Working together for our kids
and for a strong community
We are moms, dads, aunties, litos, babas and more from every part of the world, brought together by a shared commitment to the children in our community. We are fortunate to be able to weave this rich tapestry of cultures, languages and ethnicities to enrich our children's education and experiences at Burr.
Fundraising is a big part of what we do. Through our annual giving program, The Wolf Fund, and various events throughout the year, we raise money to bring cutting-edge technologies and curriculum-aligned programs to Burr School. Every child in every grade benefits from the Burr PTO.
ABOUT OUR PTO
The mission of the PTO is to strengthen Burr School’s capacity to provide quality education to all our children by:
Serving as a communication link between parents, the school and the broader community
Raising funds to support the education of our children
Providing supplemental educational programs within the school and
Building community among Burr families and faculty.
Where does the money go?
The Burr PTO infuses more than $40,000 into our school each year, and these funds help to provide the technology needed in today’s classrooms, as well as the programs, services, and community events that help make Burr the wonderful place that it is. The Wolf Fund campaign is one of two primary source of funds for the PTO’s annual budget, and every penny raised through Burr Wolf Fund goes directly to the school. The remainder of the annual budget is raised through our spring online auction, as well as other events with community building and/or academic support elements, such as the Book Fair, as well as indirect fundraisers like Amazon Smile (see home page).
The PTO fully funds the Creative Arts & Sciences program at Burr, an unfunded mandate from Newton Public Schools, which gives Burr students the opportunity to write and illustrate stories and poems with published authors, design and build mini water distribution systems, dance with Chinese ribbon dancers, hold creatures from the depths of the ocean in their hands, and more. These programs are chosen with the teachers and tie-in with the grade-level curriculum, enhancing and enriching the academic experience.
Meet Our Board
The PTO Board is comprised of Burr parent volunteers, who meet throughout the year to oversee numerous community events and fundraisers, manage the PTO budget and perform other essential PTO functions.
Amie Butler and her husband, Grant Butler, moved to Auburndale in 2016 with their son, Grayson (now in 2nd grade). Since joining the Burr community Amie has enjoyed serving as a room parent and volunteering at various Burr community events such as Boo Fest and the Book Fair. Amie is excited to work more with the PTO in the future, and hopes to help maintain the strong community which is so integral to our kids' elementary experience. In our free time, the Butler family can often be found on some of the great local hiking trails.
Casey Kudesia has a 2nd grader at Burr, and she is counting the days until her second child joins the Burr family in the Fall of 2022. Currently, she enjoys being an engaged room parent, a cheerful soccer parent, and the treasurer of a Newton-wide Girl Scout troop. Casey works as a contractor for the Schwartz Center at MGB, where she uses her background in instructional design, leadership development, and learning management systems to advance compassion in healthcare around the world. Nothing makes her happier than a well-formulated spreadsheet. You've probably seen her out for a run or walking her perfect dog, Bog.
Sarah Barbrow (she/her) has a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener at Burr. She and her husband, John, have been in the neighborhood since 2016. Sarah is a librarian at Boston College and loves all things libraries! Her role on the PTO is "Education Coordinator" which simply means supporting the teams who organize the wonderful Creative Arts & Sciences, Understanding our Differences, Safe Routes to School, Green Team, and the Community Garden programming.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair
Angie Kim currently has a 3rd grader at Burr. She and her family moved to Auburndale the summer of 2020. Although new to the school and also to the city, she has actively taken on roles to be an active member with our Burr community. She is currently co-room parents for her son’s class. She is also on the board for ELPAC & part of the Hospitality Team. She wants to make sure that our children’s memory of school is fun, engaging, exciting, but most of all a community.
Pam Rajasekhar (and Craig Bouchard) are parents of Kiki and Sage Rajachard, who are in 5th and 2nd grades this year. Despite a somewhat more arduous commute into Kendall Square, Pam loves working with colleagues around the world to develop innovative therapies at Sanofi Genzyme, where she leads global market insights teams focused on rare diseases. Since moving to Auburndale from Nonantum in 2017 the whole family has really enjoyed being part of Burr's welcoming and dynamic community. Pam is excited by the opportunity to support and enhance Burr's educational programs by serving on the PTO Board.
Sonia Yung has two children at Burr. Her older son, Aaron, is in 5th grade, and Brendan is in 2nd grade. Sonia enjoys volunteer work whether it is at her work serving the Boston community or at Burr. Over the last four years at Burr she has been a room parent and volunteers at events at such a the Book Fair and Picture Day. She is looking forward to being part of the PTO so she can continue to support the Burr community in many other ways. Sonia works at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Finance where she also does lots of volunteer work and runs a book club. On her free time Sonia enjoys being with her family, going for bike rides with her children, running, and reading.
Community Events Chair
Alyssa is in her third year on the board (transitioning from Communications Coordinator) and loves being involved in all things Burr, such as Creative Arts & Sciences and the Election Day Bake Sale. She is mom to 3rd grader Finn and Kindergartener Zoe. Alyssa has an art and construction background and currently is employed at Slocum Hall Design Group in Watertown where she is a Senior Associate Interior designer. She and her husband, Joe, have lived in Auburndale for 11 years and especially love the morning walk to school and feeling part of such an amazing community.
Dave Lievens is the father of William (2nd grade) and Thomas (Kindergarten). He and his wife, Eliza Spaulding (who is the Burr SEPAC Liaison), have lived across the street from Burr since 2015 and finally have two kids there this starting Fall 2021. Dave is a book editor at Harvard Business Review where he launched the HBR Working Parents series. You'll see Dave running in the neighborhood at any hour of the day, and he is always looking for running partners from the Burr community. He looks forward to making Burr PTO communications relevant, streamlined, and engaging.
Jenn Reale was a Co-President of the Burr PTO for two years and is a former room parent coordinator. Her husband, Rich (a Burr alum and long-time Auburndale resident), and their children Richard (entering 5th grade) and Penelope (entering 3rd grade) love being a part of the pack with the Burr Community. Jenn is the Coordinator in the University Advancement at Lasell University. She is also a member of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Greater Boston, Committee Member for Interfaith Social Services—Feed the Hungry Gala and a longtime Big Sister of the Greater Boston chapter. She is a former champion Irish dancer, and now an assistant Irish dance teacher at the Sullivan School of Irish Dance and is in the process of taking exams toward her certification. Along with that she is in her 16th year as a football official for Pop Warner/youth, high school, and flag football with the ANEFO out of Malden. When not dancing or referring, you can often find Jenn giving back by participating in charity events/runs and volunteering along with her husband and kiddos. This year Jenn is running the Boston Marathon virtually to raise funds for the Burr playground.
Interested in taking on a leadership role on the PTO? Please don't hesitate to reach out!