It has been a year since I accepted the privilege and honor of becoming your President. It has been an amazing, wonderful, life-changing year for me, and my family! I think we can also agree that it has been life-changing for the extended Maryland PTA family as well!
As your President, I have tried to spend majority of my time –– listening to you and thinking of new ways to promote education across the state and speaking for every child with one voice.
I knew that the success of Maryland PTA would start with listening. For example, I listened to the plea of many of you to focus on advocacy and transparency. I agreed that it was the smart thing to do. As a result, our Board of Directors and Governance Committees are working to benefit all children in an open and engaging basis. Our Board of Directors worked to strategize on common goals, took training on Boardsmanship, Ethics and Fiduciary Duty and E-learning workshops on a variety of topics to help bring you better service. We have delivered testimony, done media events and provided hands-on services through speaking engagements and Webinars to more PTA members than ever before.
Through the Budget and Finance Committee, we worked to get control of duplicative expenses and unnecessary spending, and were able to bring even more services directly to you, our members, electronically. With your help, we will turn things around, in a big way! Revenues and recruiting are now growing again – and so is my confidence in our future. In my journey to place this Association in the best financial position to be successful, one of my guideposts started with the simple act of listening – and, it makes sense. So, that is the story of how our Governance team will now be united together under one mission and one goal—to fulfill the mission to make every child’s potential a reality and to speak for every child with one voice. Maryland PTA is better than ever!
I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the reason for PTA and our mission and purpose, and I can say I know why everyone wants to continue our important work…your energy and spirit to work for the benefit of every child – and I am with you! On your behalf, I met with state, local government and community leaders to talk about the need for continued funding for public education, to focus on stemming the rush to push assessments of our children and to discuss the need for a 21st Century Education in our schools.
As an association we recognize the potential in every child and believe that each boy or girl should have the opportunity to make something of himself or herself. As volunteers, we have done incredible things, by going outside of ourselves to help make every child’s potential a reality. You, dear volunteer, are Maryland PTA’s champions for education. So many children rely on you as their advocate, you may not know their names, but you feel their spirit.
As parent advocates, we stand up for those who are not yet able to speak for themselves. As parent advocates, we understand that caring is not enough, sometimes you have to knock on doors, write letters or emails, make phone calls, take stands and demand action. Our work is important because without you-- stepping out of yourself to make other people’s lives better-- nothing would change.
As advocate volunteers, you worked at all levels -- local, state, and national-- to share the importance of effective parent engagement and the value of implementing the National standards for Family-School Partnerships in an effort to raise academic achievement levels for all children. Together, we have worked to become a major stakeholder in the community by promoting effective parent engagement and becoming a resource to support teachers and our schools. Together, we forged partnerships and collaborations with state and local agencies to help raise awareness of the significance of PTA in state efforts to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all Maryland’s children.
Our commitment to excellence and record of commitment to improving education for all students especially those most vulnerable is well known. We are dedicated to the wellbeing of all children. And, as child advocates, we understand that opportunity starts and ends with access to a great education.
I salute you and stand with you. Thank you for everything you do every day to benefit the children of Maryland.