The Golden Acorn Award is a very prestigious Washington State PTA award that is given out by local PTAs/PTSAs for exemplary and outstanding volunteerism and service to PTA. Honorees that receive this award, have volunteer experience at the local PTA level, in the community, and at the school and/or school district level.

Congratulations to Emilie Castle and Melissa Richardson, our 2021–22 ISPTSA Golden Acorn recipients!

Emilie Castle generously stepped up to become our ISPTSA president a year and a half ago when the former president had to suddenly step down. Not only has she done an amazing job during her time in the position, but Emilie has also taken on roles that went beyond the scope of president. She managed donation drives such as Smith Brothers, Bloodworks NW, Mod Pizza, and Goodwill; she coordinated the hygiene drive during the earlier days of the pandemic; and she managed ISPTSA grants. Emilie is the former ISPTSA VP of Fundraising and Grants Chair (at the same time). A valuable member of our community, she is the current President of Bellevue PTSA Council and a representative for WSPTA Region 2. As if that is not enough to keep Emilie busy, she is also a King County Master Gardener at the Bellevue Demonstration Garden, does committee work for Bellevue College's Parent's Advisory Committee, holds positions on Newport High School's athletic booster clubs, is a past PTSA president of both Somerset Elementary & Tyee Middle Schools, has chaired numerous successful school & local charity auctions, and recently helped plan Grad Night for Newport High School's Graduating class of 2022. This sounds like way more than any one human could contribute, but we are certain that we've left a few things out. ISPTSA is incredibly grateful that, when asked if she can help, Emilie has a difficult time saying 'no.' Ever-ready with a smile and a helping hand, Emilie Castle is a treasure to our community. 
Melissa Richardson has served as ISPTSA's VP of Community for two years and embodies the meaning of the word "community." She has organized potlucks for the staff, coordinated Teacher Appreciation Week, arranged ISPTSA food contributions to Dejeuner en Blanc, brought families together by planning parent meet-ups, and kept the ISPTSA online community vibrant with her contributions to its Facebook page. In order to foster community when students returned to the building after the lockdown, Melissa managed middle school socials and games during school lunch. ISPTSA's Spiritwear collection has been revived and updated by Melissa, who has managed its fundraising efforts through Winners Sportswear. She was a key advocate for students and our school during the school levy renewals in February. In the broader community, Melissa is active on the Bellevue PTSA Council, for which she has held the position of Vice President. She has also participated in committee work on the Gifted Advisory Committee and Grading Advisory Team for the Bellevue School District. Melissa Richardson is a willing volunteer when others shy away, and she always models a positive, can-do attitude. We are fortunate to have her dedication and commitment to our school.


See our past recipients here.