My first few months as PTA president are complete

I’ve been PTA president for a while now so thought it was time for a brief report on how it has been going. Hmmm….it is going better than I thought it would be. I had two main worries when I took this position – filling all the committee chair positions and public speaking.

Last year at this time, I think there were six or seven positions open. If the positions don’t get filled, then the rest of the board is supposed to cover the position, but last year’s PTA president did a lot of it on her own. No wonder she felt so grumpy all the time as she did most of the work herself.

Of course, the lack of committee chairs may partially be attributed to someone on the board whose personality was off-putting. She is a take-charge type with a strong personality and frankly, many of us feel it caused others to stay away from the board. This year, she isn’t back. Luckily for me, she decided to take a year off from the PTA.

So, without this individual and because I worked at it – advertising and reminding people I had positions to fill – I was able to fill every position on the board, even the hardest ones: grade-level parties and fundraising. Honestly, I thought no one would want either one.

The lady in charge of fundraising is already showing how awesome she is. I have yet to meet with the grade-level party chair, but she seems enthusiastic about the challenge of throwing parties for 626 students.

As for speaking in public, it has never been my favorite thing. I do fine with a group of about 5 or 6 but as the group gets bigger, the quieter I become. I was fine holding a meeting of our officers (six people) and did fine at our first executive board meeting, though I probably did talk a little too fast in the beginning and got done quickly.

But the biggest challenge was our first PTA meeting with the parents. This meeting is always tied to Parent Orientation, so the cafeteria was packed. And to top it off, the principal announced he was making a special announcement at the meeting. Yikes! Butterflies were definitely in my stomach before the meeting began. It isn’t like I haven’t spoken to this size crowd before. I was Treasurer for two years and had to give the financial report. But that is a short bit even if we had budget amendments to do. Now it is me up there for the whole time running the meeting. I made it through the night, but this will never be my favorite part about being PTA President.

Thankfully, meetings are only a small part of my job. Most of time is spent following up with and keeping the committee members on task. With 28 other people on the board that can be time consuming, but I am figuring out how to not let something fall through the cracks. Hmmm…eight more months of this to go. I hope they go as well as the first two months have gone.

Crazy Decision – Becoming PTA President

I’ve been on the executive board of my kids’ elementary school since Jase entered kindergarten seven years ago. I only have one year left on this board until we are done with this school. (Jase moved on last year and Lexie only has one more year to go.) This year has been stressful, and I want to focus more on writing, so I had thought that I would drop being an officer (which I have been for the past 4 years) and just go back to a simpler committee chair job.

I knew what position I wanted. All I wanted to do for my last year was throw my daughter and her classmates a great party at the pool as part of their graduation onto middle school. I wanted to be fifth grade party chair.

Then as talk about filling officer positions circulated, the suggestion was I take over the secretary position. Ok, I thought. I can co-chair fifth grade party and be secretary.

Then a week or so later, they sprang it on me. The person who they thought would be president wanted to be treasurer next year and then she would do president the following year. Our current PITA (that is pain-in-the-ass) 2nd VP was considering a second run as president. No one wanted that. In fact, no one wanted her on the board, let alone in a position of power as she had been for the past four years. They wanted me to become president, so she couldn’t.

Dang, I thought, all I want to do is throw a party at the pool.

I’ve spent the past two years in the first Vice President role. I have watched our current president struggle with a rough year with lack of volunteers. And now they think I want to do this?

Sigh. Well, I have to say, I am crazy. And I obviously don’t know how to says no – just ask my mom or husband. They both will agree that no doesn’t seem to be in my vocabulary when it comes to volunteering. So, after some consideration and long conversations with my husband who encouraged me to do this, I decided to take the plunge. I decided to agree to be president for just one year. (You are allowed a maximum two years at any position.)

Two weeks later, I was nominated. A week later, I was elected by an unenthusiastic bunch of parents who were only present to see the ukulele concert after the PTA meeting.

Now I need to line up my committee chairs and fill two officers positions (2nd VP and secretary) that weren’t filled. It will be up to me (and the other officers) to convince people to come back to the board and to continue to support our PTA after many of them have been driven away by the PITA 2nd VP.

Sounds like fun, huh? Yeah, I agree. Not fun at all. But I signed up for this. Gee, I must really be crazy.