Published August 17, 2004
Volume 12, Number 8

PPIE Introduces New Event as Ott Begins as Executive Director

The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation (PPIE) is kicking off the new school year by ringing in the changes. The community-based volunteer group, which works to enhance learning experiences for students of the Pleasanton Unified School District through a partnership of businesses, schools and the community, has a new executive director, Carol Ott, and is unveiling new programs and a special new event as well.

OttOtt, who also serves on the board of directors for Pleasanton North Rotary and the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, took over July 1 and has been busy evaluating current and past PPIE programs to determine “the best use of our time, energy, and resources.”  She started before her tenure began by working with previous director Leslie Coonan, acclimating herself to the organization and meeting district administrators, teachers, principals, and students.

“I got to see first-hand the impact on the kids with programs that have been in place for a while, like our Strings program,” she says. “To see a child all of a sudden light up, get engrossed with music and be successful with it, that’s something that they’ll take with them forever.”

PPIE’s popular grant programs, which have helped teachers and students at all grade levels, will continue, as will popular events such as Principal for a Day, Career Days, and the Excellence in Education Awards.

Ott also hopes to publicize the organization’s work more widely.

“ I was representing PPIE at a Wednesday Night Street Fair in May and a man walked up with me who had three kids with him and he asked, ‘What is PPIE?’ Before I could answer, each of his three kids gave him an example of a program that they had actually participated in. One of them was with a weather station we funded over at Mohr Elementary School. The kids knew but their father did not know, so I want to make sure that everybody knows what is being put in place, where we need help with volunteers, and how they can make a difference.”

The first big event of the new school year is “A Culinary Salute to Corporate and Community Citizenship,” which is replacing the organization’s old CEO Dinner. The Salute is “a recognition event for corporate and community citizenship set in the ambiance of a Tuscany piazza,” Ott explains.

“We’re going to put together a representative from a sponsoring business, one of our school principals, and a senior-level chef from one of the local culinary academies and have an hors d’oeuvre cook-off,” she says. “Six or seven wineries are partnering with us as well as two martini bars. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

ADP/ProBusiness, PeopleSoft, and Robert Half International are among the businesses in Hacienda that are early sponsors for the event, which takes place September 18 at the Pleasanton Senior Center. For more information on sponsorship opportunities or tickets, contact PPIE at (925) 846-5620.


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