Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

STEM PTO, a Chapter of the Foundation for Douglas County Schools, is a Parent Teacher Organization that uses its resources (materials, funds and services) to support our school, STEM School Highlands Ranch.

Who are our Members

Any parent and/or guardian with a student enrolled or teacher, faculty, or staff employed at STEM School Highlands Ranch shall automatically be granted membership into the STEM PTO.  No membership fee is collected.

Our Mission

“Enhance the overall experience for students, staff and families at STEM School Highlands Ranch.”

Our mission ensures STEM PTO works in partnership with STEM School Highlands Ranch to foster a strong sense of community, provide enhancement activities for student, faculty, staff and families and help increase the educational, social and emotional experience for the members and their families.

PTO News

​Board Nominations/Elections for Fall 2020

PTO is currently looking to fill PTO Board Member positions for Fall 2020. They are…

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PTO Board Needs

PTO is still in need of (2) more Board Members; (1) Co- Member At Large…

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Next PTO Meeting

The next PTO Meeting will be on November 19, 2020 from 6:30-8 p.m.

PTO Contact Info

PTO Contact Email Addresses

We have new email addresses.  Contact Us Anytime!

We appreciate your support!

PTO Newsletter

Check out the latest edition of the STEM PTO Newsletter. A link is also included in the Weekly Newsletter that is sent out by STEM Communications.

More About PTO

Aleza Bautista

Aleza Bautista, Co-President

BA from San Diego State University; Sociology and Religious Studies. I have worked in the public and private school system for 20 years as a sales representative for Lifetouch National School Studios, Xerox and currently for Balfour Publishing. I have 3 children. My oldest graduated from Mountain Vista HS and most recently from San Diego State University. My second son is in 8th grade here at STEM and my daughter is a kinder here at STEM as well. I love to travel and most recently took a trip to Peru to hike Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain with my oldest son. It was incredible! I look forward to serving on the PTO to help build and strengthen communications between students, parents, and the wonderful teachers and administrators at STEM Highlands Ranch.

Heidi Peterson - PTO

Heidi Peterson, Co- President

Heidi joined the PTO Board as Communications Co-Coordinator in Spring 2018 and recently transitioned to the position of Co-President. Heidi has a degree in Marketing from Seton Hall University and has worked in Risk Management as an Assistant Vice President for Marsh McLennan, Inc. in New York where she met her husband of 14 years.  Alan is an IT Director for at Integrated Petroleum Technologies in Golden and he volunteers his time as Treasurer and Den Leader for troop 628. Heidi and Alan have two boys, Ethan, an 8th grader at STEM and Aidric, an incoming 6th grader this fall.

Shannon Owens

Shannon Owens, Co-Vice President

Co- VP for STEM PTO. Shannon has worked in the child care industry for 10 years. She is originally from Texas and moved here 4 years ago with her husband of 18 years, Billy, who works for a local IT manage service provider company.  Shannon loves traveling and being outdoors. This is Shannon’s second year at STEM, and she and her husband have two sons at STEM, 8th grade, and 4th grade.

Valeria Ureta

Valerie Ureta – Co-Vice President

My name is Valerie Ureta and I am pleased to announce that I am a CO-VP for STEM PTO. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Edgewood College 2006. I currently am an Emergency Room RN as well as a school nurse. I have two children currently in STEM. Gabe is going to be a 6th grader (20-21) and Cecilia will be 5th grader (20-21 SY). I am excited to be part of STEM’s PTO team to support our amazing school and community! In my free time, I enjoy running, biking, and hiking. My running mates are my two dogs, Buddy and Henry.

Andrew Pedotto

Andrea Pedotto – Co-Communications Chair

Andrea is a wife and a mother of 2 boys and a very cute little dog named Stella. She has been a stay at home mom since 2007 when her son Alec was born. In a past life, she was a nanny for many years. She also worked as a Nutritionist and breastfeeding counselor in the WIC Program for the State of New Mexico. She has a degree in Sociology and Nutrition from Metropolitan State University. The 2020-2021 school year will be her family’s 5th year at STEM. In prior years, she has served on the PTO board as secretary and co-chaired the STEM Gives! fundraising campaign for two years. Andrea lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband, John, a financial consultant, and sons Alec and Dax, who attend STEM.

Laura Wyse – Co-Communications Chair

Laura has two kids at STEM, a high schooler and a middle schooler. She joined the board in the fall of 2019 as a Co-VP but has moved into this new position this spring. Laura has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Management from Davenport University. She’s currently working as a part-time office manager for a family-owned business.

Jessica Nelson

Jessica Nelson, Co-Member At Large

Jessica’s daughter is a 2nd grader at STEM and this is their second year at STEM. Jessica joined PTO this Fall because she wanted to be more involved and desired to be able to give back to the teachers and staff at STEM for all the hard work they do in building and teaching our children. In their free time, Jessica and her daughter enjoy being outdoors, hiking, camping, or just playing at the park. They also enjoy doing arts & crafts, making new friends, and looking for ways we can positively impact our community.

Alona Beck

Alona Beck – Co-Treasurer

Alona brings over a decade of Accounting and Finance experience to the PTO Board through her career path working with national brands like Wells Fargo, Bank of the West, RadioShack, Walmart, and currently Cigna Health Insurance as a Financial Analysis Senior Analyst. Alona joined the PTO team as a Co-Treasurer where she manages the PTO financials with activities such as payment disbursements, deposits, cash flow reconciliations, reporting, and analytics.

Alona is excited to contribute to the school community through her role as a PTO Treasurer. Alona’s main goal for her tenure as a Treasurer is to seek out external funding opportunities through grants and community partner programs in order to increase funding for STEM School programs and teacher grant requests.

Alona is passionate about children of all backgrounds having access to good quality K-12 education, which is what brought her and her family to STEM 2 years ago. Alona’s son Ian is a 3rd grader at STEM.

George Amaya

George Amayo – Co-Secretary

George has two children attending STEM and one who graduated in 2018. He has volunteered as an assistant coach for the middle school basketball team, helped with after prom, and supports the member-at-large when asked. George has a Bachelors’s Degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Arizona. He works full-time as a Software Engineer.

Tamara Emge

Tamara Emge – Co-Secretary/SAC Liaison

Tamara Emge and her husband David have four children, all boys. Their ages range from 21 years old down to their youngest who is all of six years old, and a proud first grader attending STEM.   Tamara is the Co-Founder and CEO of two companies based in Douglas County, Colo., where she is a non-verbal communication expert specializing in business and leadership development.  She has a graduate degree in Criminology with an emphasis in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from CU Denver. Upon graduation she received honors for her work in gender studies. Tamara is passionate about serving her community and the school.  Within the last year she has served on the PTO, the SAC, the Safety and Wellness Committee, the Committee for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, and is a member of the Leaders of Douglas County Cohort.  During her spare time, she enjoys equestrian jumping and leisure horseback riding, motorcycle riding, art, and going hiking and camping with her family in the Colorado Mountains.

Our Purpose

STEM PTO is organized for the purpose of enhancing the quality of students’ education, school, and community through the development of resources and participation of parents, school staff, and community. The STEM PTO Executive Board’s goal for fundraising is to coordinate donations from our members by organizing fundraising and enhancement activities to help increase the quality of STEM School Highlands Ranch, its student’s education, environment, and the community. To promote effective communication between parents/guardians, the school staff, and the community. To assist in the administrative activities of the school and support its policies and goals. To organize and support fundraising and enhancement activities. To serve in an advisory capacity to the Stem School Board of Directors or at the request of other groups.

Objectives of the Board

  • The STEM PTO Executive Board’s goal for fundraising is to organize and support fundraising and enhancement activities that enhance the quality of STEM School Highlands Ranch, its student’s education and environment, and the community.
  • To promote effective communication between parents/guardians, the school staff, and the community.
  • To assist in the administrative activities of the school and support its policies and goals.
  • To organize and support fundraising and enhancement activities.
  • To serve in an advisory capacity to the STEM School Board of Directors, or at the request of other groups.

We are excited to announce that we will be using Membership Toolkit for our Directory, Volunteer Sign Ups and PTO Communications starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

There are lots of opportunities to help make a difference at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Please take a moment to visit ALL our volunteer opportunities on our Family Directory. Thank you!

We are always searching for additional volunteers to fill committee positions. If you are interested in shaping the future of STEM PTO while helping STEM School Highlands Ranch reach its full potential, please let us know. Email

We invite you to visit see everything your PTO has to offer this year.  Once you create a Membership Toolkit Account, you will have access to upcoming calendar events, sign up to volunteer and much, much more.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Go to
  • Click on the Register/Login button.
  • If you already have an account with another organization that uses Membership Toolkit you can use the same email and password to login. You can then proceed to the numbered steps below.
  • Select “Create Account” and fill in the name, email, and password information.
  • Click “verify my email” and then check your email for a link to complete the process. The link expires in 2 hours. If you do not receive the email, check your spam or junk folders.
  • Once you have verified your email address, log back in and finish the registration process.
  1. Complete the Parent/Family and Student Information.
  2. Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.
  3. Once these forms are complete, you will be presented with forms for Signups.

Once the Primary Account is set up, the Primary User can “invite” other email addresses to access his/her account.  This allows the Secondary User to have their own login information, but still have access to the family account.

Please check out our many wonderful committees you can sign up for today!

Questions? – Please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Please join us to make STEM School Highlands Ranch a special place for our children to learn, grow and build lifelong friendships. Every bit of talent and enthusiasm you share, every small block of time you can give, makes a big difference for our kids and our school. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We could not do it without your help.

Join one of our many standing committees

Areas to Get Involved

  • Communications
  • Financial
  • Grants
  • Events
  • Fundraising
  • Hospitality
  • Audit & Accountability
  • Come to a meeting
  • Volunteer for an Event
  • At Home Projects
  • Cook or Donate one of many Meals
  • Donate Money
  • Donate needed items
  • For Events-see events page
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Hospitality

How to Log Your Volunteer Hours

Please don’t forget: all STEM PTO volunteer hours count towards your annual STEM School family volunteer hours. Why is it important to log you volunteer hours? Besides fulfilling your annual family volunteer commitment to STEM School Highlands Ranch, logging your volunteer hours helps the school and STEM PTO win awards and grants.

Ensuring that every dollar is spent diligently, we put all our financial information for our members to review.  We open our PTO meetings with public comments to allow for discussion, questions, concerns and to celebrate our school’s successes. We encourage you to visit our website and read our financials and newsletters to see how your donation has made an impact on your student!

Our Annual Fundraisers

Retail Reward Programs

King Soopers

King Soopers: STEM PTO is now offering King Soopers cards! These FREE, reloadable cards are easy to use and STEM gets 5% back on every purchase. You can load the cards by using your credit card so that you continue to get your benefits such as miles or rewards.

The cards are available at the three school offices, at all our events or you can email us at for delivery. The cards have absolutely no additional cost to you, but can raise significant funds for STEM.

Get one now to use all year long! Click here to see how much money has been raised from these cards and how we are using those funds to support our school. For every $500 you add to your card, you can earn 1 volunteer hour just by buying groceries or gas!

Milk Caps for Moola

STEM is proud to partner with Longmont Dairy Farm in an effort to reduce waste and support our school. Milk Caps for Mooola!

​If you are a Longmont Dairy customer, please turn in your milk, cream or juice caps to the designated collection boxes at the STEM middle school office. As long as the caps are from a glass Longmont Dairy bottle, they qualify. Remember to wash caps prior to recycling. Collection will continue throughout the school year.

Longmont Dairy will donate five cents to STEM School for every milk cap turned in and recycle the caps to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.

For more information, please visit Longmont Dairy or email STEM PTO.

Corporate match

You can double your donation! As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, STEM PTO is a chapter of the Foundation for Douglas County Schools and qualifies for corporate matching. If your company matches donations, use this Tax ID number: 84-1165175 and please email us at pto@stemk12.orgwith the employee name, company name and amount so that we can track the corporate match.

“Welcome to the STEM Team!” and thank you for your support!

STEM PTO is a chapter of the Foundation for Douglas County Schools which is a 501(c)3 organization so your donation is 100% tax deductible.