Courage and Credit

Former President Ronald Reagan had a sign on his desk that stated: “There’s no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit”. That says a great deal about PTA Volunteers and more especially our Teachers. This year I was given the opportunity to participate in the selection of our National Teacher of the Year, and man we hit a home run!

Sarah Brown Wessling of Iowa was selected as the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and was recognized at a White House event on April 29th.  She represents one of the strongest and most talented classes of states Teachers of the Year in some time, all of which embody the words from President Reagan. Every day teachers work towards one goal, student success. They work to provide all of their students the best and at the end of the day they see their goal reached without a parade or White House ceremony.

Joe Lowenthal (NSPRA); Sara Brown Wessling (National Teacher Of the Year); Chuck Saylors (National PTA)

PTA would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our National Teacher of the Year as well as all of our states’ Teachers of the Year for a well deserved recognition. Each and every day our teachers deserve positive support for their efforts so we would like to encourage our parents to get engaged in the school and classroom, remembering that when parents are involved, students are more successful.

Mrs. Wessling will be speaking at our 114th National Convention in Memphis, June 10-13.

Groups that have changed the world

Have you ever considered PTA as a group that has helped change the world? I have always known of the long history of good works that PTA has built, but like you, I’ve been so busy in today’s efforts I’ve not given the history a good look…until recently.

Several weeks ago, I received a letter from a young man in the 4th grade at Streams Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA asking for an interview. This young man, James Boston, (along with the entire 4th grade) has been assigned the task of producing a report and display on groups that have changed the world. James selected the PTA. His interview request was part of his project. Well, if you know me, the wheels started moving. At the time of his letter, James was unaware of the fact that I would be attending the Pennsylvania State Convention with a rare extra day in advance. What turned out to be a surprise visit turned into a special visit to this Upper Saint Claire District School where James involved his classmates.

The day I arrived I was greeted by the Principal (Dr. Miller) area PTA leaders, the Superintendent, School Board Members (including a past NSBA President Barbara Bolas), James’ family and James himself in a dapper black suit and green tie.

The questions (as best I can recall) from the students were not all typical. Yes, we had the ones like “What’s your day like?” and “How much do you travel?” But there were several that were very thoughtful like, “What has PTA done for kids?”, “Do you have a job?” and “What does your family think about what you do?”

This was a memorable day for me, one that this leader needed. I was able to see, first hand, a tremendous program, an energetic group of students and a most talented James Boston. As I departed James said, “I owe you a favor now”. My response (besides making an A on the project) was to finish first in his class.

To know that our efforts in the name of PTA are seen and appreciated by so many who are so young, should help us all know that our work as PTA leaders and volunteers is valued. My thanks to James, the Boston Family, Streams Elementary, and the Upper Saint Claire District for a wonderful day and to each of you for your service. Every day your actions and hard work change somebody’s world!

Until next time,
Charles “Chuck” Saylors