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Newtown’s New Special Education PTA Holds First Meeting

Published: March 9, 2018

Newtown’s newly formed Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) held its first meeting on February 28, when representatives from the state PTA presented the new group’s charter.

The first meeting was held in Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall. Roughly 20 local parents and teachers filled in seats in the room.

At the start of the meeting, Connecticut PTA President Jennifer Falotico — with assistance from former NHS PTSA president and the current Connecticut PTA Vice President of Membership Support Maggie Conway — presented the Newtown SEPTA board members with the charter and oversaw a ceremony to mark the start of the new SEPTA.

According to SEPTA President Melissa Beylouni, the group is the first of its kind in Newtown. While the SEPTA will serve the district’s special education students, it is open to all Newtown parents and teachers in the district. Along with Ms Beylouni the other founding board members are Vice President Jennifer Strychalsky, Secretary Brenda McRae, and Treasurer Margaret Keayes.

After the charter was presented, Ms Beylouni said she is thrilled the SEPTA is finally formed. The idea for starting it began last spring, and Ms Beylouni was eventually introduced to Ms Strychalsky through the school district. Ms Beylouni, who is in her third year serving as president of the Head O’ Meadow Elementary School PTA, said she is passionate about fundraising for the things students need.

“Just anything we can do, I want to know about it,” Ms Beylouni told the room of attendees.

The four SEPTA board members explained they have many ideas already for events and other programs. They asked anyone who is interested in being a member of the group or who has ideas for the group to e-mail them at newtownsepta@gmail.com. The group plans to host events with informative speakers and presentations. Ms Beylouni said fun events are also being planned.

“I want to arm parents with as much knowledge as we can,” said Ms Strychalsky.

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