The President of the PTA walks around the school carrying stereotypes on her back along with heavy responsibility. She makes speeches and visits classrooms on back-to-school night. She sends forms home in the backpack asking you to volunteer, buy cookie dough or wrapping paper. But, do you wonder who she is and why she chose to be President of the PTA?
If you would have told me 10 years ago I would be President I would have laughed. I always saw PTA Presidents as perfect moms.- Julia
Let me introduce you to Julia, she may surprise you with the mom behind the position.
Tell me about yourself I am a mother of three daughters age, 7, 10, and 12. I live in suburbia with my husband of 18 years and a cat named Oscar. I was a 4th grade teacher for five years before having kids and chose to be a stay-at-home mom after my first child was born. I like to bike, read and garden if there is time.
Why and how did you become PTA President? I began to volunteer at the school for different events, like book fairs, school plays, and walk-a-thons. After awhile I was asked to be VP of Programs and then if I would become president. It seemed like a natural transition to accept. Though, if you would have told me 10 years ago I would be President I would have laughed. I always saw PTA Presidents as perfect moms. Funny, I’m not perfect at all. It’s all I can do to get out of my yoga pants and shower twice a week.
Was there any hesitation in choosing the role because of the stereotypes associated with the President of the PTA? Yes! I always had visions of a razor bobbed woman with perfectly bleached teeth and a forever smile standing on my doorstep or calling me on the phone soliciting me to volunteer for everything. I was so wrong! We are all trying to help the school in whatever they need to create a great environment for the kids. The moms all are different and we even have a couple of bobbed women who I am now proud to call my friends!
When in a leadership position we can make positive changes, what have you been able to change? We instituted an anti-bullying parent education program and also started a before school Spanish class. I feel strongly about education being a school teacher myself and if I can make a positive difference in children’s lives than I can say I succeeded. Sometimes it’s hard trying to fit in the duties of the job, but it works out in the end.
Those sound like great programs for kids and the school. You mention it is hard trying to fit it all in. What do you mean? The position is a volunteer position but it is still a lot of work. The position caused me to confront the work/family balance issue many women face. It’s a struggle and a compromise. If I could give a tip to working women it would be to figure out your top three priorities and stick with those. Maybe the laundry is a higher priority than vacuuming let’s say. Or attending your child’s soccer practices instead of home cooked meals. Every woman is different, you just need to come up with your own balance and be okay with it.
If I could give a tip to working women it would be to figure out your top three priorities and stick with those.
Those are words to live by. What’s next after the PTA? (laughing) – Getting out of my Yoga pants. Actually, I will continue to lightly volunteer and pass the torch to someone else.
In our feature “Who is She?” we ask a few fun questions to give insight to our readers about you. Are you game? Sure!
Woman to Woman Questions
Minivan or SUV? (smiling) – Minivan
What quality in a mom do you most admire? Her love for her children
If you could change one thing about your kids what would it be? They would pick up after themselves.
What TV mom do you admire most? Caroline Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. I don’t think I would make it without my washing machine and dishwasher like she did.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Have my age spots disappear.
What would your last words to your children be? I love you. Don’t give up and have faith in yourself. Be nice to each other.
Any final words you would like other moms to know about you? I’m a mom trying to keep it all together every day.
Thank you for your time and especially your service to the PTA and the kids! Anytime, thank you.
Julia lives in Redding, CA with her husband and three daughters, and of course Oscar.