About Us

The GEMS PTO plays a very active role in our children’s school life. The PTO is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to enrich the welfare of all students at Garlough Environmental Magnet School. Membership is open to all parents and teachers. 

Ways we help Garlough Environmental Magnet School


Providing additional funding for field trips, assemblies, support for classroom pets, school supplies, parent education, and many other services enhances the educational experience for our students at Garlough.


Hundreds of volunteer hours spent at school give our students meaningful, additional support to help them achieve their educational goals. It could be helping out in the library, your student’s classroom, a school-wide event, gym class, or field trip. 


Supporting Garlough’s environmental focus through its unique iNature class and curriculum allows students to have a classroom learning experience not found in any other school in district 197.

Enhancing education

Partnering and listening to teachers and staff enables the PTO to directly engage with specific needs at the school that allow our funding to have a direct impact on what’s happening in the classroom environment.

Join Us

PTO meetings are held once every month and are open to all Garlough parents and guardians. Please mark these dates on your calendar and come join us! Meetings typically last about 90 minutes.

Board  Meeting Schedule 2022 – 2023

New meeting schedule for the 2022-2023 calendar year will be posted soon!


Current PTO Board

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Sam Carlson

Sam Carlson


Sam Carlson has served as the PTO president since 2019. She has a 3rd grader, Cooper and a 1st grader, Callie. On PTO Sam has supported The Hoot Hike, book fairs, volunteered at big events and helped with I Love to Read Month. She is currently a Kindergarten teacher and enjoys being outside spending time in nature! She expressed her love for Garlough and feels grateful to be a part of such an amazing community of staff, students and families!

Beth Ernst

Beth Ernst


Beth has served as the PTO Treasurer since 2016. She also coordinates the Community Garden at Garlough. She has 3 kids, a 6th grader at Heritage, a 3rd grader at Garlough, and one in preschool. Beth and her family have loved being part of the Garlough community.

Stephanie Schempp

Stephanie Schempp

Secretary & Book Fair Coordinator

Stephanie Schempp has volunteered with the PTO since 2014, and has served as the PTO secretary since 2020. She has a 2nd grader, Malcolm, and a 6th grader at Heritage. On PTO, Stephanie has organized the book fairs and yearbook. She is an editor at Capella University and loves reading, crafting, and gardening. Garlough is her happy place!

Sara Rice

Sara Rice

Volunteer & Communications Coordinator

Sara Rice serves as the Playground Redevelopment Committee Chair, as well as Social Media and Volunteer Coordinator and has supported the book fair. She has a 3rd grader, Riley, and a 1st grader, Jonah, at Garlough. Sara works in corporate learning and development for Schwan’s Company. She nerds out about all of her interests and would happily talk with you about yours!

Jenn Cook

Jenn Cook

Spirit Wear Coordinator

Jenn along with her husband, Rob and their children (3rd grader, Avery and 4-year-old, Anabelle) have lived in the metro area for 14 years. Jenn works as a product development manager and enjoys spending spare time outside with her family where they can often be found golfing, hiking or gardening. Jenn coordinates the Garlough Spiritwear available for purchase and volunteers where she can throughout the year to help support the school. She loves the great community that is Garlough!

Calista Mezhuber

Box Top Coordinator

Garlough PTO

Garlough Environmental Magnet School
1740 Charlton St.
West St. Paul, MN 55118