About the Forest Trail Booster Club

Farewell Thoughts from the 2016-17 Co-Presidents 

We have dreaded drafting this final Trailblazer entry for a few months now. It’s impossible to put into words what this year has meant to us. 
People ask “Why Booster Club? What is it all about?”. There are two basic levels at which we can answer that question.  There is what the Booster Club funds, and what the Booster Club really *does*. 
What the Booster Club funds is a list - a very long list. It includes field trips, Science Fest (soon to be called STEAM Day), curriculum support such as STEAM carts and leveled readers, campus enhancements such as the the fifth grade “classroom of the future”, communication screens, and water bottle filling stations, staff professional development and appreciation gestures, and hundreds of other programs and individual items for which there is no other funding provided. This list is available on the website, and is certainly an impressive, staggering account of where donated money goes.
However, what the Booster Club does is less of a checklist, and more of a depiction of our shared values.The Booster Club is by no means responsible for the incredible culture that we know at Forest Trail Elementary, but rather reflects it. It’s a vehicle for executing what we collectively seem to agree is important: a quality, holistic education that nurtures the character of our kids as much as, if not more than, their academic achievements. The Forest Trail Elementary Booster Club didn’t create this special sensibility, but rather offers a way to fulfill this desire of our community. 
Time in our school garden, grade-wide community service projects, days devoted to science and technology, flex time spent using augmented curriculum such as STEAM carts and music software, and so many more Booster Club-funding initiatives, writes on the canvas of our kids. These years are shaping them, and we have seen the incredible difference that our community’s attention to these otherwise non-funded/ “non-essential” pieces their education, make in their lives as they move along in their journey to adulthood. 
The Booster Club is merely a vessel - one of many - that helps to cultivate great kids: kids who are aware, share, and care. This is why we wanted to serve within the Forest Trail Booster Club: to be a part of doing something that matters not just this year, but for years and even generations to come. 
We can say without a doubt that we received more from our time here within the Booster Club, than the other way around. Parents and staff who.... get up early to pop popcorn, show up on weekends to landscape, leave work early to attend auction meetings, clean out chicken coops, lead an entire grade level of kids to beautify a wall, climb up ladders to hang fun fundraising displays, call in favors to help us with an ambitious initiative, manage hundreds of items and tickets in auction software, meticulously plan out volunteer schedules, help us manage a bustling budget, dress up in a ridiculous costume to be a fun master of ceremonies for Bingo Night, and so, so many more amazing small, yet huge, acts of bravery, sacrifice, and kindness… you have given us a lifetime of inspiration. Your acts of selflessness have brought us to tears, humbled us, and have made us better people. We cannot thank you enough, Forest Trail Elementary..
Christie Schultz & Amy Sweeney
Co-Presidents, FTE Booster Club 2016-17
On a personal note, from Christie Schultz:
A native Austinite, I moved back to Austin after eight years in Calgary, Canada with my kids aged 2-6 years in tow in 2011. We arrived the day before Muffin Morning and began our official journey at Forest Trail Elementary on the first day of school three days later. My husband wasn’t able to join us in Austin until the end of the school year. We chose to be districted to Forest Trail based on strong recommendations from Austin friends. And from the moment we stepped through the doors we knew it was an amazing school. 
Over the years we have witnessed kindness at a staggering level. Through Falcon Friends and other grassroots efforts, we have seen families who lost their homes to fire and flood, have major pieces of their lives restored due to the overwhelming outreach of this school community. We have seen dozens of teachers organize carlines, garage sales, and donation drives to fund a Community First microhome in Forest Trail's name. We have walked through sorrow together as a educators and families have experienced tragedies, and we have seen the healing power that the support of our school offers one of its own. 
We have seen creative problem-solving when funding was cut for people and programs that we loved. Staff and parent volunteers rose to the occasion to craft Booster Club committees, such as the Copy Room Committee, which is now a beautifully-run volunteer-based entity that answers the need to keep our staff teaching in the classroom and not spending their time in the copy room. 
We have experienced the power of passion, and the community’s depth of care for our kids’ holistic educational experience with the fulfillment of the vision for the FTE Garden. Though there is no mention of curriculum involving nature at the State legislative level, our school valued, and threw its energies behind, the curation of an on-campus natural space for children to access their innate aptitude to use the land, and to learn how to nurture living things. 
Near the time we moved here, the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips was popular. The lyrics “know you’re not alone, because I’m going to make this place your home” mirrored the enveloping welcome we received from this place. In a time of extraordinary change and stress for my kids, FTE parents, teachers, and administration alike made a soft, warm landing for my kids who were straight from a foreign country, suddenly without most of the surroundings and people they had ever known. I cannot think about that time period without choking up, in utter gratitude for the arms of compassion that wrapped around us. The light of FTE shone brightly, and its heart revealed itself from the very beginning.
I know folks in this sphere who would give the shirts off their backs for a member of the FTE family in need. Parents and educators alike inspired me to want to continue on with their vision and cultivation of love for our school, and even make it better, if that is even possible. My sense of indebtedness to this community called me to hope to serve it.
This little school means the world to me. I have been humbled, and so very privileged to be a part of this special place. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Forest Trail. You made this place our home.

Executive Board

Christie Schultz - Co-President
Amy Sweeney - Co-President
Carrie Lindsey - Co-President-Elect
Michele Strain - Co-President-Elect
Amy Clark - Treasurer
Erin Ludwig - Treasurer-Elect
Kelley Inmon - Secretary

2017-18 Chairpersons & Executive Board Interest Intake

Are you interested in serving in a role in the Booster Club in the 2017-18 school year? Click here to submit your interest. 

General Meeting Schedule

General Booster Club Meeting 9:30am-10:30am - FTE Library (unless otherwise noted)General Agenda & TopicGuest Speaker
Friday, September 9, 2016General meeting/ Principal & Chairperson introductions; Bingo & Falcon Frolic prep; A+ OrganizationAmy Brady, Owner of The Clutter Consultants
(click here for Amy's presentation!)
Friday, October 14, 2016General Meeting/ Science Fest Prep; State of the DistrictTom Leonard, Superintendent of EISD
Friday, November 4, 2016General meeting/ Holiday prep; Keeping Kids Safe OnlineCarl Hooker, EISD Director of Innovative Learning & Technology
Friday, December 9, 2016General meeting/ Auction prep; Keeping Eanes Schools SafeLaura Santos-Farry, EISD Director of Safety & Risk Management 
Friday, January 13, 2017General Meeting/ Science Fair/ Open House/ Auction & Party Prep; Transition to Middle SchoolKendall Still, Principal of West Ridge Middle School

What is the Booster Club?
The Booster Club is an all parent volunteer organization here at Forest Trail that supports the teachers, the staff and the students. Booster Club has opportunities outside of the classroom through meetings, events, projects, and fundraisers. It’s a great way to get to know other parents from Forest Trail, too. All of the funds from Booster Club membership dues return immediately to school in the form of field trips, classroom supplies, and enhancement programs. Find out more about projects supported by the Booster Club.
Booster Club Governance
The FTE Booster Club holds meetings generally once a month on Friday mornings. A full list of upcoming meetings can be found on the FTE Calendar.

How Slate Is Determined

The Booster Club appoints an ad-hoc Nominations Committee, which reviews all the nominations received for these Executive Board positions and recommends a slate of officers.The names of the Nominations Committee members, a call for nominations for the Executive Board positions, as well as a list of Committee Chair positions, will be presented to the members at the March meeting. The slate is announced at the April meeting, and voted upon in May. If you are interested in nominating yourself or a friend for any of these positions or are interested in a particular committee leadership position, please contact the current Booster Club officers and we will include the names in the nominations process next May. Thank you for your continued support of the FTE Booster Club!