Van Ness Elementary School


From New York to California


Who are we?

The Van Ness Elementary School PTO Board of Directors was elected to lead the Van Ness PTO, which includes parents, teachers, and school administrators who are working together to support the students and staff of Van Ness.


Rebecca Sohmer - President
Lesley Edmond - Member
Liz Lang - Treasurer
Erin Wallace Morrison - Member
Carolyn Brown - Member
Maggie McCarty - Member
Cynthia Robinson-Rivers - Head of School/Member
Freddy Torres - Teacher/Member

What do we do?

Do you know what the Van Ness PTO does for you? What it does for your child? What it does for Van Ness? Read below and know what your membership, kind donations and fundraising efforts do for the Van Ness PTO. Our focus is on helping to build the Van Ness community to be as strong as it can be, and by providing funds for educational materials and experiences and additional teaching support.

Community Events

The PTO coordinates and executes community events such as the Gala/Silent Auction, Book Fair, Book-o-Ween, Trivia Night, Pancake Breakfast and more.

School Support

• The PTO funds partner teachers for first grade to increase one-on-one student-teacher learning opportunities.
• The PTO generously gives the teachers a cash award at the beginning of both the school year to purchase needed supplies and materials for the classroom.
• The PTO provides funding to support real-world experiential learning and field trips.


The PTO recognizes staff on holidays and occasions such as Teacher Appreciation Week, Custodial Appreciation Day, Administrative Professionals Day, School Nurse Appreciation Day, and more.

Get involved!

As a parent/guardian of a Van Ness student you are automatically a member of the PTO and you don’t have to be on the Board of Directors to get involved. You will hear about different events and opportunities to participate throughout the year, but if you are interested in supporting one of the PTO Committees identified below, please contact the Van Ness PTO at


Fundraising Committee
Diversity Committee
School Events Committee
Prospective Parents Committee
Communications Committee
Finance Committee



email us at Please include your child's name and grade in your request.