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Cottonwood Heights Journal

PTA and PTSA boards seek new members to serve

Feb 21, 2017 05:07PM ● By Rubina Halwani

The PTSA at Butler Middle School help answer questions at a school event. (Butler Middle School Facebook)

By: Rubina Halwani | [email protected]
Springtime symbolizes renewal as schools hold nominations of new Parent Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Student Association board members for the 2017–18 school year. Typical roles include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and student representatives. Cottonwood Elementary has over 35 board positions and as many activities planned through the school year. 
Jacki Ball, director of government affairs of PTA National, praised their 120-year legacy in a 2016 training video to new board members.
“Did you know that National PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association?” Ball asked. “We were founded in 1897 and our legacy of influencing federal policy to promote education, health and well-being spans 120 years.”
Lindsay Kaelberer, co-PTSA president of Olympus High School, said she has enjoyed serving on the PTSA this year.
“It has broadened my circle of friends and expanded my friendships in the Olympus community. Because of my service, I have a great relationship with the office staff, Mr. Perschon, and even many of the teachers. I feel comfortable and welcome in the place where my children spend so much time,” Kaelberer said. “There are also many issues, such as grade reconfiguration, that have been discussed at various meetings. It is nice to have the correct information as these issues will impact my children and family.”
Nominations serve as the first part of the election process, followed by voting. Only active members of the PTA can serve and select board members. Membership of the PTA varies by school. Ridgecrest Elementary PTA charges $5 for membership. The PTSA at Butler Middle school charges $7.
At the local level, each school PTA conducts a variety of school programs. School PTA’s host/manage fundraising events, spirit week activities, various ribbon days, science fairs, Reflections submissions, spelling bees, etc.
Board members typically meet once a month to plan events, discuss issues and review expenditures. In many schools, the principal also presides over meetings to offer suggestions, support or communicate school matters to the PTA.
In addition to board positions, parents can support their local PTA by attending events, volunteering for specific activities or donating funding and resources for an array of programs.
At the state level, the Utah PTA disseminates information related to legislation and statewide  programs, like the annual Reflections contest. The Utah PTA encourages school PTA/PTSA boards to hold elections in the spring, as noted on their website.
The PTA was founded by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Since its founding, the National PTA performs advocacy for education, health and safety of students and schools across America. Historical achievements include ensuring schools serve hot meals during the day and assisting in the establishment of child labor laws.

Parents who may be interested in learning more about board positions may visit their school’s PTA/PTSA website or speak to current officers.