State PTA executive director inspires activism

Submitted Photo Southwestern Region PTA President Erika Zielinski (left) speaks with NYS Executive Director Kyle McCauley-Belokopitsky Esq.

JAMESTOWN — Among the Chautauqua, Cattarau-gus, and Allegany counties, known collectively as the Southwestern Region of the New York State Parent Teacher Association, schools and families thrive thanks in large part to the support and partnerships provided by local PTAs.

At a recent partnership dinner, held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown, PTA members were thrilled to hear the encouraging words of the NYS executive director, Mrs. Kyle McCauley-Belokopitsky Esq. The partnership dinner is one of many year-long events organized by the Southwestern Regional PTA and welcomes all PTA groups and prospective members.

“The dinner is held to encourage and celebrate the partnerships of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers in our region. We are one big support system and rely on each other for encouragement and inspiration,” explained Erika Zielinski, Southwestern Regional Board president. “Kyle’s amazing message shared tonight is proof of the impact PTAs have on our children and communities.”

McCauley-Belokopitsy’s speech to the group was a pertinent reminder of hope and determination as families combat fatigue and poverty, only to scramble to meet the growing needs of children and families in schools all across the state. McCauley-Belokopitsky has been an active leader in her son’s local PTA and is a lobbyist for teachers and administrators in New York state.

“Her dedication to support our children and students, leading by example, is incredible,” expressed Zielinski.

She reminded everyone to, “‘find your why. Why do I do this? Why do I keep pushing forward? … Once you find your Why you’ll want to do this (PTA volunteering and leadership) everyday for the rest of your life. My why isn’t my son. It’s the other children who don’t have the opportunities like my son.”

The Southwestern Region invites people to join their local PTA and learn about advocacy and outreach initiatives at their children’s school. For more information about PTA membership or to charter your school, send an email inquiry to