Bonita Allen, President
Bonita and her husband Steve have lived in Pittsburgh for over 20 years. They have two daughters: Xia who is in graduate school, and Ellie, who is in college.
Family engagement has been the cornerstone of Bonita's work for the past 25 years, and she has been aligned with the purposes of the National and Pennsylvania PTA long before she officially became a PTA member. She has been the chairman of several statewide organizations, and serves as a mentor to emerging parent leaders. Bonita has her own consulting business working as an instructor of teachers, parents, and administrators.
Bonita graduated from Harvard cum laude, and has completed all but the dissertation for a Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Bonita previously served the Pennsylvania PTA as the Region 3 Director, the region with the largest number of PTAs. She has also chaired numerous committees including Diversity & Inclusion, Convention, and Summer Leadership. She has represented the Pennsylvania PTA at the National PTA level, serving as a delegate to the National Council of States. Bonita also represented the Pennsylvania PTA in the Education Policy and Leadership Fellowship Program, 2015-2016 graduating class.
She is proud to serve as President of the Pennsylvania PTA for the next two years and looks forward to working cooperatively and effectively with PTA members, parent leaders, and other statewide organizations for the benefit and betterment of all our children, families, and schools across Pennsylvania.
Tara Purcell, President-elect
Having been brought up in an educator’s world, Tara, from a young age, chose a life journey focused on children. Learning is a journey that begins at first breath and continues throughout life. A strong belief that a child is a person of great importance, Tara reaches out beyond the classroom to grab onto all opportunities that are available to our children today. She has served as cheerleading moderator, soccer coach/referee, booster president, Odyssey of the Mind Coach/Judge and anything else that needed to be done. Tara started her PTA experience 21 years ago as an active member serving as a chairman of various committees and even as a local unit president, continuing to serve as Pennsylvania PTA’s Region 10 Vice-President, Legislative & Advocacy Chairman as well as the Federal Legislative & Advocacy Chairman. She knows that today is an exciting building block that will shape the individual, the home, the future. While working as an Administrative Assistant in the Mount Carmel Area School District she continues being a strong volunteer and advocate for students and parents as the district’s Parent Liaison for the past 14 years. A tried and proven leader, Tara has brought a new understanding and awareness of what it means to be involved with the local, district and state Parent Teachers Association. She is not a bench warmer but a hard-working player - helping to shape a new generation. If there is a special need - she doesn't stop until she finds the program that will fill that need. Tara has received recognition on all levels for her dedication and achievements, including receiving the Konrad Lindenberg Memorial Award from The Family Involvement Conference Committee. Tara Purcell is a true advocate that is there 24 hours and not just from the first to the last bell of the day.
Bonnie Fagan, Secretary
Bonnie Fagan volunteered to be the Reflections’ chairperson at her first PTA meeting when her twin sons started kindergarten in the fall of 2004. She moved on to serve as president of their elementary and middle schools, in addition to continuing to work with Reflections and many other local unit committees for the next 13 years. Bonnie also served as Erie County Council president for 2 years. She first joined the State Board of Managers in July 2011 as its first Resource Development Chairperson and then served as the Region 1 Director for 3½ years before becoming Secretary in January 2016. She is a new resident of an “empty nest” in Erie, as her sons have started college.
Cindy Horner, Treasurer
Cindy graduated cum laude from Mansfield University in 1989 with a B.S. in Business Administration. Her family moved to New Hampshire and Cindy stayed home to raise their children. Cindy became an active PTA member when her oldest child entered kindergarten. She held various positions in the local unit until their family returned to Bellefonte. Not even settled in to their new environment, Cindy jumped right in to serving the local PTA, as well as her youngest son’s playschool. Cindy has served as chairman or co-chairman of many committees, and has held the position of Vice-President of the Benner Elementary PTA. She has served as Region Vice-President for Regions 8 and 6, and is currently serving as the Pennsylvania PTA Treasurer.
In addition to serving the PTA, Cindy participates in the Parent Information Network, was a Cub Scout leader, and is a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor.