James L. Accomando was elected as the 55th President of the National PTA® Board of Directors at the June 2017 National PTA Convention. Jim has been engaged in fulfilling the Mission of PTA since his oldest child began Kindergarten. For the past 18 years, he has volunteered at every level and has had the pleasure of being President of his child’s High School PTA, the District’s PTA Council and the State of Connecticut Parent Teacher Association. Jim believes that family and community engagement is one of the key strengths of PTA in providing equity and quality in our educational system today. He advocates to look beyond the school community to develop partnerships with other educational stakeholders in order to further the Mission of the Association.
In 2012, Jim was instrumental in the Snow Flakes for Sandy Hook Elementary School Healing Initiative and the fundraising of $1.1 million dollars to support potential mental health issues within the Sandy Hook school community. He is also actively engaged in other civic and youth programming as a Coach, Boy Scout Leader and Church.
Jim is a small business owner, the parent of 2 public school educated children and the husband of a public school teacher.
Cindy Gerhardt has proudly served as the Florida PTA President for the past two years. Cindy was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. She is the proud mother of five children, all educated and graduated from public schools. She is also an ecstatic grandmother of three perfect angels.
Cindy spent the past 21 years actively involved in PTA on local, county and state levels. While in the local unit, she served as chair for numerous committees, as well as President. At the county level, she served as Reflections chair, Area VP, and eventually County Council President for Escambia County. Also during that time, she served as a mentor in the Take Stock in Children program. She was a member of the Escambia Public Schools Foundation and the following school district committees: R&R Handbook, District Calendar, Elementary Report Card development, School Attendance Zone Advisory (Chair), Closing/Consolidation Task Force (Secretary), Strategic Planning, and Teacher of the Year selection.
Cindy has served as Florida PTA Membership Chair, Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) State Lead and Trainer, Treasurer for Sunshine State PTSA, and has held positions on the Executive Committee as VP for Organization, VP for Leadership Development and currently President Elect. She has been a member of numerous committees, including Awards, Endowment, Leadership/Convention, Site Selection, Legislative, Personnel, Bylaws/P&P, Budget, Family/Community Engagement, Strategic Plan, Resource Development, State/Local Relations and Nominating Committee.
While employed with the Escambia County School District, she was recognized as the Educational Support Person of the Year and has been presented with a Lifetime Florida PTA Membership Award. PTA has been a major aspect of her life, giving her valuable training that has helped in her career and providing the opportunity to make lifelong friends. She is an advocate at heart, and she is excited about inspiring others to find and develop their passions and make education better for our children!