PTO Volunteer Opportunities

Get Involved!  Volunteer!!

Our PTO is able to offer the wide variety of activities and services that it does due to the generous efforts of our parent and teacher volunteers. We are currently seeking volunteers for the 2013-2014 school year.  Please review this latest list of volunteer positions and please think about what may interest and how you may be able to contribute. We are always looking for new people to help with our large array of events.

 If you see something that interests you but the position is occupied, please let us know.  Many times these committees require additional volunteers.   Have an idea for a committee or an event you would like to host? Please let us know that too.  Also, if you know of a new family who may be interested in helping, please pass along this information.

Thank you for your time. We certainly hope that you will consider helping with our PTO events.  If you would like to volunteer or if you have any questions please contact us.    Also you can now sign-up online at  The link is   

                                                Sincerely Your Co-Presidents,        

                                                          Jacquie Gallo        Lisa LaVigne

                                                                        Jacquie Gallo (Zink)  (2nd yr) /

                                    Lisa LaVigne              (1st yr) /

If you have questions you are also welcome to contact:

 VP Ways & Means (Fundraising)                Stacy Rijssenbeek/

VP Ways & Means (Fundraising)                Susan Polsinelli/

PTO Parent Liaison                                      Tasha Ferguson/

Ways and Means Committees (Fundraising):

2nd Annual PTO Pledge Drive (August - Winter) This is the primary fundraiser for our PTO. While much of the work is done for this year in that the pledge drive letter has already gone out, we are seeking volunteers to creatively publicize and promote participation in the pledge drive throughout the fall.  We also need a volunteer to contact companies to inquire about matching gifts given by their employees and follow-up with paperwork as needed. (This position is perfect for someone who wants to volunteer from home.)

1.   Susan Polsinelli

2.   Stacy Rijssenbeek

3.   ________________________

4.   ________________________

Class Dues (Fall)  Coordinate the collection of class dues from Back to School night and those that may come in via the classroom.  Once collected they get delivered to our Treasurer where they are then made available to our teachers for classroom supplies via a PTO reimbursement.  


1.    Christine Daley


Book Fair  (October 21st – 25th  & June 6th ) Love books? Volunteer to help our Media Specialist, Debbie Ubriaco build our wonderful media center and help parents inspire the love of reading at home.  Our energetic organizers will work with Debbie and the selected book fair vendor to coordinate set-up, run the book fair, and publicize the book fair.  

1          Deb Ubriaco

2.         Colleen Bosco

3.          EllenPetrangelo


Barnes & Noble All School Fun Fair (November 9th – 13th) This fantastic, fun, fundraiser was a huge hit last year and all of the basic planning has been carefully preserved for our great volunteer organizers this year!  No need to reinvent the wheel! The Barnes & Noble event takes place between November 9 and November 13 and is a wonderful opportunity to work with our art department (art showcase), teachers (guest readers), and music department (mini concert).  Use your imagination and creativity to make this wonderful event even better.  Volunteer organizers will coordinate with Barnes & Noble, set-up activities, run event, and publicize the event.


1          ._________________________         Chairperson

2.         __________________________        Chairperson

3.         ___________________________

4.         ___________________________

5.         __________________________

6.         __________________________


Gift Card Sales (December & June)  Like helping people get their holiday shopping done early?  The Gift Card Sales volunteer organizer position is perfect for you.  This fundraiser runs twice, once before the December holidays and once near the end of the year for father’s day and teacher gifts.  The Gift Card fundraiser was run in 2011-12 and 2012-13, so materials from prior years are available for our 2013-14 volunteer team.  Gift card organizers will coordinate orders, publicize the fundraising event, and distribute gift cards.

1                                              Chairperson

2          _________________


Used Book Sale (February 28th & April 5th) Love Books? Share your love for books with our community and organize the used book sale which will be held during the Pancake Breakfast and also during our NEW Family Reading Night event!  Volunteer organizers will be asked to collect and organize used books for sale, publicize the fundraiser, and serve as cashiers during the sale.


1.         Anne Skrebutenas                                    Chairperson

2.         Bethany Hoogs

3.         Monica Schwartz

4.         ____________________


Art Event  (Spring)  Although the vendor is yet to be selected for this fundraiser, this is expected to be a wonderful event where students visit the school to create art at a special event with guest art teachers.  After the event, the art or items imprinted with the art will be sold online.  If you would like to raise money for Hillside and explore your artistic side, please volunteer to help us plan and run this event.  Volunteer organizers will coordinate with the vendor, run the event, and publicize the event.


1.         Maggie Vinciguerra            Chairperson

2.         Kelly Trimarchi            Chairperson



Passive Fundraisers  (All Year) Would you like to help Hillside make money through corporate sponsored fundraisers like: Box Tops for Education; Target Red Card; Labels for Education and Price Chopper E Labels for Education; Hannaford Helps Schools; and Price Chopper Tools For Schools. If you are in the volunteer spirit, but you don’t have a lot of time to give, help organize, publicize and make our school lots of money with one of these wonderful corporate sponsors.  Organizers will also be asked to get creative and help implement incentives/contests in order to maximize our full fundraising potentials.


1..        _________________              Target Red Card Volunteer

2..        Rebecca Whelan                Box Tops for Education

3..        _________________              Price Chopper E-labels/ Labels for Education

4..        Kathleen Gathen                Hannaford Helps Schools

5..        Kathleen Gathen                Price Chopper Tools for Schools



School Nights  (Throughout the Year)  Our wonderful school nights organizers will plan dining nights/days at local restaurants (minimum of 3 total – such as Chipotle, Ruby Tuesday’s etc)  These dining nights are very easy to coordinate, and require a minimal time commitment.  The Hillside event held at Ruby Tuesday’s last year was enjoyed by many families. It’s a great way to build community spirit and benefit Hillside at the same time.

1          _________________________          Chairperson

2          Meredith Oakes

3.         Kelly Trimarchi


School Social/Events Committees:

Newcomer’s Ice Cream Social (Late August / Early September)  This event has a coordinator for this year.  However, for next year we will be looking for someone to coordinate a meet & greet ice cream social for incoming Kindergarten families and other families new to Hillside.  This is a great opportunity where new families and new students can meet their teachers and other classmates, have ice cream and play on the playground!


1.    ____________________________


Fall Social     September 27th (rain date 10/4)   Hillside parents, faculty and staff socialize with our Hillside community while the children play on the playground.  Refreshments, snacks and some fun outdoor games are part of this great laid back event.  This year is Hillside’s 50th Birthday, so we also hope to plan some special treats.


1.         Jean Foti                                  Chairperson

2.         Marci Cornish

3.         ______________________

4.         ______________________


Hillside’s Harry Potter Night  (October 25th) New Event!  Please help us plan and run this great new family event!  Coordinate all things Harry Potter!   Whether its potion making, crafts in the classroom, Quidditch in the gym or a magic show there will be something for everyone to enjoy!  Come dressed in your House colors!  We would love to have a great team to get this first time event going and make it a Hillside fall tradition!  Also, Pam Ober, a Birchwood mom, and school district volunteer who knows “Everything Harry Potter” will be happy to consult with our Hillside team on how best to approach this very popular social which has run for many years at Rosendale and Birchwood.  


1.         __________________________________    Chairperson

2.         __________________________________    Chairperson

3.         Michael Hehir

4.         Monica Schwartz

5.         Jocelyn Adams

6.         __________________________________


Craft Night  (December 6th)  Develop crafts, coordinate craft stations,  set up, clean up and have fun at this well attended event!


1.         Rebecca Whelan                 Chairperson

2.       Jean Chillrud

3.       _________________

4.       _________________

5.       _________________

6.       _________________


Family Movie Night  (January 10th) New Event! Coordinate a movie, beverages and snacks for our K-5 students and their families to enjoy.


1.         Nicole Helstowski            Chairperson

2.         Christine Helstowski           Chairperson

3.         ______________________________


Family Boogie Night (January 31st) Coordinate a DJ, food, decorations, volunteers and activities for

this themed dance event which is very popular at Hillside!


1.         Rebecca Whelan                           Chairperson

2.         __________________________        Chairperson

3.         __________________________

4.         __________________________

5.         ._________________________

6.         __________________________


Family Reading Night/Used Book Fair (February 28th ) New Event!  Come in your pajamas if you like or just bring a blanket, either way our media specialist, Debbie Ubriaco will be here to read the newest Caldecott award winners to the children.  Family Reading Night volunteers will coordinate a bake sale and hot and cold refreshments for this laid back event, while the Used Book Sale volunteers will take care of the used book sale to be held during this event. (see above)


1.         Jean Foti                                                      Chairperson

2.         Alexis Licht

3.         Colleen Bosco




Pancake Breakfast  (April 5th) Coordinate the purchase of supplies, solicit volunteers for ticket sales, serving, and clean-up.  The Girl Scouts help serve a wonderful breakfast and after your meal go browse the used books the PTO has for sale!


1.         Rachelle Kehoe            Chairperson

2.       Chrissy O’Reilly            Chairperson

3.         Dawn Allen

4.         Kelly Trimarchi

5.         _____________________

6.         ______________________


Ice Cream Social (June 6th ) Contact donors for ice cream, paper products and other suppliers needed and recruit volunteers for this free and fun family social event!


1.         Debra Geer                    Chairperson

2.       Tammy Mills                Chairperson

3.         Marci Cornish

4.         ________________


Communications Committee

Directory (September)  Coordination, production and distribution of our directory listing student and family information.  This is a job that can easily be done from home and mostly in the evenings.  We are in immediate need  for volunteers to work on the Directory!   This is an important school resource that we hope to have ready for distribution in the early fall!


1.         Emily Modan  

2.         Jennifer Henson


Bulletin Board (Monthly)  Decorate our PTO bulletin board in the front hallway with seasonal décor.  This year, this position will hopefully work with a new Hillside art club and the PTO board to beautify our school hallways and entranceways too!


1.         Lynn Andrews                Chairperson

2.         _________________

3.         _________________

4.         _________________


Marquee (Monthly) Responsible for changing the letters on the school’s outside board with dates of upcoming events and communications.


1.    Mary Schmidt                           


Communication Coordinator(s) (Ongoing approx. 6-8 times a year) Responsible for printing, copying and distributing paper copies, via faculty / staff mailboxes, important school / pto event reminders that need to go into our children’s red folders.  Do you have some time to help our Social Events Chairperson(s) promote their event via flyers, posters, banners, printed half sheets to go into the children’s folders?  This is a great position for someone who can be at the school during the designated time for the PTO to use the copier (12:00-1:00) and/or  be able to work from home. This would  be a great fit for someone who doesn’t want to chair an event or whose schedule doesn’t allow for a committee that would require a substantial time commitment.  


1.         Stacy Rijssenbeek

2.         Kelly Trimarchi

3.         ___________________________


Hillside Backpacker (Weekly) New Format!  Help the PTO keep parents, teachers, students and staff connected and informed about programs and events with our NEW weekly e-mail newsletter.  While the PTO council members are getting the ball rolling and producing the first few issues using Mail Chimp (you can look at the Birchwood archived newsletters for an example), we are already looking for volunteers to keep it going.  Do you have any computer skills, graphic art/ art skills, or writing skills to contribute to make a great school newsletter?  Please let us know.  Volunteers can help on a periodic or seasonal basis, but help for the entire school year is very welcome too


1.         Stacy Rijssenbeek

2.         ___________________________



Hillside Webmaster (Ongoing)  PTO council has done a lot of work this summer (which will continue into the early fall) revising the PTO website so that it is a more useful resource for parents, students, faculty and staff.  Work with PTO council to maintain the PTO website ( with updated school information on a weekly basis and coordinate with the district PTO webmaster and the volunteers who produce the Hillside Backpacker.  If you have good computer skills (it is a Google site), and enjoy writing and being creative, this would be a great position for you.  This position can easily be done from home in the evening, and can be shared by two or more volunteers.  Are you interested?  Please let us know.


1.         ____________________________

2.         ____________________________



School Services Committees


Hillside Environmental Committee (Ongoing) Responsible for implementing school wide recycling practices (Don’t be a grouch, recycle your pouch is the motto!) and enhancing, expanding and maintaining our nature trail.  Be a part of the many exciting green possibilities this committee will be developing!


1.         Lisa LaVigne                Chairperson

2.         Dawn Allen

3.         Kathleen Gathen

4.         Kelly Trimarchi

5.         Monica Schwartz



Homeroom Parent Coordinators  (Summer and Ongoing)  Coordinate communications between HR Parents and Parents re: class dues, class parties, general reminders, and the 5th grade moving up ceremony.  Liaison with the PTO board regarding district and school board communications, especially around budget voting time.


1.    Cassie Burhmaster   (3rd grade – 5th grade)    

2.    Kelly Daly                 (K – 2nd grade)                              


Library Volunteers (Ongoing)  Coordinate parent volunteers to help check books in and out

as well as shelve books and assist students in finding materials.  Katie will be looking for library volunteers once school is back in session and is usually at the time your children have library hour.


1.    Katie Beltramo                       Chairperson                   


Picture Day  (Fall) Coordination of picture day (October) and retake day (November) with school, teachers, photographer and parents as necessary.  Help children to and from their classrooms and help to make sure the students are looking picture ready! Coordinate a school wide picture in the Spring with our vendor.  Liaise with the PTO board and Hillside school office with any contracts that need to be reviewed and signed.  


1.    Mary Schmidt                            Chairperson

2.    Jacquie Gallo


Photography (Ongoing)  Take pictures at school events for the yearbook, our archives, the PTO web page, our newsletter, and the bulletin board.  A great way to showcase Hillside’s wonderful school community!


1.         Maggie Vinciguerra

2.         _________________________________


Spirit Wear / Apparel (Fall & Spring) The apparel sale is run under the auspices of the Ways and Means committee, but it is more of a service for the Hillside community than a Fundraiser.  Organizers will work with vendors to produce high-quality Hillside and Niskayuna items, set-up an efficient order system, help parents with orders, and facilitate distribution of apparel.  Communicate and liaise with the PTO board and Principal.  


1.         Christine Daley             Chairperson

2          _______________


Sunshine/Hospitality (Ongoing)  This committee coordinates the Staff Appreciation Luncheon in March, sends out cards to the faculty and staff,  helps to coordinate volunteers to help families in need, coordinates the ice cream truck for ACES day and coordinates ordering food and refreshments that our district PTO may request.  Also supports the Hillside Ziti Dinner committee with items they may need.


1.    Jennifer Bennett            Chairperson

2.     ________________

3.    _________________

Walking School Bus  (Fall & Spring on Wednesday Mornings)  This is a great program that encourages walking to school on several Wednesday mornings during the fall and spring.  Responsible for distributing and collecting registration forms for walkers & parent “drivers”,  organizing training sessions for parent “drivers”, setting up  route plans and communicating with the police dept. for safety purposes.  


1.         Steve Swinton                    Chairperson

2.         ______________


5th Grade Yearbook Production  (Ongoing throughout the 5th grade year) A group of 5th grade parent volunteers who are responsible for organizing, planning, collecting pictures, laying out the yearbook and ultimately the distribution of the yearbook at the end of the school year.  Ongoing communication with the 5th grade parents and 5th grade teachers.  This committee will also liaise with the PTO board regarding the vendor and pricing.  


1.         Rebecca Whelan                       

2.         Anne Skrebutenas

3          Tamara Mills

4.         Debbie Geer

5.         Kelly Reeves

6          ._________________

Academic Committees:

ASEP –After School Enrichment Program (Fall and Spring) A team of 4 volunteers develop classes / programs to be offered to students after the end of the school day starting at 2:20 and ending at 3:20.  We have veteran volunteers already signed up to recruit instructors, set schedules, and recruit and oversee parent volunteers during each session, but we need a new volunteer to produce the program brochures, and a new volunteer to register students and collect fees.  Please note that the registrar and the brochure volunteer need not be in attendance at the classes- these jobs can be done from home.   This is a very popular Hillside school program!  We are in need of a registrar for this event in order for this program to run.  


1.         Alexis Licht     Registrar (Register students and collect payments)  

2.         ___________________________________  Produce Brochure

3..        Jean Foti                                                                  Develop Classes Offered

4..        Karen Tull                                                               Oversee Volunteers


1000 Book Kid Program (Yearlong) This committee coordinates its kick off program in the fall, maintains files and the familiar “bags” of books.  It also recognizes children who achieve 250, 500, 750 & 1000 book milestones.  


1.         Jessica Ross        

2.       Ellen Petrangelo


Assemblies (Spring & Fall) Plan and coordinate enriching educational programs that are taught by educational specialists outside of our school, for all grades with input from our principal, faculty and PTO board.  


1.     Joyce Choi

2.    Sarah Hesler


Book Awards (Late Spring) Coordinate student voting for their favorite books, make arrangements for a storyteller, and coordinate the awards with the 1000 Book Kid Chairperson.     


1.     Anne Skrebutenas

2.    Debbie Ubriaco

3. ____________________


Learning Fair (March 8th) Promote, coordinate, and oversee the set-up of a school-wide display of independent student projects.  This event is held in the school gym as well as the cafeteria.  It is open to all students at Hillside and is a very popular and highly participated in event.  


1.     Ranya Palmer          Chairperson

2.    Dawn Allen             Chairperson

3.    Nicole Swinton



PARP – Parents As Reading Partners (Ongoing) Coordinate the distribution of PARP reading reward checklists.  Responsible for the PARP participation calendars and distributing monthly rewards, which are coupons for a personal pizza from Pizza Hut, Pizza Buono or a Hillside pencil!


1      Tasha Ferguson            


Pre-School Story Hour (Winter) Coordinate, communicate and supervise the library and gym time for preschoolers who will be coming to Hillside for Kindergarten in the fall.  


1.     Wendi Nish               

2.    Nicole Swinton           


School Banking  (Year Long)  Hillside school banking is a program sponsored by First NY Federal Credit Union.  It allows students to make weekly deposits right at school; only requiring a minimum of $0.25.  Students are eligible for prizes after every 3rd deposit which they receive in school.  After making 15 deposits, the student is eligible for a movie ticket.  The program takes place every Friday morning in the lobby.   


1.         Wendi Nish                 Chairperson

2.         Christine Daley

3.         Nicole Swinton

4          _____________

5.         _____________

6.         _____________


Visiting Author, Artist or Musician   Once a year plan and coordinate an author, artist or musician visit.  You will work alongside our Hillside principal, faculty and the PTO board.  This year we will be having a visiting artist and the children will work on a school wide tile project! 


1          Anne Skrebutenas                Chairperson

2.         ___________________


Community Liaison Committee


School Board Liaisons (SBL)  Attend regularly scheduled school board meetings (usually monthly) and report information back to our PTO.   This is probably our most important community liaison volunteer position(s).  Even if you can only make one meeting but are willing to report back to the PTO it would be greatly appreciated!


1.         Anne Skrebutenas

2.         Leigh Bates

3.         ____________________________

4.         ____________________________


Friends of Music Liaison (FOM)  Attend the monthly FOM meetings as a PTO liaison and report information back to our PTO.  Niskayuna Friends of Music is a volunteer organization dedicated to fostering the music education, performance and enjoyment of the students of the Niskayuna school district.   Niskayuna is well known for its musical excellence!


1.         __________________

2.         __________________


Health Advisory Board Liaison  Attend health advisory meetings as a PTO liaison and report information to our PTO.  The Niskayuna Health Advisory Committee meets monthly throughout the school year to address issues related to the health curriculum as well as other health and wellness initiatives and concerns throughout the school. 


1.         Hayley Skinner

2.         ______________


Niskayuna Community Action Program (N-CAP) Representative Attend monthly N-CAP meeting as a PTO liaison and report information back to our PTO.   N-CAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing and supporting programs important to people residing or working within the Niskayuna Central School District, or the Town of Niskayuna, with an emphasis on reducing substance abuse by youth and building a strong, effective community coalition.


1.         ____________________

2.         ____________________


Shared Decision Making - SDM     Attend regularly scheduled committee meetings, made up of teachers, parents, support staff, administration and a non-parent community member as a PTO liaison and report information to our PTO


1.         ____________________

2.         _____________________

                                         To Sign-up to volunteer, Go to: