PTO President Suzanne Meyers has been the face of the organization since her son started kindergarten at Chamberlin. But she is much too modest to admit it.
"Jake's was the last kindergarten group on the Chamberlin campus," she said of the restructure move made in the fall of 2001 that made each campus a two-year stopover until students started high school. "So I was never a part of Central's PTO."
But every other school in the district has had the pleasant opportunity to become acquainted with Meyers, who was a natural at helping to coordinate parents and activities to support staff at each of the campuses. Now that her son has graduated from Stephenville High School, she is no longer going to be a part of PTO.
It will likely be a bittersweet transition for Meyers, who embraced the many roles she has played in the organization.
"It's been a wonderful way to try to make a difference for the kids and the teachers
and to find ways to bring parents in through their volunteering," she said.
Meyers spoke of the blessings she has received through her service to PTO.
"The many relationships I have formed with other parents and teachers has been priceless," she said. "I have made a good number of friendships that will last far beyond a school calendar."
She cited her favorite activities she has helped the organization to bring to teachers and students.
"One of my favorite things was for Thanksgiving when we made a special holiday feast for teachers and staff," she said. "All the good stuff would come out – tablecloths, real plates. We always tried to make it extra special."
It's a unique memory she will take with her now she has finished her tenure with PTO.
"All the volunteers came through with the delicious food we served them," she reflected. "Everyone worked so hard, but it is one of the most rewarding memories I will take with me."
Expressions of gratitude from people she and her fellow volunteers had touched will also be fond recollections for Meyers.
"When I was with Hook PTO, we were asked to see if we could find a way for students to see The Polar Express," she said. "And we found a way to make that happen. Those kids got to experience the movie and enjoy a snack pack with popcorn and a drink. It sounds like something so small, but I still have all the thank you notes I got from parents and the children."
Those letters were written in Spanish as well as English.
"I can't tell you how many of those kids told us that it was the first time that they had gone to a movie," she said. "It had a tremendous impact on all of us."
Meyers explained trying to better each campus as her son went through them was a passion she shared with the other members of PTO.
"I wouldn't trade this experience for the world," she said. "Our entire mission and motivation was to take each campus and leave things in a situation that can continue for the best and that are meaningful."
SISD doesn't have to fear Meyers has completely abandoned its students and teachers as the academic year has drawn to a close. She now serves on the Board of Directors for the district's Education Foundation and will continue to work in that capacity. She sees it as the perfect way to round out her career of volunteering for Stephenville education.
"Now I finally get to work for Central," she said with a smile.