Become a Pathfinder PTSA Member!

Join or Renew Your PTSA Membership Today!

Powerful Voice. Relevant Resource. Strong Advocate.

Your membership is a sign of support for the efforts made to provide opportunities for students, foster our sense of community, and partner with school staff to create a positive climate.

Please add your voice to over 1,000 Washington State PTA members as we advocate on behalf of your child, your child’s school, the district where you live, and for all children of all abilities and experiences across the state of Washington.


Added Perk — Discounts!

Did you know that by joining the PTSA, not only are you supporting our students, but you get discounts as well? Here are just SOME of the benefits associated with PTSA membership.

  • Silverwood Theme Park – discount on admission tickets through September 29
  • Great Wolf Lodge – receive up to 30% off
  • – get a 40% discount on LEGO® Bag products at
  • Tickets at Work -access to 20-70% off on movies, hotels, shows, concerts, sporting events, and more
  • Office Depot – great discounts for school supplies
  • Wild Waves – discount on admission tickets for Fright Fest – Family by Day/Fright by Night starting weekends September 27 through November 2
  • Washington State Fair – save up to 36% on Washington State Fair admission and rides
  • FedEx Office – special rates for printing
  • Angel of the Winds Arena Everett – discounts on events
  • and more

Sign up is easy and it’s all online here:

Renewing your PTA membership is the fastest and easiest way you personally can help all children succeed!

Scholarship funds are available!

Please contact Gail Joblin, our membership chair, if you have any questions or concerns at:

PTSA General Meeting Sept 19th

You are invited – this Thursday, September 19th at 6:30pm in the Pathfinder library – to the first PTSA general meeting of the year. Hear directly from the administrative team about the areas they plan to focus on in the coming school year, the performance goals they want students to achieve, and how the school plans to collaboratively meet these goals. It should be an informative evening!

Blazing trails will provide childcare for kids 5 and up.


Direct Give 2019

Direct Give

This year we have a tall order: we need to raise more than $150,000 to support our school. In order to start the year off strong, we aim to raise $30,000 by October 18 through our annual Direct Give.

Direct Give Kick-off Campaign
We need your help! Let’s start this year off with a record-breaking fundraiser to support our Pathfinder community!


At Pathfinder our children receive not just a great education, but an opportunity to connect with the greater Pathfinder community. From camping excursions and the Science Fair, to developing new passions in the classroom, art, or P.E., our children receive the gift of an education that highlights not only academics, but their emotional health, and cultural learnings. But this cannot be done without your help.


This year we have a goal to raise $30,000 dollars by October 18th, and we ask for your support. Please donate today and know that every dollar helps!

How You Can Help

Every dollar you donate today to the Direct Give will go directly to the school. All donations are tax deductible, and many may be eligible to be matched by your family’s workplace. It takes a village to raise a child: share broadly with people you know who might be able to help — grandparents, aunts and uncles, close friends and more.


Make checks out to Pathfinder PTSA with forms found in your child’s backpack or at the front office. You can drop your check in the PTSA mailbox in the office or mail to: Pathinder PTSA,
1901 SW Genesee St, Seattle, WA 98106.

Thank you so much for supporting Pathfinder!!


Join Us for Pathfinder 101 on September 12th

Are you new or newish to Pathfinder? Would you like to learn more about the school and community?

If so, please join us on Thursday, September 12 from 6:30 – 8:00pm at the Pathfinder Library. We will have a presentation that covers the history of Pathfinder and the ways that our school is unique. Our intent is to describe and demystify many of the events, quirks and opportunities that will come your way during the school year so you feel more informed and confident as parents and caregivers.

Following the presentation, we will have an excellent panel of parents who cover all of the age ranges and experience levels to answer your burning questions.

Blazing Trails will be providing childcare for kids 5 & up in their space just inside the front doors of the school. We wish they could do younger kids, but their licensing doesn’t allow it.

We hope to see you there!

Welcome Back to School!

Hello and Welcome from your Pathfinder PTSA!

It is with enthusiasm that we welcome you to a new school year and invite you to get involved with the Pathfinder PTSA. This year we are planning new family-oriented events, more parent education, and better communication with you. We hope you’ll like the changes! Three events start off our year:

New & Improved Back to School Social (Tuesday, September 3 from 5-7pm)

We are trying something new this year! Instead of BBQ with hot dogs, we are having an Ice Cream Social with a Venezuelan food truck (or BYO picnic)! Join us the evening before school starts for a picnic, popsicles for all, and great company. Learn more.

Pathfinder 101 for New Families (Thursday, September 12 from 6:30 – 8:00pm)

If you’re new or newish to Pathfinder, we encourage you to join us for Pathfinder 101, where you will be able to learn about Pathfinder from other parents, ask your burning questions and meet other new families. Blazing Trails will provide childcare for kids 5 & up.

PTSA General Meeting: The State of the School (Thursday, September 19 from 6:30 – 8:00pm)

A week later, the PTSA will host its first general meeting of the year. We will hand over the microphone to David Dockendorf and the staff who will share their thoughts about the State of the School for 2019-2020. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn what the school has planned for the year. Blazing Trails will also provide childcare this evening.

How You Can Get Involved this Year

Contribute to Our Community by Volunteering

By baking goodies for an event, making and selling wreaths, decorating for the auction, maintaining our garden, judging the Science Fair, making a donation and much more, you make Pathfinder a special place to learn and grow. We appreciate each and every one of you and have a need — big or small — to fit your time and interests. Please contact our Hospitality Chair, Lily Evans, with your interests, and she will match you up with a need: hospitality.volunter at

Become a Member of Pathfinder PTSA

When you join Pathfinder PTSA, you add your voice in support of local, state and national efforts to improve the lives of all students and their families. Combined with other PTA members at Pathfinder and around the state, these annual dues amplify your voice locally and in Olympia. Learn more and join/renew today!

Donate to Pathfinder PTSA

Not to be confused with membership, donations directly to Pathfinder PTSA stay within our school, funding tutors and the garden program, providing a fund for classroom teachers, purchasing library books, supporting expeditionary learning and camping, staging kid-friendly events like the Back-to-School Ice Cream Social and Field Day, and much more.

This year, the PTSA needs to raise more than $150,000, which we do primarily through a Direct Give in October, a Wreath Fundraiser in December, fun group events and an annual Auction in March.  You can get us off to a good start by making your Direct Give donation early right here. And don’t forget that many employers will match your charitable gifts to Pathfinder PTSA.

Back to School Ice Cream Social

This is a new twist on the old Back To School BBQ.  Still a chance to meet teachers and see friends as we gear up for the new year, but with popsicles instead of hotdogs.  Paparepas food truck will be there to serve Venezuelan empenadas if you’d like to purchase dinner (peruse their menu here).  You are also welcome to bring along a picnic dinner for your family.  We hope to see you there!


Final PTSA Meeting of the Year

Pathfinder K-9 School PTSAPlease join the Pathfinder PTSA for its final meeting of the year. It will be held on Thursday, June 6 in the Pathfinder HUB, just before the Spring Concert and Art Walk. We will be voting on officers and budget for 2019-2020.

We will also have some light dinner items on hand, so it’s a great chance to grab a bite before the concert. The line-up of events are:

5:00-5:30pm:  Dinner
5:30-6:00: Meeting — Votes on 2019-2020 Officers and Budget
6:30pm: Concert Begins

The proposed slate of officers are:

President: Susan Elderkin
Vice President: Holly Rikhof
Co-Treasurers: Jennifer Girou & Serai Batolein
Secretary: Danielle Heckert

The slate of officers and the proposed budget are hanging on the PTSA bulletin board in the hallway across from the main office.


Pathfinder PTSA Needs YOU Next Year

Next school year the Pathfinder PTSA is planning new family fun events, more parent education and better communications with families. And to make this all happen, we need YOU!

We are currently seeking volunteers for a number of PTSA board positions and events. They range in scope, focus area, and time commitment, so you really can find something that fits your schedule and interests. If you are ready to take the next step and help us launch some exciting new initiatives, please email PTSA President Susan Elderkin at She can send you additional information and talk with you about each of these positions and events.

Open PTSA Board Positions:

  • Co-Treasurer: Do you have accounting, budget or other financial experience? We have one returning Treasurer, but need a second to share the duties. This is an elected Executive Board position.
  • Vice President Communications & Fundraising: This is one of two new VP positions on the Executive Board, and one that we expect will help us communicate better with you next year. This VP will allow us to develop and manage communications and fundraising plans that will meet the PTSA’s goals and budget.
  • Vice President Events & Education: This VP position will help us create and carry out our new events and family education work next year. They will work closely with the chairs of each program and develop a plan to better connect families with each other, the school and important resources.
  • Secretary: This position is a great way to get involved at Pathfinder and perfect for a newer parent. The Secretary position is mandatory for all non-profits and is an elected member of the Executive Committee – so we have to have one. Is it you?
  • After School Program Coordinator: Do you value the after-school classes and want to see this kid-centered enrichment program thrive? Consider taking on this critical role next year, as we MUST have a coordinator to have the program. Maureen Clark in the front office can tell you all about it!
  • Community Events Chair: We’ve heard from you that you would love the PTSA to host more family fun events, and we’ve put together a schedule of new and improved events every month or two, starting with a revamped Back-to-School event. And you don’t have to do them all! This position helps with the development, recruitment, and oversight of the events.
  • Communications Chair: We know we can communicate better with families, especially people who are new to Pathfinder. The Chair will lead a team that will help the PTSA with communicating streamlined, transparent, accurate and welcoming information to the Pathfinder community, utilizing a variety of communications tools.
  • Family Education Chair: This is a new position that will revolve around providing information and scheduling speakers on a number of issues that impact our kids and families. It is a perfect position for a working parent.
  • Race & Equity Liaison: The school has developed a Race & Equity Team, and we are looking for a parent volunteer to sit on both the school team and the PTSA board, acting as a liaison between the two and helping to bring forth new initiatives and activities that will make Pathfinder a more inclusive and welcoming school.
  • Hospitality Chair: Put smiles on people’s faces, from the staff to new Pathfinder families. Manage the PTSA volunteer list, lead a new Pathfinder 101 night in September, oversee Staff Appreciation Week and help PTSA events with volunteers and treats.
  • Membership Chair: Help promote PTSA membership and manage our database of members. It has the highest profile in the fall, where we will have tables at our events, and then it is mostly behind the scenes management.

We Need a Lead for These Fall 2019 Events:

  • Direct Give Lead: This is a very straight-forward fundraiser that brings in $25,000 – $30,000 over 2½ weeks in October. It comes with an excellent template, guidance from past leads, and needs less than a month of solid attention… then you’re done! No past fundraising experience necessary.
  • Revamped Back-to-School Event Lead: We’d like to freshen up Pathfinder’s Back-to-School event and try something new. Do you have ideas and would like to help lead this annual tradition?

It takes a village to make the magic happen, and as you can see from this list of needs, we absolutely and totally welcome and encourage new folks to join the Pathfinder PTSA Board or help lead our events. You are the future of our school. Please contact Pathfinder President Susan Elderkin ( for any additional information. We have job descriptions for all of these positions that spell out the duties more fully. THANK YOU!!!

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!!