Cindy Northcote-Smith wanted to throw the best party ever—or at least the best Acution Dinner at
Her family was supposed to move to the Bay area.
“It was going to be my final thing at the school and I wanted to make it the best party I could make it,” she says.
They went for an ‘80s theme—“The Revenge of the ‘80s.” She pulled out her old posters: Duran Duran, The Eagles, Adam Ant, David Bowie, Billy Idol, Michael Jackson. She and a friend were shopping at Universal CityWalk and saw celebrity ‘80s DJ Richard Blade. They went up to him and convinced him to do the school event.
That was four years ago, and the party was fantastic. But, her family didn’t move.
“The tough part is that you wonder what you can possibly do the next year to up yourself,” says Northcote-Smtih. “That’s one of the biggest challenges.”
Well, she has been working at Carpenter for six years and her youngest is in third grade so she has two more years to go. The year-end fundraisers have included “Atomic Go-Go,” “Prom Night,” “Prohibition” and more. This year it’s the Bootlegger Ball.
“Just before the event there’s always the panic that sets in,” she says. “The challenge is getting the word out, and there’s always the delay of people RSVPing, but it’s fine. We’re right on track this year.”
GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Other than co-chairing some pretty great events, she was also the room parent for both children. “Not everyone is involved, but the people who are involved are very involved,” she says.
She developed the Art Program. Now in its third year, she has identified parents who are artists and they go in to teach art to the students.
“We have amazingly talented artists in this school and in the neighborhood,” she says. So, they’re teaching the children water color, decoupage, art history and more. “It blows me away,” she says.
WISHES FOR THE FUTURE FOR SCHOOL: “I would like to keep things the way they are, no matter what LAUSD does. The cutbacks will still affect us, so keeping things the way they are would be great. My biggest fear is that we outgrow ourselves, we get bigger.”
She recalls when fifth grade classes had 45 students before they became an affiliated charter school. Now the class sizes are 28 in the fifth grade.
“I feel very lucky for my kids getting the education that they get,” she says. “Right now they’re facing getting rid of teachers and the cutbacks. Keeping things the way they are would be great.”