About the HSA

We are parents and guardians of students in Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School committed to working together to strengthen our school community and enrich our children’s education. Together with our school’s teachers, staff, and other community partners, we play a large role in the success of our school.

Over the past few years, our Home and School Association has:

  • Raised money to offset the costs of field trips, school supplies, and events
  • Paid for a new playground, benches, and picnic tables
  • Coordinated annual events including book fairs, the holiday shop, teacher appreciation luncheons, and Fun and Fit Day
  • Won grants to green our school campus and to install a kiln in our art room
  • Established community partnerships with local universities and other organizations
  • Run parent-led after-school clubs
  • Coordinated parent volunteering in the classroom

Please join the HSA – download and fill out the 2021-2022 Membership Form. All parents, guardians, and community members are welcome.

Every parent and guardian is encouraged to attend meetings, volunteer, and become a voting member of the Home and School Association. Suggested dues are $5.00 per year. Every parent and guardian is encouraged to attend meetings and share their ideas and determine how we can best serve the school and our students. Teachers and staff can also join.

2021-22 School Year Officers are:

  • Alyssa Butler, President
  • Elyce Castillo, Vice President
  • Marian McFeeters, Treasurer
  • Janine Simick, Recording Secretary
  • Gina Snyder, Fundraising Coordinator
  • Anna Thomas-Ferraioli, Fundraising Assistance         
  • Katie Ernst, Activities Coordinator
  • Lis Fornaro, Correspondence Secretary

About the HSA

Alyssa Butler, President – I am the mother of two students at Cook Wissahickon. I am also a School District of Philadelphia teacher. I love the Cook-Wissahickon community. The students, parents, staff and principal are dedicated and are an amazing team! I am so happy to be a part of the Cook-Wissahickon community! 

Elyce Castillo, Vice President – I have two children currently at Cook-Wissahickon: Holden Blank (he/him, 5th Grade) and Abram Blank (they/them, 3rd Grade), and Margot (she/hers, incoming kindergartener Fall 2022). I’m currently a member of the Philadelphia Board of Education’s Advisory Council and have served as a member of the Cultural and Identity Inclusive Committee for SDP and as part of the Office of Family and Community Engagement Action Group. I also serve on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the College of Public Health at Temple University. I am an advocate of the Philadelphia Public School District, and have truly loved being immersed in the Cook-Wissahickon school community.

Marian McFeeters, Treasurer – I have three girls at Cook-Wissahickon, Marian is in 8th grade and will be attending Central next year. Sarah and Bridget are in 5th grade. We have been at Cook since Kindergarten and love it.  All my kids enjoy playing violin with Mr. Saidi and Marian will be performing with All City Orchestra this year. My children also participate in Cooks amazing Choir and we look forward to participating in future musicals. I grew up in Philadelphia and attended John Story Jenks (now Jenks Academy of the Arts) in Chestnut Hill. I have been a part of the Roxborough community for over 20 years. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and doing many things connected to our Irish heritage including music, dance and Gaelic sports.

Janine Simek, Recording Secretary – I am originally from Doylestown (Bucks County) but moved to Philadelphia when I started at Temple University in 2004 and never left. I have been teaching for the past 15 years, and I am currently an 8th grade Math teacher. I love living in Roxborough, and I love Cook-Wissahickon! Our school has a great sense of community, and I love seeing all of the friendly faces around the neighborhood.  My daughter Kelsie is in fourth grade. Kelsie and I enjoy visiting different parks, restaurants, museums, etc throughout the city.  We also try to travel as frequently as possible. Kelsie is a very active person and participates in Roxborough’s gymnastics, dance, soccer, and softball programs. In the past, she was part of Cook-Wissahickon’s musical, which was a great experience for both of us. We have made some wonderful friends within the school and I love everything that the community has to offer.

Gina Snyder, Fundraising Coordinator (she/her) – My husband and I have two boys at the school – in 6th and 7th Grades.  I am an organizational consultant, fundraiser, and grant writer.  I ran the East Falls Development Corp. and was a lawyer who worked for people who could not afford to hire a lawyer.  My family lived in Marseille, France for a year to absorb French culture and language.  We now enjoy the region’s gardens and arboretums.  This is my third year as Fundraising Coordinator.  I am thrilled at the business community’s support of the school and am eager to meet businesses as they emerge from the pandemic.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have ideas on how to support our children and the staff at Cook-Wiss through fundraising.  I can be reached at:  cookwissHSAfundraiser@gmail.com.

Anna Thomas-Ferraioli, Fundraising Assistance – I am a long-time public health professional who works to improve outcomes for people living with HIV in Philadelphia. I grew up in Frankford and after several years of living and working in Houston (Texas) and New York City, our family returned to Philadelphia and settled in Roxborough in December 2020. We are enjoying setting up our garden (vegetables and native plants) and learning about all of the inspiring work for social justice happening in the city. My two children are in 4th grade and kindergarten at CW. I joined the HSA to do my part to help the school community.

Lis Fornaro, Correspondence Secretary – My family and I have lived in Roxborough for 15 years. We love the Roxborough and Cook-Wissahickon communities. We also love being so close to the Wissahickon valley. I work for the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation. I mostly evaluate the District’s health and nutrition initiatives, such as Eat Right Philly. I can be reached at: cookwisshsanews@gmail.com.

Katie Ernst, Activities Coordinator – I am a federal post-conviction attorney with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. My family is from Lancaster County, but I’ve lived all over the country: north, south, east, west and mid-west. My husband and I have lived in the Philadelphia area for 14 years, but we only recently moved into the city itself. We love the people and the convenience of city living. I have one daughter in kindergarten at CW and a younger daughter who will be entering kindergarten next year. I joined the HSA because I wanted to get to know other Cook families and support the school community.