Juli Watkins is currently the VP, Communications. She served as President the three previous years and Vice President for one year before that
What made you first get involved with the PTO at Meadow View?
I was talked into it after attending a few meetings and volunteering to work on the newsletter. That was 6 years ago!
What was your favorite experience serving on the board?
I love feeling like I am a partner at my children's school. I went from being a Colorado transplant (and not knowing anyone and it was my first time having a student in school and feeling so lost) to feeling like I knew pretty much everything that was going on at Meadow View and like I had a voice in making a difference where I saw gaps.
Do you feel that you made a difference by being part of the PTO board? Why/how?
Definitely! I used my expertise from the working world and also learned new skills. I helped launch the Fun Run to be entirely managed by volunteers (and therefore not have to pay a management company almost half of our money raised), I built a website (something completely out of my comfort zone), I took our Facebook page from 75 likes to 320 and increased post reach and engagements more than 500%. I also helped establish our PTO as a 501(c)3 organization which allows more transparency of the financial side as well as allows us to receive donations through charitable vehicles like AmazonSmile, Scrip, etc. In the past, we were under the DCSD Foundation umbrella, which did not allow us to view or share details about the finances of the Foundation and how it affected our school.
While those are all tangible things I can name, I believe the difference I have made in six years is that I am leaving the board in a better place than it was when I started. We have created new processes and events and we have raised more money year over year, which has impacted the school and the students' immensely, despite shrinking budgets.
What would be your advice to any incoming board member?
Don't be afraid! You can put as much into it as you want. The past several years, the current board has built a solid foundation that new board members can choose to replicate, tweak or completely overhaul. Being a part of the PTO board at Meadow View is not something you will ever regret. I used to think that PTO moms were bored housewives with power trips with too much time on their hands. Then I attended a few meetings and started serving on the board. I realized whether I had just a few hours a month or several hours a day to contribute, I could make a difference!
I found volunteering to help lead the PTO to be an extremely rewarding experience, and I have made friends for life, some of whom I would never have crossed paths with otherwise.