Author Kate T. Parker visiting Wednesday, April 3rd

Our Pathfinder K-8 library is hosting an author visit with Kate T. Parker on Wednesday, April 3rd from 1:10-2:10 pm. Strong is the New Pretty was phenomenal and her new book, Heart of a Boy is just as powerful. Parents and community members are welcome! Look for a book pre-order form from your child’s teacher.

About the book:
The Heart of a Boy is a deeply felt celebration of boyhood as it’s etched in the faces and bodies of dozens of boys, ages 5 to 18. There’s the pensive look of a skateboarder caught in a moment between rides. The years of dedication in a ballet dancer’s poise. The love of a younger brother hugging his older brother. The unself-conscious joy of a goofy grin with a missing tooth. The casual intimacy of two friends at a lemonade stand. The shyness of a lone boy and his model boat. The intensity in a football huddle. There are guitarists, fencers, wrestlers, star-gazers, a pilot—it’s the world of our sons, in all their amazing variety and difference.

“Kate T. Parker’s incredible Strong Is the New Pretty helped us reimagine girlhood as silly, messy, spirited, an d fun. Now she turns her perceptive lens on the other sex to expand our definition of what it means to be a boy . . . and presents so mething desperately needed in our well-meaning cultural convers ation about boys—she shows us their enormous, wonderful hearts.”—Michael Ian Black

“Silly, serious, nerdy, athletic, creative, bold—the adjectives describing boys could go on for pages. But if boys are to grow up to be admirable men, the one thing they must be is kind. Kate T. Parker’s book helps clear the way for a time when everyone understands that.” — R. J. Palacio

“Every parent who picks up t his book will be grateful for the impact it will have on their family.” —Gary Vaynerchuk

Thanks to You, Pathfinder Auction Sets Record!

Kelly Riggle-Hower was the recipient of this year’s Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way award.

Thanks to you, last Saturday’s Pathfinder PTSA Auction was our most successful yet! We grossed a record-setting $97,400 during the evening, which, after expenses, will provide more than $70,000 for PTSA-funded programs like our garden, tutors, specialists, community events and teacher funds.

The success of the auction reflects the generosity and commitment of the Pathfinder community and beyond, the dedication of our staff, the hard work of many volunteers, and the shared goal to raise inquisitive and caring children. Each of these must be in balance to pull of a night like this.

Fund-a-Need: The Future of Pathfinder’s Expeditions

A perfect example is this year’s Fund-a-Need. The paddle raise portion of the auction targeted the heart and soul of what makes learning at Pathfinder unique—our Expeditions. And during the Fund-a-Need, the Pathfinder community invested in its future by donating an astounding $14,000. Thank you so much!

Thank You 97,400 Times Over

When you start counting up all the people to thank, reaches into the hundreds! So THANK YOU to everyone who made the night a smashing success, including, but not limited to:

  • Our auction donors: Thanks to dozens of businesses and individuals, we auctioned off more than 170 items in the silent and live parts of the night.
  • The kids, staff and volunteers that made class art happen: The art was beautiful this year, and the results speak to how awesome it was, as it raised $14,600.
  • Pathfinder’s wonderful and supportive staff: For making it your mission to inspire our children and supporting the PTSA.
  • David & Lisa: For their always wildly entertaining, over-the-top performances at the auction, and for single-handedly raising more than $7,000 in drinks and live auction items. Their personal and professional commitments to Pathfinder’s PTSA are so valued and important.
  • All of the auction participants this year: Wow, just Wow! $97,400?!! Thank you for stepping it up big time! As a school, Pathfinder is facing budget cuts next year, and these dollars will help plug some of the holes.
  • Our many, many auction volunteers: This event couldn’t be pulled off without many, many people who worked tirelessly to attend to all of the myriad details (Until you’re in the thick of auction planning, you cannot imagine the details!!). This was truly a team effort, but we must single out Auction Chair Holly Rikhof for her extraordinary leadership and vision. Thank you!

Special thanks to the 2019 auction volunteers!

Group Events Still Available for Sale

Group Events are just getting underway, and there are still events that have space. Kid events include the middle school pool party, Capture the Flag, a sensory-friendly Pacific Science Center trip, Pops and Ponytails, and a kids’ cooking class.  Adult events include wine tasting, golfing, and planning summer hikes. Click here to sign up today!

Will Your Workplace Match Your Donation?

If you donated to this year’s Fund-a-Need, your donation is tax deductible and could be eligible for a company match from your workplace. Learn more about this from your HR department and from our Matching Gift Information page.  Please contact the PTSA treasurer, Jennifer Girou, with questions at

Donating to Another School

We are aware of how fortunate Pathfinder is to have a community that can raise so much on a single night and how there is a marked imbalance among West Seattle schools. Last year we passed along some specially-earmarked Fund-a-Need donations to Concord International School in South Park. This spring, we are planning to do a Dine-Out night for another school.

What we really need to do is develop a thoughtful and sustainable approach to giving to other schools. Is this something that you are passionate about? If so, please contact Pathfinder PTSA President Susan Elderkin at before the end of March 2019, to be a part of a small team that can help create a future plan.  Thank you!!

Please Join Us for a BeSmart Gun Safety Presentation on March 19

Please join the Pathfinder PTSA at a BeSmart Gun Safety presentation on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30pm in the Pathfinder library.

Led by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the BeSmart campaign focuses on the importance of conversation, responsible gun storage and community awareness. The local BeSmart coordinator is none other than Freddie Campbell, a Pathfinder parent. And Tuesday’s presentation will be led by Pathfinder’s own Heidi Jaye.

The presentation and discussion should take about an hour. Because of the sensitive topic, we ask that no children attend.

Moms Demand Action encourages parents and all adults to “Be SMART” and take these simple steps to help prevent shootings by children:

  • Secure all guns in your home and vehicles
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the signs of suicide and depression
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

We look forward to your participation in this important topic!

Register Now for Pathfinder K-8 PTSA After School Program Spring 2019 Session


Spring 2019 Session Registration Now Open

Sign up here >>

Registration closes March 29.

• Classes begin the week of April 22 and end Monday, June 10.
• Session runs for 7 weeks rather than the usual 8.
• No class Monday, May 27 due to Memorial Day.
• Makeup days, if needed, would be Tuesday, June 11 through Monday, June 17.
• Scholarships are available for every class

For more information  and class descriptions go to the website, or stop by the Pathfinder K-8 front desk for a paper catalog.

Comments or questions? We want to know! Please e-mail us:

Coordinator needed for 2019-2020

It’s a job that is great for parents at our school who don’t have a full time job. It’s takes between 5-20 hours per week depending on the time of year, and between sessions there is minimal or no work to do. It pays $1200 per session and there are three sessions.

See Maureen Clark at the front desk if you are interested or contact her at

The 2019 Auction is almost here!!

We’re counting the days until the 2019 Auction!!  Class art is being finalized, prom dresses are waiting for corsages….ready for a night of fun??!!

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, there are still a few left and we hope you’ll join us!  The Pathfinder Auction is always a great party — and this year, there’s even more as the festivities continue with dancing after the live auction!  Last day to purchase a ticket is this Friday, March 1st so that we can give a final number to the caterers.  BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

We can always use more volunteers!  Volunteers are needed day & evening on auction day.  Evening volunteers will receive a volunteer meal and bidder number to join in the silent & live auctions (help out at the auction and you don’t need to buy a ticket!). SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER!

And we’ve extended the deadline to submit that fabulous someone for the Pathfinder “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” award.  Each year the Pathfinder community honors a teacher, staff member or adult volunteer from the Pathfinder community who does an outstanding job of helping our children learn and develop, and does so in the spirit of Pathfinder.  Pathfinder is full of great candidates! To nominate someone deserving, please submit their name and a brief explanation of why you think they should be honored using the APPLICATION HERE.  Deadline for application is Monday, March 4th.

Valentine’s Day Family Meet-up – All Welcome!

When:    Thursday, February 14th from 5:30-8PM
Where:  Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden @ 3809 Delridge Way SW (Just down the hill from the school.)

Show your Pathfinder spirit and join other Pathfinder families at this fun Valentine’s Day meet-up! Stop by for a drink, a bite from the food truck and a Valentine’s Day cookie for the kiddos. Ten lucky winners will also get treated to a drink of their choice provided by Lisa Clayton and the Pathfinder PTSA!

Parents, Kids, Everyone Welcome!

Wreath Fundraiser Raises $12,000 for Camping

The tally of wreath tags is complete and the total is in! After expenses, this year we raised $12,042 for Pathfinder’s camping and outdoor education program. That was 483 wreaths made and sold over five weeks, the  result of the hard work and dedication of our collective Pathfinder village. Thank you to everyone — and there are scores of you — who made and sold wreaths!

How did wreath funds compare to last year?

The Blue Herons try out fishing from the dock at Beacon Rock State Park on a spring camping trip.

One of the exciting results is that we raised $1,100 more than last year. We believe that is due to three factors:

  1. The quality of the wreaths was better. Our new wreath video made a big difference!
  2. For the first time, we offered a credit card option at the Farmers Markets and events.
  3. We got started earlier, allowing us to sell $500 of wreaths at Elders Lunch.

How are wreath funds allocated?

The cost of camping for all kids will be less this year because of everyone’s hard work. Every wreath sale defrays the cost of camping.

But there is also a participation factor. Classrooms and grade bands with the most participation will see the lowest camping costs (and for a couple of classrooms, it is likely to be free). The wreath sales are allocated as follows: 40% of the price of a wreath goes to the maker’s classroom; 40% of the sales price goes to the seller; 10% is reserved for people who collect greens, make bows and clean the workshop; and 10% goes towards expenses.

Generally, wreath funds go to individual classrooms in K/1, and are pooled and divided among the grade bands of 2/3, 4/5 and each middle school year.

Which class raised the most funds this year?

Drumroll, please! In what must be a first, the Seal Class, a Kindergarten classroom with just 16 students, raised an astounding $1,744. How did they do it? They got involved. One new parent tried making a wreath,  found she LOVED it, and made and sold 40 wreaths! Another new parent organized the Farmers Markets. A third made dozens of bows. And their enthusiasm helped get other parents involved.

The Top Ten:

  1. Seal (K): $1,744
  2. Blue Heron (4/5th): $1,279
  3. Elk (4/5th): $991
  4. Kingfisher (4/5th): $832
  5. Coyote (7th): $767
  6. Bat (1st): $751
  7. Eagle (4/5th): $733
  8. Frog (2/3rd): $664
  9. Bear (7th): $498
  10. Salmon (K): $492

Great work, everyone! We will see you next year in the wreath workshop for more creative fun that benefits our kids’ experiences at Pathfinder.

Prom is on it’s way!!

Come join the fun!!  Our annual auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year and enables the PTSA to fund important programs such as Outdoor Education, Classroom Support, Earth Project, Community Building, After School Classes and Scholarships. There are so many ways to be part of the action!

Attend the auction

Let’s dance on Saturday, March 9th at 5PM at the Hall at Fauntleroy. Invite a group to prom, bid on fantastic items in both the silent and live auction and enjoy a tasty dinner. There’s even a dance party after all of the auction excitement!  BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW

Help others attend the auction

New this year! Become a table coordinator and reserve a table for ten of your closest friends.  TELL ME HOW

Donate or procure an item

Help get this auction groovin’ with a donation.  Wish list and procurement form is by the front office. LEARN MORE HERE


There are many volunteer opportunities—big and small. This is a great way to get involved – get to know the school and other parents. Plus, if you volunteer the night of the auction you can attend for free. SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER

Attend a Group Event

There are many fun and unique events you can buy tickets for and all proceeds from Group Event sales goes directly to the PTSA. From wine tasting for grown-ups to an overnight sleepover at the school with David for the kids. PURCHASE GROUP EVENTS NOW

Make a dessert for the Dessert Dash

Make or procure a tantalizing dessert for the Dessert Dash for a fabulous end to dinner.  SIGN UP TO BRING A DESSERT


Sponsor a student for a Group Event that might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate or donate to the Staff Ticket Fund to help us offer discounted tickets to our amazing staff. GIVE NOW

Two Important School Levies on February 12 Ballot

Ballots are in the mail for an important vote to renew two school levies on February 12: the three-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) and is the six-year Building Excellence Capital Levy (BEX V). Both are critically important for operations at Pathfinder and other Seattle schools and endorsed by the Pathfinder PTSA. Neither levy is a new tax, but instead, they replace expiring levies to fund Seattle Public School’s most critical needs.

What is the EP&O Levy?

The EP&O Levy funds day-to-day school operations, instructional materials and textbooks, school staff salaries like nurses, custodians, librarians and counselors, and special education support and services. A detailed description of the levy can be found on the Seattle Public School’s website.

There is currently a huge funding gap for these staff salaries and services. For instance, the state funds only 9 nurses for the district’s 53,000 students, but SPS employs 63 nurses with funds from this levy. Currently, Seattle Public Schools spends $140 million each year to support the more than 7,000 students who need special education services, but the state funds just $68 million. The remainder is made up with levy funds.

It is safe to say that should the the EP&O levy not pass, there would be a devastating impact to Pathfinder’s ability to serve its students.

Isn’t the state responsible for paying for these services?

Yes, but the state has not provided enough funding to fully pay for salaries, special education services, and other basic education responsibilities leaving districts like Seattle in a bind. It also capped the amount of funds that SPS could tap from the current levy, leaving Seattle with a $50 million budget deficit going into next year.

There are two things that need to happen to fix this funding mess. The EP&O levy must be renewed, and the Washington State Legislature needs to enact legislation to lift the levy cap and fund more of these basic services.

>> You can help by voting on February 12 and attending the PTA’s Education Focus Day on February 19th in Olympia. Please contact Pathfinder PTSA’s Legislative Chair Cecelia Lehmann at for more info.

What is the BEX V Capital Levy?

The BEX V Capital Levy renews a levy that provides new and healthier learning environments. It is also not a new tax, and unlike the EP&O levy, school facility funding is a local, not a state responsibility.

This capital levy will add classrooms and remove portables, by replacing or modernizing eight aging schools and adding capacity at other schools. It will enhance safety and security by securing school entrances, fencing, earthquake safety and fire alarms. It will provide all schools equitable classroom technology and support for student learning.

In West Seattle, Alki Elementary will receive a new building and West Seattle Elementary will get a new addition. Pathfinder will benefit with security upgrades. Read more details on the Seattle Public School website.

There is also additional information from Seattle Public Schools about the levies hanging on the community bulletin board in the hallway across from the main office. Read up and get out your friends, family and neighbors to vote to renew these levies on February 12. Your kids will thank you.

PTSA Meeting on January 24th: Auction Kick-off & Levy Presentation

Please join the Pathfinder PTSA on Thursday, January 24th, for our annual Auction Kick-off and the first chance to sign up for a whole host of exciting Group Events. You’ll be able to sign up on the spot, and one lucky person will win a door prize of a $40 credit toward the Group Event of their choice!

We are also pleased to have JoLynn Burge, Asst. Superintendent for Business and Finance at Seattle Public Schools, join us to present information regarding the two levy renewals on the ballot February 12th. The first is the expiring three-year Educational Programs and Operations Levy; the second is the expiring six-year Building Excellence Capital Levy. Both are critically important for operations at Pathfinder and other Seattle schools (more below) and endorsed by the Pathfinder PTSA.


6:00 to 6:30: Gather and be the first to sign up for auction tickets and group events!
6:30 to 7:15: Levy presentation
7:15 to 7:45: Auction Preview!
***Door prize will be drawn with a $40 credit to the Group Event of your choice***
***Free childcare for kids 5 & up at Blazing Trails — check-in at 6:15pm and pick-up by 8:00pm***

Auction & Group Event Info

Pathfinder’s auction will be held on March 9, 2019 at the Hall at Fauntleroy. The season’s theme is Prom — It’s a Date! Tickets and Group Events will go on sale January 24th, so by coming to the meeting and signing up there, you will be the first to get your prom tickets and sign up for our popular Group Events! It’s going to be a blast!

Background on February Levy Votes

This is a challenging time for school funding elections. Support for school levies and bonds dropped considerably in neighboring districts a year ago because of confusion over state funding and the threat of higher property taxes.

The state has NOT fully funded K-12 education in Washington State. The state’s so-called McCleary fix left Seattle with a $50 million budget deficit, which does not provide enough funding to fully pay for salaries, special education services and other basic education responsibilities.

Neither of these levies are new taxes; they replace existing ones. The Educational Programs and Operations Levy funds nurses and librarians, counselors, special education, textbooks and materials, custodians and more. If this levy fails to pass, Pathfinder will almost certainly lose some of these positions and resources.

The BEX V Levy renews a levy that provides new and safer learning environments. Pathfinder will benefit with security upgrades; other schools. Nearby West Seattle Elementary will be expanded and Alki Elementary is slated to be rebuilt. Many schools will receive technology improvements.