Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Count on them.

I have the pleasure this week of paying homage to some amazing people. They're the ones who "just do it," taking on the volunteer mantle in their children's schools because they believe in them. They're intelligent, highly organized, reliable, compassionate, and skilled. I am always humbled by their willingness to share their precious time and thankful for the many, many ways our children's schools benefit.

Many graciously roll from one key position to another (thank goodness). Some are "graduating" with their children.

Three women stand out as they end particularly demanding tenures:

Paige - she thought she was stepping in as PTA President for PCMS, and instead helped transition the school's Charter Council into a streamlined, highly efficient volunteer machine. Thanks to her thoughtful, forward thinking leadership, Peachtree parents are well engaged in every facet of the school community.

Linda - she started her year at DHS during the "perfect storm" of DeKalb County's decision to thrust an additional 200+ students into the school with little notice, insufficient staffing, deficient schedules, and no textbooks. She has lead the parent volunteers with grace and quiet dignity . . . without a voice, for many weeks, after a viral infection put her vocal chords out of commission.

Cher - the queen of the buffet, parent-teacher coffee, teacher appreciation dinner, and end of year celebratrion. I never want to follow her as Hospitality Chair! She sets a mighty high bar for creativity, thoroughness, and energy. She has, at times, served the same role in three schools at the same time. School tour guide, front office volunteer, hospitality maven, and the one volunteer any principal wants on hand during a crisis. Now she has the "luxury" of focusing her energies at Dunwoody High School as her youngest moves to the freshman class in the fall.

Those are the ones that standout this week; there are dozens of other parent volunteers who are also worthy of praise. From staffing the school store and building sets for a drama presentation to orchestrating a senior lock-in and beautifying the grounds, both inside and outside, of each school, they're simply amazing.

Many parents invest themselves so wholeheartedly in their child's elementary school years that they're exhausted by the time they move on to middle school. Thank goodness for people who get a "second wind" and stay the course. I am deeply appreciative of the amazing men and women who stay the course all the way to the day their child strides across the stage, shakes the hand of an administrator, and receives a diploma.

Thank you so much.

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