PUSD Parent Leaders Honored at Pasadena Education Network’s 7th Annual Wine Tasting Event

Cole, Finkley, Rahn and Selinske Recognized for Outstanding Parent Involvement

Published : Monday, March 16, 2015 | 6:22 PM

From Top Clockwise: Steve Cole, Lydia Finkley, Tom Selinske and Mikala Rahn. Photo courtesy PEN

The Pasadena Education Network (PEN) will host PEN’s 7th Annual Wine Tasting on Sunday, April 12, at Claud Beltran’s Bacchus’ Kitchen, 1384 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event includes red and white wines donated by Everson Royce, eclectic appetizers donated by Beltran, live music provided by the Pasadena High School Jazz Band, and a silent auction. A boutique Whiskey Tasting experience will allow guests to enjoy a flight and cocktail.

PEN is a network of more than 1,000 parents who support and send their children to Pasadena Unified School District schools. The grassroots nonprofit promotes family participation in public education in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, and believes that parent and community involvement are essential to building strong schools for all students. Annually, PEN recognizes parent leaders who represent the type of involvement for which they advocate. This year, four outstanding parent volunteers are being honored.

Steve Cole is the President of Invest In PUSD Kids, a grassroots organization that aims to bring the community together to invest more of its resources, time and talents to support our public schools. Steve was a pivotal force in bringing the 8th Guiding Principle campaign to the Pasadena General Plan, lobbying for the Community Schools pilot programs at Jackson and Madison Elementary schools, and campaigning for the Measure CC parcel tax. In addition to his community activism, Steve has served on the Longfellow and Blair PTAs, as well as PUSD’s PTA Council.

Lydia Finkley is the District Advisory Council (DAC) Chair for PUSD, a district level advisory group of School Site Council representatives. She serves on numerous school site and district level committees including the LCAP Work Group and Parent Advisory Council, and the Master Planning Team. She began volunteering at Field elementary school where she developed a GATE program, and went on to serve on the PTA, and School Site Council of not only Field, but Norma Coombs and Wilson Middle School. She is a frequent speaker at PEN’s “Parents As Leaders” programs.

Mikala Rahn has dedicated her life to public education both professionally and personally. As a PUSD parent, Mikala has served on the Sierra Madre School PTA (where she eventually become President), School Site Council, and the Advisory Board for the Muir Ranch. She expanded her focus beyond her children’s school to join the PUSD Board of Education in 2013 where she serves on the Master Planning, Facilities, and Safety committees. Annually, Mikala leads PEN’s “Choosing an Elementary School That’s Right for Your Child” program.

Tom Selinske began his volunteer work at PUSD when his children were students in the district. He was so passionate about improving education for all students that he eventually ran for school board. He has served on the PUSD school board since 2007 and was elected school board President from 2008-2010. Tom has supported the facility and technology needs of PUSD, the promotion of Linked Learning Pathways and other career technical education, has led efforts for Board reform around improved board processes and protocols, and more.

Kids Klub Pasadena will provide free childcare for children of attendees who contact them no later than April 3 at 5 p.m. Tickets for the Wine Tasting are $75; $100 ticket includes the Whiskey Tasting. Sponsorships and opportunities to recognize the event honorees are available at www.penfamilies.org.

Wine is donated by Everson Royce wine/spirits/beer, www.eversonroyce.com, in Old Pasadena.

PEN is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes family participation in public education to benefit all students. PEN provides services to help parents explore and evaluate their public school options as well as become volunteer leaders in their schools and in the district.

For more information contact PEN at (866) 216-7334 or www.penfamilies.org.

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