Paul Mason Award
Kentucky PTA: Paul Mason Legislative Advocate for Children Award
Our Ninth Legislative Advocate for Children award is in honor of Paul Mason, a legislator who fought hard for the children of our commonwealth.
When you look at our history as an assocation, you think of Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who set the stage for us to be the only national organization that works for the children of our nation. They were true advocates that made a difference.
When you look at our Kentucky PTA, you look at people who have been instrumental in our advocacy efforts throughout the years. They made a name for Kentucky PTA throughout our state.
They were the ones who fought diligently for our education reform known as KERA, they worked hard to see that there were parents serving on all committees that the Department of Education established, they sent up the Legislative Day at the Department of Education, they introduced the Legislative Advocacy training, they were at the table when the Education Coalition was formed with all the ABC groups of education, meeting monthly to discuss areas of concern in education (that coalition still exists today), they wrote and passed many resolutions at our state convention. To this day, we are still writing and revamping our legislative platform because one of them actually wrote the first one. For some of you that serve on the SBDM Councils, that would not have happened without one of these fine individuals demanded to a legislator to put parents on that council.
Our name recognition and our strong voice in the our Kentucky General Assembly and our respect that we get from other lobbyists, legislators, and Legislative Research staffers are due to these two people. They are in my book our two strongest advocates that we have ever had in our assocation.
One was quoted as saying that by working in Frankfort; she became more well-known and because of her PTA involvement was appointed to many boards and committees. She owes that to PTA.
Throughout the years, they both have been a mentor to many and have taught us everything that we need to know about legislation.
It gives Kentucky PTA great pleasure to recognize Alice Sparks and Marlene Helfrich as our Ninth Paul Mason Legislative Advocate for Children Award Recipients.
Each year Kentucky PTA recognizes an individual or group for their sustained efforts in advocating for children and youth. To nominate someone for this award, please email Kathy Smiley.