committee. The Arts is a passion of mine and when applied to thirsty young minds, everything is possible.   I am an advocate of parent involvement and believe in order to truly have a successful child and student body, parents and staff must work closely together.  We must be able to evaluate the needs of our kids and come up with creative, fun, inclusive events and programs to foster a nurturing community.  This will ensure that they leave us with a solid foundation of skills and a future full of opportunities.”


  • Jessica Flores: “Hi. My  name is Jessica Flores and I have been an active parent on the PTO for two years. My main committee role has been fundraising, but I have been actively engaged in communications as well. I have two boys, one who will enter 5th grade next year and the other will enter 1st grade. My main focus next year would be in streamlining and upgrading communications across all committees. I would prioritize having meetings accessible to more families via electronic means as well alternating calendar dates per our by laws. We have an amazing and dedicated team of active parents and we hope to expand that.  I look forward to working with all of my fellow candidates next year. Thank you for your time and consideration.”


  • Raul Rothblatt (running on a slate with Nzingah Diallo): “I want to thank the parents for making this a wonderful year at PS9. We started the year by transforming the building with inspirational murals that brought new community partnerships to PS9 in the arts and technology. I am proud I help organize in-school and community votes for our Participatory Budgeting Hydroponic lab victory, and I will continue to advocate for our Borough Hall tech grant until it is awarded. A top reason I ran for PTO Co-President last year was because I was determined to change the school name. Together we were successful, but there’s still exciting work to be done in developing a strong relationship with the Smith-Garnet family and collaborations to create curriculum. Continuing to serve as Co-President would give me a unique ability to do this. I look forward to bringing tech, music, interfaith warmth and Whole Child community love to PS9 next year as Co-President.”


Vice President/Co-Vice Presidents

  • Maggie Campbell (running on a slate with David Leventhal): “I’m the parent of a rising 5th grader and an incoming Pre-K student, and I previously served on the PTO Executive Board, in the 2015-2016 school year. I’m running for Co-Vice President, along with David Leventhal. Our goal is to work together with the entire PS9 community to support & develop PS9’s arts programs. We’re strong believers that arts education provides exceptional and diverse support for academic learning and socioemotional development. Our community is a strong one and we’d like to work on pairing strengths with needs to continue to cultivate a strong sense of community and belonging for all PS9 families.”
  • David Leventhal (running on a slate with Maggie Campbell):I’m the parent of a rising 2nd grader and have served as a class parent and co-chair of PS 9’s Wellness Committee. I’m running for Co-Vice President with Maggie Campbell. Professionally involved in the arts, we believe that arts education and programming provide our children with essential tools for academic success, emotional growth, social connection, and career inspiration. Celebrating the inherently inclusive and accessible nature of creative arts activity, we’ll work hard to ensure that our community continues to foster transformative enrichment opportunities that help all our children to thrive.”


  • Krystal Linton


1st Recording Secretary


  • Carol Clouse: “I’ve served as second recording secretary this past year, and it’s been a really educational experience. Now that I’ve got my feet wet, I’d like to continue with the PTO as first recording secretary.”



2nd Recording Secretary


  • Miles Champion: “I have been part of the PS9 family for four years, and have been active as a parent volunteer over these years (I was co-coordinator of the lunchroom committee, with Charmaine Derrell-Jacob, for three years). I have been motivated to run for a position on the PTO this year by several things, but primarily because I want to be a more engaged member of the community during my daughter’s remaining two years at school. I am committed to PS9 as a community school for the whole child, and I strongly support the arts as well Principal D’Avilar’s vision for a desegregated school. I am a writer and editor by profession—I am also board secretary of the co-op building I live in—so it seems to make sense for me to run for one of the recording secretary positions on the PTO.”




  • Alex Hlivka


Financial Secretary


  • Christophe Hille: “Resolute believer in the Oxford comma, single spaces after periods, and arithmetic.”




  • Nick Peterson: “Do you hate meetings? They can be disrespectful of people’s time and can exemplify mission creep, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m running for PTO Parliamentarian as a way to help keep processes streamlined. As a process nerd, I’m drawn to this role and am excited to serve in it. I’m currently chair of the PTO Transportation Committee, but want to step up my involvement in this amazing community.”



Parent Liaisons, Lower Grades:


  • Kyisha Brooks: “My name is Kyisha Brooks and I am the mother of 3 kids ages 2,4 and 5. My daughter Skyla is 5 and attend PS9 in the dual language program. I am an involved parent. I attend school events, talk daily with the front office regarding things happening within the school and I have volunteered in the classroom to assist Mrs. Torres in the dual language program. I believe being involved in the school helps to build community and shows your child you are there for them. As long as we stay engaged as parents we are dedicated to our child’s success.”


  • Taniya Gunasekara


  • Sarah Maxell: “Hi! I’m Sarah. I am a parent to a Dual Language Kindergartener, Arlo Bishop, and (hopefully) to an incoming Pre-K’er 19/20. I am a producer, working full time in the fashion world, so communication is a huge part of my daily life. I enjoyed being a class parent this past school year and would be happy to be a ‘shared’ lower grade liaison if the need is there. If not, I’m happy to be of occasional assistance in general. Thank you!”


  • Carla Rothberg



Parent Liaisons, Upper Grades


  • Dennis Cronin


  • Julia Daunis (also running for SLT):  “I have served as a Class Parent for the past two years and that experience has helped me understand ways in which the Class Parents act as key conduits of information and organization for the classroom.  I want to support the Class Parents and foster communication and teamwork among  Class Parents.”


  • Devonne Jackson-Jean-Baptiste


  • Krystal Linton


  • Maura McHugh


  • Edit Szabo



PTO Board of Directors


  • Zaneesha Harrell (also running for SLT): “I have been a part of the PS9 family for the last 6 years, and have enjoyed my introduction to the PTO under the fundraising committee. I want to work alongside other parents, staff, and students to create a supportive school culture. I believe my experience in NYC DOE Schools & NYC Charter Schools, will help our PTO and SLT enhance the academic and social experience at PS9, as well as build memories that will last a lifetime. I would like to continue to build on the positive momentum that the PTO has created for our school and our children. I firmly believe the actions we take as parents, directly impact our child’s experiences.”


  • Ian Palmer: “I have 10+ years of teaching experience as a Special Educator in the NYC DOE. I am a strong proponent of co-teaching and am very interested in bringing my knowledge and experience to the Board at PS9.”


  • Omar Slowe


  • Johanna Steinberg


  • Kim Tilley: “Kim Tilley is a parent of a PS 9 2nd and 4th grader. She has several years of board experience in non-profit education, with previous work serving the Montessori Day School of Brooklyn as the vice president of the board of directors and currently serves as a board member of the PS 9 PTO.  Kim loves PS 9 and would be honored to continue giving back to the school community by serving on the board.”



School Leadership Team – Parent Representatives


  • Ellen Bolotin: “I’m Ellen Bolotin and I have a 3rd grader and kindergartener at PS9. I’ve met many of you on the playground, at the cafeteria at lunch, hassling you for donations in the morning, painting faces at the carnival and throughout PS9. My family has so valued our time at PS9 and truly love the school. I’m also an active member of the EDI committee, spearheading the Equity Library Project. We’ve started to create classroom libraries where all students can recognize themselves, and each of their classmates, in the books we are providing them. This project has allowed me access to classrooms and teachers and reinforced how vital parent-teacher communication is to the growth of the school and the strength of its community. As a former teacher I’d be able to foster that communication, which is why I’m asking for your vote as a parent representative on the SLT.”


  • Laura Caito: “My name is Laura Caito. I have a current kindergartner, an incoming kindergartener (2019-20) and one more that will be coming in the next 2 years. We are committed to PS 9 and our local schools.   I have been working in NY public schools for my entire 20 year career in NYC.  I feel like it is now time to take my expertise and help our school and community.  The fact that we are such a diverse community, is exciting and truly a unique situation.  I am excited to see how we work to include everyone’s voices and concerns and turn these opinions/needs into better ways to support the diversity of kids at PS 9 in the best way possible.”


  • Warren Coleman


  • Julia Daunis: “I’ve lived in and loved Prospect Heights for most of my adult life, and my two sons, Max (305) and Ezra (103) have attended PS9 since Pre-K. I believe in progressive public education and the need to support teachers (influenced by the work of my sister, who studied at Teachers College and taught at PS295). While our family has struggled with some aspects of PS9, that has been outweighed by many more great experiences, including with the School Based Support Team. I feel lucky to be part of this community of families and educators dedicated to creating the best school we can for all of our children. I’ve been impressed by the energy and engagement I’ve seen this year, and want to be part of the SLT as we move forward together through upcoming changes. Please reach out in person or via email to talk further – I’m very friendly, have a flexible schedule, and love a good conversation.”


  • Melissa de Leon: “I am honored to run for the position of parent representative to the School Leadership Team at P.S. 9 because I care about every student in our building accessing a quality education– and doing so in a manner that unifies teacher and family stakeholders around this objective.  As a progressive New York City public school educator since 2006, I have served as a teacher and instructional leader in multi-cultural schools that systematically affirm students’ identities and academic needs while preparing them for college and careers. I have a proven track record supporting school-wide implementation of project based learning, culturally relevant pedagogy, tiered intervention systems, data systems, differentiation frameworks, and literacy instruction, which align with PS9’s efforts to meet instructional priorities. I can offer the SLT a balanced perspective on educational change, teacher development paired with an ability to build trust and consensus. Thank you for your consideration.”


  • Zaneesha Harrell


  • Afiya Lahens-Wallace


  • Krystal Linton





Elections will be held during the June 18, 2019, 6:30pm PTO meeting in the auditorium. Childcare will be provided for a suggested donation of $5 per child.



Questions? For more information:


2019-20 PTO Nominations Committee:

David Lee –

Radhika Ramamurthy –

Suyin So –



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