BHSPA Graduates Two Volunteers with the Class of 2023

June 21, 2023
BHS Principal Heather Galante (Left) along with BHSPA members Ying Liu, Susan DiGangi, and Tatyana Yatsunov. Image: principal_galante

As Bedford High School graduated the Class of 2023 this year, the Bedford High School Parents Association (BHSPA) graduated two of their own dedicated volunteers. 

Susan DiGangi and Robin Steele both volunteered in leadership and supporting roles from the days of the BEST Carnival through this year’s All Night Graduation party. The volunteers graduated this month from the BHSPA board after another year of successful fundraising, giving, representing, advocating, and hands-on supporting the Bedford schools.

BHS Principal Heather Galante said,On behalf of the BHS community I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude for their years of immeasurable service to the BHSPA and to Bedford Public Schools. You will be missed.”

Steele said, “As I finished helping at my last event the other day (the high school end-of-year teacher luncheon), I realized how lucky I was to be able to do this for so many years.” Steele, who has twins who graduated this month continued, “With my children being seniors I have watched all their lasts this year but when I left the building I realized this was my last and it hit me hard. I am really going to miss volunteering at the schools.”

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DiGangi has served as co-president, and Steele in vice president or treasurer roles with BHSPA for the past four years. Prior to that, both served in similar leadership positions for the Middle School Parents Association (MSPA). 

The mission of the BHSPA is “to encourage, enhance and promote the development of our high school students, to support an inclusive educational and social environment at Bedford High School, and to promote communication among the school, students, families, and Bedford community.” 

Robin Steele (right) helps to hand out donuts during BHS Community Day. Image: principal_galante

DiGangi said, “The BHSPA has been a great opportunity to connect with a diverse group of parents from Bedford, Boston, and Hanscom, and work towards a common goal to support our students, teachers, and school community.”

Steele concurred with the opportunity to connect with parents and also people within the schools. “[The teachers, staff, and administrators] are so appreciative of what we do.” Principal Galante confirmed Steele and DiGangi’s sentiments, “I am so thankful for the dedication and contributions of the BHSPA. They support our school-wide community events and efforts that make Bedford High School a positive place for students, faculty, and staff.”

Steele cites BHSPA fundraising as one of the big supports the BHSPA provides. “We are able to help fund items that are not funded by the town budget.” 

The BHSPA raised and distributed around $25,000 through the 2022-2023 school year.  Funds supported things like a CSF of Bedford scholarship, BHS Spring Musical, Fall Pep Rally, Spring and Fall BHS Community Day snacks and activities, Military Child Appreciation Day Brunch, an author visit, a handful of lunches for the faculty and staff, a puzzle table and puzzles for the BHS Library, and fulfilling supporting grants for student organizations. The largest amount raised was designated for the Class of 2023 All Night Graduation Party.

During DiGangi and Steele’s time with BHSPA, the organization also helped upgrade school drinking fountains to water bottle fillers and purchased picnic tables so students could eat lunch outside during the pandemic (now in the school courtyard). 

The group collaborated with other parent, caregiver, and town organizations to offer workshops for families on mental health this year. Volunteers helped at the Prom Stroll, Prom Dress Pop-Up, and purchased and handed out 1,000 Dunkin’ Donuts donuts to students last month. 

BHSPA members attend monthly meetings with the BHS administration, the Superintendent of Schools, other student/family advocacy groups, and the Bedford Community Partnership. The group uses social media, the organization’s website, regular enews, and email blasts for communication. 

DiGangi and Steele both said that the parent and caregiver organizations are a great way to be involved in the schools and the community without a huge time commitment. Steele said, “I felt I was able to do this for all these years because I could find something little or big to help with, depending on how busy my life was.”

Steele said, “I believe we made a difference at the schools and I know doing so made a difference in my life.”  

Lisa Kaushik, co-president of BHSPA who is returning to the role next year said, “It has been my absolute privilege and honor to work with both Susan and Robin over the last five years on both the MSPA and the BHSPA. Their tireless commitment to the parent associations and school communities is outstanding, amazing, and greatly appreciated. With Susan’s steady leadership and Robin’s financial literacy, the MSPA and BHSPA have been productive, successful, and a joy to be involved with. They will both be greatly missed!”

BHSPA would also like to recognize Danita Kelley-Brewster for her many years of contributing time, dedication, and insight to the BHSPA and Bedford Public Schools. 

To find out more information, donate, share concerns, or get involved with the BHSPA (there are no membership fees or time requirements) send an email to [email protected] or visit the website at bhspa.org. 

Editor’s Note: Jenny Stewart serves on the BHSPA. 

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Lauren Crews
June 21, 2023 3:20 pm

Thank you, Susan and Robin, for your outstanding service!!

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