Our schools need engaged parents. I had an experience as an elementary school PTA president that brought this fact home to me. I was asked to speak at career day and share my career as a parent volunteer and full-time mom. All presenters were asked to give a short speech to the entire student body and staff before breaking off into smaller groups to hear from us. I was positioned between the stunt man and the doctor. After the stunt man, I got up and showed my pie-chart entitled “Mom and Volunteer: 24/7/365” which I had divided up into how I used my time each day. I had barely gotten the title out when, to my surprise, the entire gym erupted into applause, then the teachers and staff stood on their feet and gave a standing ovation. Given my apprehension about being compared to the stunt man or the doctor, I was quite shocked by the response.
However, upon reflection, I started to understand their reaction a little better. Schools need parents and parents need schools. When teachers, parents and administrators collaborate and understand each other, children win. When parents invest their time and energy into supporting their children’s education, children win.
As a board member, I have been a critical voice for parents on the Conejo Valley school board. More important than being the only board member with an advanced degree in education, I am one of only two board members with children currently attending CVUSD schools. I bring unique insight into the issues facing real students and real parents every day. For me, the issues are not hypothetical. They are not theoretical. This is real life.
As a licensed school counselor, I am trained to advocate for the educational needs of every individual student, and as a member of the school board, I advocate for you and the individualized needs of your child. I want every student to be challenged and succeed in school. Through better communication between school board, parents, teachers and staff, our children will enjoy even greater success.
- Sandee Everett, MSEd