PTSO Officers and Committees

Officers & Board

President ( Michelle Wetlaufer

Co-Treasurers ( Wayne Fitzpatrick

Secretary  ( Melissa Monokroussos

Parents/Teacher/Student (2-3): Lisa DePalma, Allison Lopez

PTSO Committees
Parents volunteers organize and lead programs and events to support our students, teachers and our parent Community at South.  To volunteers for a committee, please contact the President at

Class Liaisons: Parent representatives that provide support for grade-specific activities. Mostly this will involve organizing grade-specific “Informational Coffees/Socials,” and helping to build community among parents/guardians. – OPEN

Student Directory:  Manages the subscriber database (MailChimp) for the Newton South PTSO Newsletter, and manages the confirmation process, publication and distribution of our annual Student Directory  (Membership Toolkit). – Meryl Miller at

Teacher Grants: Reviews applications and approves teacher grant awards in accordance with PTSO guidelines and budget, normally twice per year in the fall and spring.  –  Molly Owen-Kiritsy, Liz Hizer, Cathy Ye Wang, Caterina Betancourt and co-Presidents.

Families Organizing for Justice (FORJ): PTSO liaison to FORJ Newton, an organization in Newton helping our children learn about issues of power and inequality and how to stand up for racial justice. FORJ seek to generate understanding and curiosity about differences in our society and to work together towards racial equity. –  Amy Behrens

Grounds: Helps maintain and beautify the gardens/grounds around the school building. – Katharina Elbert, Kelly Flannery, Molly Owen-Kiritsy

Health, Safety and Crisis: PTSO liaison for any issues of health, safety and crisis at the school, member of the Newton South Crisis Team. – PTSO co-Presidents.

Hospitality:  A significant part of the PTSO budget is spent on various staff appreciation events.

  • Staff Appreciation:  PTSO sponsors 2 staff luncheons & 3 staff breakfasts during the school year.  The PTSO organizes and provides  2 luncheons for the school staff: Welcome Back (last week before school starts) and End-of-Year (June).  The three staff breakfasts are organized with parent donations for food and beverage in Nov, Jan and March.  – Ilana Steel, Tammy Tsikar, Shara Ertel, and Barbara Talvitie
  • Welcome Gift to New Staff:  The PTSO supports New Staff Luncheon by preparing a welcome to NSHS Mug along with a small gift with the mug during the New Staff Luncheon the week before school starts. – co-Presidents
  • Administration & Staff Appreciation:  The PTSO organizes a gift bag for all Administration &  Staff in December and April. – OPEN

Mentoring/Connection Program: To support students find new connections and an opportunity for families to have local resources to navigate South and Newton. There’s no specific time commitment, just an opportunity to connect with a new student or family at South.  Student/Family sign up to be a Buddy or Mentor. –  Tammy Tsikar and Rachel Zhang

METCO Liaison: Participate in METCO program Provides feedback from families to PTSO and South METCO program Counselor on enhancing student/family experience at South. – Allison Lopez at

Newsletter: Editors compile pertinent information for the Newton South community sent in by various groups at South,  and edits content and disseminates the weekly PTSO newsletter. The PTSO newsletter is the main source of all Newton South High School information from the principal, administration and Newton Public Schools.
–  Aparna Singamsetty, Julia Hamilton, Ping Cai at

Speakers & Programs: Organizes educational speakers or activities for our school community.  – Paula Ito and Julie Irish

School Council: PTSO liaison to the Newton South School Council, and attends monthly School Council meetings at South. – OPEN 

SouthFest/Seniors:  Committee organizes the senior after-prom party held at school from 11 PM to 4:00 AM focused on having fun safely. Committees include decoration, entertainment, check-in/check-out and food.  To learn more about South Fest, click here. – Suzanne Feldman – Entertainment; Heidi Gambino, OPEN – Decoration, Check-in/out – OPEN, Food – OPEN.

SouthArts: Liaison for parent support for music, art, and theatre. – Lyla Lee.

Special Ed PAC Liaison: Represents Newton South at the Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Newton SEPAC) and keeps the South community and PTSO Board informed of any items of interest to ensure the PTSO supports programs that best benefit NSHS Special Education for students and families. The SEPAC Council meets monthly.  The liaison also serves on the PTSO Board.  –  Lisa DePalma.

Website Manager: Manages our PTSO website and related communication and email subscription platforms. Provides technical support and content posting for the PTSO website. – Ray Zhang