Why I Said “Yes” When They Asked Me to Be Our School HSA President

In my home office: my minivan.

When I got the phone call, I definitely felt a little dread in my stomach. I knew why they were calling. They’re going to ask me to be the HSA (Home and School president–what we called the PTA growing up.)  It’s one of those things that a part of you wants to do…another part fears it will be way more work than anybody is telling you. In fact, the call began something like this “before you say no, if you could just hear me out. OK? So… OK just hear me out first before you say no and then give it some time and think about it.” That alone lets you know that what they are about to ask you is something that most people say “no” to, something that nobody else wants to do and they’re hoping that you will be the sucker that will do it.

In the end, I said “yes.” This is why. If I didn’t do it, who would? I know that there are some parents that say, “Volunteering just isn’t my thing.” But for me, it kind of is. And I love our school and am so appreciative of all the parents that have made it the unique place that it is. I kind of felt like I owed it to them.

Now that most of the school year has gone by, I can tell you some of the things that have been wonderful about being the president.

  • I love being a fly on the wall at school events that I might not normally have been a part of.
  • Speaking of flies, the year FLIES by. It goes faster than you think it will.
  • I’ve gotten to know the teachers and staff and have a whole new appreciation for them. They go above and beyond in ways that most parents never hear about.
  • Although sometimes you feel like you see the same faces volunteering at the school, I’ve been amazed by some parents who quietly volunteer in ways that no one knows about.
  • I love that I get to meet with our principal and hear her thoughts about what’s going on at the school.
  • I love brainstorming ways to spend money from our fundraising to make our children’s days enriched, fun and more fulfilling.
  • I feel like I know the kids in the school better. Even if I don’t know children’s names, I’ve come to recognize their faces and they recognize mine! It’s nice.
  • I like that I have monthly meetings with other presidents and the Board of Ed. I hear what other schools are doing and can bring ideas and information back to my own school. It also continually makes me feel confident that we chose the right town.
  • I’ve made new friends. I’m not from the area and making friends takes time. But when you take a position like this, suddenly, people know you—and you have a chance to know them.
  • And of course, in my case, the president’s parking spot rocks!

The whole experience has made me confident about our decision to move to this town and has made me appreciate all that goes into making our school the special place that it is.

Look at these cuties! Who wouldn’t want to spend more time with them!? Lily Briganti, my Sophia, and Keira Kong.

 

What are the negatives?
For me, it’s probably the nitty-gritty. I like being part of the larger vision but I’m not always great at immediately responding to emails. My inbox is definitely fuller and I don’t always get to those emails as quickly as I wish that I could.

Honestly, other than that I haven’t encountered any negatives. I’ve loved meeting with my board once a month over coffee to talk about the school. Our conversations always stray to our struggles to balance our lives as women and mothers and we shared so many laughs. A strong board like mine that has your back makes a world of difference. Each person is comes to the table with different strengths that keep us all balanced. I always knew they had my back--thanks Maria, Caren, Jenn, Maureen, Tara and Alyssa! 

A few people asked me, “It’s a thankless job, right?” I totally disagree. And not just because it’s rewarding to see your efforts turn into actions. The parents and the kids are always so incredibly appreciative. I’ve gotten emails thanking me for events that our board has put on but also some things that I’m not even responsible for that they just assume we did! The thank yous are heartfelt. And even the kids, have come up to me and thanked me and shared with me the things that they’ve enjoyed at school.

The year has gone by quickly. My advice to you is that if you’re in a situation where you know any minute now the phone call is going to come and you’re going to be asked, say yes! You wont regret it.


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chia

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life, Heather is chauffeur to 3 busy kids; the president of her Home and School Association; and VP of Marketing for TipsFromTown. And she's passionate about all 3!

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