This week on the podcast, our special guest is Kathy Stewart who wears many hats in our neighborhood, including part owner and manager partner of Highlands Cafe and president of the Lake Highlands High School PTA.

So exactly does a modern PTA do? It’s more than delivering baked goods to classroom parties, especially since the unfortunate muffin experience a few years back. Stewart tells us about checkbook fundraisers that support needs like a school-wide supply of Purell, sponsoring contests that highlight talented neighborhood students, and assisting teachers and staff such as Brenda Prine to improve the prospects for Lake Highlands students.

Speaking of Prine, when we talked to Bill Keffer of Wild for Cats, he told us that the academic booster club primarily underwrites her position in the high school’s college and career center, and that fundraising has been slow this year. In this week’s podcast, Stewart tells us more about Prine’s progress — including stats such as the 10 percent increase in LHHS students who pursue higher education. Because funds raised this year are only about half of dollars raised in previous years, LHHS Principal Peggy Dillon sent out a special message last week urging neighbors to give generously to keep Prine at the school. As RISD trustee Luke Davis pointed out when he recently visited the podcast, budget cuts are coming, so donating to Wild for Cats will be the only way to save her position.

Stay tuned until the end for our shameless plugs: A way to help the cat colony residing near SuperTarget, a free day at the DMA and news on the Lake Highlands Town Center park — plus a business proposal that could utilize part of the currently vacant LHTC land.

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