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Today’s PTA is a network of millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. 

Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst founded the organization when women did not have the right to vote and social activism was not popular. However, they believed mothers would support their mission to eliminate threats that endangered children, and in early 1897, they started a nationwide campaign.

On Feb. 17, 1897, more than 2,000 people—mostly mothers, but also fathers, teachers, laborers, and legislators—attended the first convocation of the National Congress of Mothers in Washington, D.C. Twenty years later, 37 chartered state congresses existed.

In 1970, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (National PTA) and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT)—founded by Selena Sloan Butler in Atlanta, Ga.—merged to serve all children.

As the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the nation, National PTA is the conscience of the country for children and youth issues. Through advocacy, as well as family and community education, National PTA has established programs and called for legislation that improves our children’s lives, such as:

  • Creation of Kindergarten classes

  • Child labor laws

  • Public health service

  • Hot and healthy lunch programs

  • Juvenile justice system

  • Mandatory immunization

  • Arts in Education

  • School Safety


Founders’ Day

Founders’ Day (February 17) is when we celebrate the legacy and work of our founders—Alice McLellan Birney, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and Selena Sloan Butler—to better the lives of every child in education, health, and safety. It is a time to reflect and take pride in our achievements, and renew our commitment to be a:

  • powerful voice for all children;

  • relevant resource for parents; and

  • strong advocate for public education.


Our founders represented women of imagination and courage. They had a simple idea—to improve the lives and future of all children. They understood the power of individual action, worked beyond the accepted barriers of their day, and took action to change the world for all children.

Hackettstown PTA Founders  Day 




Honorary Recipients

2020 Honorary Recipients

stay tuned.....

Previous Years Recipients 

Lifetime Honorary Members 

Mr. John Chamberlain
Mr. Matthew Pinkman
Mrs. Eileen Easty
Mrs. Nancy Kobert

Mrs. Anne Lane

Mr. Arthur Sheninger

Mrs. Elizabeth Harris

Lt. Kim Arthur

Mrs. Kim Smith

Mrs. Annette Forsythe

Mr. Joe Nitto

Mrs. Ann Greszczak
Mrs. Vicki Klaver

Mrs. Theresa Ragusky

Mrs. Lorinda Ravo

Mrs. Valerie Bugge

Donna Olesky
Mrs. Susan Manhire
Mrs. Delia Fritz
Mrs. Phyllis Mandel
Mrs. Sue Davenport
Mr. Len Locascio
Mr. James Erdmann
Mrs. Lynne Haberkern
Mr. Bruce Smith
Mrs. Jane Pitt
Mr. Dave Osmun
Mrs. Debbie Tuxhorn
Mrs. Meredith Fox
Ms. Bonnie Palma
Mrs. Pat DiFranco
Mr. Frank Joseph
Mr. John Sarcone
Mrs. Patricia Steege
Mrs. Kim Andrusin
Mr. William Thompson
Mrs. Jennifer Zacchia
Mrs. Sandy Machacek
Mrs. Marie Griffin
Mrs. Jean Lobby
Mrs. Julie Fantano
Mr. Patrick McQueeney

Founder’s Day is a day in which the PTA honors a person within our school community as a lifetime member of the New Jersey PTA.  The NJPTA Life Membership is an honorary award presented to a person who has given outstanding service for the welfare of children and youth.  It recognizes someone who has promoted the well-being of children by serving as an advocate for them in the areas of education, health, safety, and legislation.  The recipient of the NJPTA Honorary Life Membership will appreciate the high honor.  It is the highest honor the state PTA can bestow in your school, community, and state.  This honor is presented with the approval of a local PTA, a County Council and the New Jersey PTA.

Choosing Your Honoree:

Past/Present PTA President 

School Administrator

Retiring Teacher

Outstanding Teacher

Special Volunteer

School Board Member

Local or State Legislator

Community Advocate

School Crossing Guard

School Nurse

DARE Officer/Security Officer

School Custodian and, more

                The recipient does NOT have to be a member of the PTA.  If you know anyone who meets the above criteria please return the nomination form no later than December 31st via email to hackettstownpta@gmail.com or by returning to the school.  Please include the name of the individual and a brief statement as to why you feel this person deserves this honor and return it to school. 

PTA History