The Cooperative Education Association AND the Virginia Congress of Mothers and PTA

1933-1937     Dr. W.T. Sanger
1937-1939     Mrs. S. C. Cox
1939-1943     Dr. F. L. Fox
1943-1946     Mrs. Berry Willis
1946-1949     Dr. George Zehmer
1949-1952     Mrs. Hunter Barrow
1952-1955     Dr. Robert Nelson
1955-1958     Mrs. W. W. Kavanaugh
1958-1961     Dr. Edgar Johnson
1961-1963     Mrs. Harold Gerry
1963-1965     Dr. Charles Caldwell
1965-1967     Mrs. Charles Duncan
1967-1969     Mr. Fred Entler
1969-1971     Mrs. W.H. Crockford
1971-1973     Dr. Spencer Smith, Jr.
1973-1975     Mr. Robert Shaver
1975-1977     Mr. George Thompson
1977-1979     Mrs. Paul Coussens
1979-1981     Mrs. Lofton Alley
1981-1983     Mr. George Meek
1983-1985     Mrs. Leonard Lineberry
1985-1987     Mrs. Len Belter
1987-1989     Mrs. Robert Delaney|
1989-1991     Mr. Richard D. Martin
1991-1993     Mrs. Robert W. Taylor
1993-1995     Mr. David W. Goodrich
1995-1997     Mrs. Mary B. Gormley
1997-1999     Mrs. Lois L. Cumashot
1999-2001     Mrs. Sue R. Glasco
2001-2003     Mrs. Janice M. McKeever
2003-2005     Mrs. Ramona Morrow
2005-2007     Mrs. Dianne Florence
2007-2009     Mrs. Melissa Nehrbass
2009-2011     Mrs. Debra Abadie
2011-2013     Mrs. Anne Carson
2013-2015     Mrs. Brenda L. Sheridan
2015-2017     Mrs. Jane S. Brooks
2017-2019     Ms. Sarah R. Gross
2019-2021     Ms. Donna Colombo

Get to Know Our Members

When you join Virginia PTA, you are connected to a community of 950 schools in Virginia that support approximately 766,000 students. Our 175,000 members are committed to building strong family to school partnerships and advocating for resources that help every child reach their full potential. 

  • 52% of PTAs in Virginia are in Title 1 schools
    • Establishing a Parent and Family Engagement Policy in Title 1 schools is required under federal law by the Every Student Suceeds Act. Will you join PTA to support your child's learning and development? Will you join and volunteer to support family STEAM night, reading night and other fun events that grow a strong community? Will you join PTA to #TakeAction4Kids to increase state At Risk Add-On funding for low-income schools?
  • 42% of Virginia students in schools with PTAs qualify for Free/Reduced lunches.
    • Virginia PTA advocated for the extension of the USDA Summer Food Service Program, which provides funding to offer FREE meals to all children under 18. This program was extended throughout the school year until June 2021. Virginia PTA has also advocated for reduction in school lunch debt, expansion of community eligibility programs (which provides free meals to all students regardless of income in qualifying schools), and an expansion of locally grown foods in school cafeterias. Will you join PTA to help with a Backpack Buddies program, help in the school garden or advocate for resources that provide students with access to healthy nutricious meals?
  • 55% of Virginia students in schools with PTAs are students of color.
    • Virginia PTA respects and celebrates the differences and commonalities among our community. We want to ensure our membership and programs are representative of our families and reach them in their preferred language. Will you join PTA to help us support the diverse needs of our school communities?
  • PTAs are located in every area of Virginia. 22% of our PTAs are in rural areas and towns, 32% of our PTAs are in cities and 47% of our PTAs are in suburban areas.
    • Each community has unique experiences, but regardless of where you live, many of Virginia's school buildings are deteriorated, do not have adequate support staff and both rural and urban communities have students and teachers that lack access to high-speed affordable broadband. Join us to #TakeAction4Kids in your commuity!

Linked below are helpful infographics and membership asks that can help you promote the power of PTA: on your websites, in your flyers and newsletters and through social media channels.

Members Where Members Who 





The Virginia Lottery, in partnership with the Virginia PTA, is excited to announce the fourth annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest, and we invite all K-12 public school artists to share their talent with us!
Three student artists, whether enrolled virtually or face-to-face, will be selected to win a $150 gift card, and their school’s art department will be awarded $1,000 from the Virginia Lottery and $1,000 from our partners at The Supply Room.
The winning designs (one each from an elementary, middle and high school student artist) will then be featured on thousands of thank-you notes distributed to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Those notes will each feature a unique code for teachers to enter for a chance to win a Virginia-themed vacation.
Check out last year’s top artwork here.
Help us spread the word, and encourage the students in your life to enter their original artwork! Submissions will be accepted December 14, 2020 – February 1, 2021.


VSM Logo

Virginia PTA is proud to announce two statewide Virginia PTA Membership options, the Commonwealth Membership and the Legacy Membership.

The Mission of Virginia PTA is "To make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children." When you join the Commonwealth PTA, you are sharing our mission to support ALL of children.  This also is a way of supporting staff, families, and communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

We often have friends of Virginia PTA say "we don't have children in school anymore" or "I am a Superintendent of 92 schools and I can't join all of them"  This is the perfect opportunity to support every child and school in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth PTA honorary annual membership is available for $25. 

To celebrate our 100th Anniversary, we are also offering a "Legacy Membership" for $100.00.  Your name will be listed in the 2021 Annual Meeting Program  and on our website. 

Both statewide memberships are annual honorary memberships designed to allow you to demonstrate your support for all students and share in the mission of Virginia PTA. These memberships do not provide voting rights.

To join, click on the images below to purchase a membership via credit card. We will follow-up with a membership card and welcome letter.

You may also pay via check. Simply mail your check, written to Virginia PTA with Commonwealth PTA in the subject line, to our state office.  

Virginia PTA 
1027 Wilmer Avenue
Richmond, VA 23224

Member Commonwealth Member Legacy

COMMONWEALTH PTA  - Honorary Members (2020-2021)

Amy Arness, National PTA Board Member - Legacy
Donna Colombo,  Virginia PTA State President (2019-2021) - Legacy
Kayla Pagel, Louisiana State PTA Treasurer - Supporter
Nicole Sheppard, Virginia PTA State Roanoke District Director - Legacy


The Latino community is an integral part of our Virginia economy and accounts for 9.3% of all Virginians. Within our schools, about 208,000 (16%) of nearly 1.3 million students in Virginia's K-12 public schools are Hispanic and about 35% have limited English proficiency. More than half of the Latino population resides in the Northern Virginia region, followed by Hampton Roads and Richmond. 

Connecting families with important information about our schools, celebrating cultural differences and advocating for unique concerns of each community are an integral part of creating a welcoming, inclusive parent community for your school. Here are resources you can use to connect with and support the Latino and English Learner Families in your community. 

PTA Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Nuestro Compromiso con la Diversidad, la Equidad y la Inclusión

Town Hall: Community of Support for English Language Learners

with Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Latino Advisory Board

Breaking Through the Language Barrier

More than half of the Latino population in Virginia is born in the United States and the majority that have immigrated come from El Salvador, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Per the Virginia Latino Advisory Board's 2018-2019 Annual Report, over half of Latinos living in Virginia (54.2%) are bilingual, over a quarter (27.7%) speak only English; and 17.3% (about 120,000 people) speak Spanish and limited or no English. 

Facilitating two-way communication and helping Latino families become engaged in the parent community means taking time to address language and cultural barriers. Bilingual materials, flexible meeting times, transportation, child care assistance, and translators can all help demonstrate your commitment to supporting a diverse multilingual community.   

Family Engagement & Title III Requirements

School divisions receive funding and are required through Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act to provide family engagement activities that enable limited English families to meaningfully participate in their student’s education. Ask your local school division how your PTA can support or enhance school-based programs for immigrant and limited English families. Many school divisions offer the following supports: 

  • Parents as Educational Partners (PEP). These classes are offered by the school division to educate parents and families about the United States education system; teach English language skills and share strategies for becoming active participants in the education of their children.
  • Bilingual Parent Liaisons. Help build parent, family and community engagement and provide supplemental communication support to families as they support their student.
  • Translation. Ask about special bilingual take-home books; or translation resources available for teachers and PTAs.
  • Events. 
    • Field trips for limited English proficiency parents/families and students;
    • Social Emotional Learning events specifically created to meet the cultural needs of the community;
    • Community resource fairs and career fairs based on supporting EL students and their families

Evaluate your PTA's family engagement with these tools from National PTA 

Social Emotional Wellness & Student Support Services 

In addition to overcoming language barriers, many English Language Learners may have additional responsibilities outside of school such as caring for younger siblings, helping with financial burdens, or helping translate or interpret for family members. Additionally, stress from immigration, threat of deportation and high rates of COVID-19 may create stress for students and families. 

Special Education Resources 

Help your families learn how to advocate for thier special education student by connecting them with the Virginia Department of Education's Special Education resources. 

School Nutrition Program

School meals play a play a critical role in good nutrition, student well-being, and academic success. Due to a COVID-19 waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture, all children under the age of 18 can recieve free school meals until December 31, 2020. Families should look for information about how to pick-up meals from thier children's local school. In a typical school year, families with an income that falls below the federal poverty level can apply for free or reduced-price school meals through thier local school division.

The School Lunch Program does not require an individual to be a citizen or qualified alien. Immigration and refugee status is not collected as part of the application for free/reduced meals and it is illegal for the school nutrition office to share information from the school meal application without written consent from the parent/guardian.

Parents and families can find sites approved for meal service on the School Meal Finder website and additional details from their local school division. Families can also text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to learn more about food options near them.

Housing & Income 

According to a report by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis (CIFA), foreign-born Hispanic and Latino-headed households tend to have lower incomes than other Virginians. Unfortunately, due to lack of affordable housing across the state, many Latino families are more vulnerable to eviction, which in turn has negative consequences on family stability, health, work and educational outcomes. 

The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across Virginia during the coronavirus pandemic. Sharing the following resources may be helpful for your families: 

Comparing your School's Performance

For information on how your school compares to other schools, visit Virginia's School Quality Profiles

Education Agency Resources

Family Resources 

Additional Associations Supporting Latino Families

Virginia Latino Advisory Board: Advises the Governor regarding the development of economic, professional, cultural, educational, and governmental links between the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Latino community in Virginia, and Latin America. The Board shall be composed of twenty-one non-legislative citizen members, at least fifteen of whom shall be of Latino descent. 

Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO):  Coalition of non-profit organizations serving and supporting the Latino/Hispanic immigrant communities in Virginia. VACOLAO works to empower, secure equal treatment, opportunity, and representation for Latinos/Hispanics.

Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (VAHCC) Foundation: Builds economic bridges between Hispanic businesses and the community at large in order to create, promote, and enhance business opportunities for its members and partners.

Edu-Futuro Works to empowers under-resourced Latino and other immigrant youth through education, leadership development, and family engagement to become the next generation of professionals who transform their communities. 

Hispanic Heritage Foundation: The Hispanic Heritage Foundation identifies, inspires, prepares, and connects Latino Leaders in the community, classroom, and workforce 

Virginia Latino Higher Education Network:  Works to improve access and retention for Latino students, to increase the numbers of Latino faculty and staff, and to create campus climates which are nurturing and culturally sensitive.

Getting Your Questions Answered & Providing Resources

A special committee was appointed by the president, Donna Colombo, to address local unit leaders' concerns and needs. Find valuable information on how to operate virtually in our Fall Back to Basics Guidelines and Resources for Local Units and Councils During Virtual Operations.

Watch the Fall Back to Basics Panel Discussion recorded live on Saturday, August 22, 2020, with members of the special committee. 

Virginia PTA is committed to sharing the most up-to-date information on how to conduct PTA business and distance/virtual learning resources as families are learning and working from home, things have changed in all of our daily lives.

Each Friday, you will find valuable information and responses to the most asked questions from local leaders. You are able to submit questions to your council, district, or directly to VAPTA at and it will be forwarded to the special committee or it may be answered immediately based on time sensitivity.

Each week's communication will be listed below and added to our social media outlets.

FAQ Friday - AUG 21

FAQ Friday - AUG 14

FAQ Friday - AUG 07