Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Being a PTO/SSS Mom/President

Since I was a little girl...I always wanted to be a PTA President.  Why??  I always heard that my Granny was one.  And I adored my Granny!  I remember the song...Harper Valley PTA....I can probably sing just about every word of it.

I remember being "IN" school and seeing the Moms who were on the PTA...and they just seemed like the Moms that baked cookies, talked softly to their children, had warm homes, happy families and everything was blissful...to a PTA Mom.

So, I would think of things to be when I grew up...and altho, I was really not fond of having children....well, maybe one...if it was a girl...maybe.  I wanted to be the President of the PTA!

When Sophie began school....10 years ago.  When I registered her at the Kindergarten special placement day.....I asked all of the right questions about the PTA.  I was give info and was very excited about it.

Once school began, I saw the notice for the first meeting and begged my best friend Debi to attend with me.  We did.  We sat in the back....stayed low.  Our girls were watched by older kids so we could have some peace while attending.  I knew I wanted to be there!

I was already class Mom, painting a dollhouse for the teacher, arranging to snacks for the class...you know all THAT stuff.  I was in heaven!  I was meeting other Moms and trying to piece it all together.  The who.  The how.  The WHAT?

So, next meeting.  I drag Debi again.  We are bolder now.  We ask questions....things that concern us.

We are poo poo'd!  You are kindergarten Moms (read nasty sarcasm)!  We were told to come back when we grew up.  It was deflating.  Debi was pissed and vowed...never again!  My heart was broken.

Yes, I was a Kindergarten Mom...but, I had a lot to offer!  I didn't have money but I had time to donate.  I was a widowed Mom with time on my hands...and I had a lot to offer!  Well...your loss.  Screw you PTO!  I will find something better to do with my time and still be involved.

I never went back to a meeting.  It stung!

Then 5 years ago...I was stopped in a parking lot of a coffee shop by another Mom.  She asked me if I would be interested in being on the board of our school's PTO.  I hungrily say....YES!  I think...OMG!  I want this so badly!  Like an ice cream cone dangling in front of me.  I WANT IT!

 So, to show that I can play ball...I buy tickets to an event.  A social event...dinner & cocktails at someone's home.  I play nice.  I watch to see what to do and who to impress.  I am thinking...I am vying for votes!  In my mind...it was like the Bunco group I joined years ago.  There was a black ball!  And I saw it used!  I wanted in!

So, after the meeting a week late, I got a call.  I am on the board!  OMG!  Happy Feet!  I am walking on cloud 9!

I loved being on the board of our PTO...altho we call it SSS.

I just finished my 2nd year as a Co-President with one of my best friends...Carla.  When we took on the job a Presidents...we had books that were neglected but nothing bad.  Money was light.  There was some but not enough to fund our entire budget for the next year.  And we had naysayers telling us to our face...that we would fail!  REALLY!  We were told to immediately start work on a dinner/auction or our SSS was going down the tubes.

Carla and I both neither wanted to do the auction.....or anything else that had been done before.  We wanted to be our own people.  We were just Moms who wanted to do their best for our kids and our school!  We wanted to get parents involved.  We wanted not just the "haves" to contribute to our school and own it.  We wanted everyone to be a part of our school!

We...together came up with a plan for what to do...and sink or swim...that was what we were going to do!

So, we took over for the 2010-11 school year.  We had assembled a lovely group of women that had sworn to stand beside us...and only us.  They just wanted to be heard and have leaders that would stand our ground.

We worked hard that Summer...pouring over PTO magazines...learning everything we could from that group to save...our group.

Our normal budget every year is about $18,500.00.  We started with NOT that much.  Our big concern was the teachers.  It was SSS policy to fund each teacher with start up money.  Normally that was around $10,000.00.  

Our group was amazing! We took on everything!  We sold flower bulbs.  We brought back the Jog-a-thon that was given up many years ago because they said it didn't work.  I set up a table on a few mornings and handed out Starbucks coffee jut to meet parents and show them who we were.  Our line was "we don't bite and we don't take your 1st born."

We raised enough money the first year to fund many field trips....plus the teachers money....plus as a Staff Appreciation to our teachers and staff...we redecorated the Teachers Lounge and feed them a great home cooked meal!

They loved us! 

This year...it was Carla and I again!  Now, we had to prove that it was not a fluke...our first year!  We had to surpass it!  And folks...we did!

We ended the year with $89,000.00 in the bank.  We voted to set up a fund of $25,000.00 for a movie theater type thing in the cafeteria or shade for the play structures and outside lunch eating area.  Our committee will be that years board, the superintendent and the new Principal.  We also gave $4,500.00 to our Special Education Program!  And we have over $50,000.00 left to fund the next 2 school year budgets if we choose to sit and twiddle our thumbs!

Now, I am a lone President.  Carla stepped down because with her job...she needs more time for her family.  So, I said I would run...altho I would LOVE to have someone be my Co-President.  No one did.  But, I had 2 people run for Vice-President and for our second year in a row....we had more people run on the ballot than slots to fill!

Oh...do I have big shoes to fill!  And I am so excited and scared all at the same time!

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