Cheers to Kathy McCommons, Ellwood City Elementary PTO President, Ellwood City, PA
This week’s spotlight celebrates Ellwood City Elementary PTO President, Kathy McCommons. She represents P.I.E.C.E. (Parents in Ellwood City Elementary), embodying their motto ECE PTO: Building a strong school community one piece at a time. From coordinating schedules to overseeing students, Kathy gives us an insight to her day-to-day responsibilities and reveals how VolunteerSpot acts as her sidekick through it all.
Please tell us about your role as a parent volunteer leader.
This is the third year that I was elected as the Ellwood City Elementary (ECE) PTO President. As ECE PTO President, I oversee just fewer than 1,000 students and three schools.
I am fortunate to work with very supportive principals and teachers, amazing custodians who always put a smile on their face (even in the middle of our PTO messes), the best secretaries who answer countless PTO questions and allow me to interrupt them daily with PTO-related issues, a wonderful PTO executive board that makes fair, hard decisions to improve our schools, and 20 hard-working committees with great chairs and vice chairs.
We have some truly amazing, selfless volunteers who work hard to help make our schools better; I am humbled by these people!
How do you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate parent volunteers?
VolunteerSpot has been an essential component to our new PTO. It allows us to organize, schedule and maintain all of our PTO activities in one easy-to-use format. We use it for 100% of our PTO activities.
We have 20 committees monitoring three schools; without VolunteerSpot, it would take hours and hours to schedule and coordinate the needed help. VolunteerSpot dramatically cuts that time down and makes running our large PTO manageable.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
I spent many hours looking and researching the best ways to organize a large group effectively. I stumbled upon VolunteerSpot one day; it was love at first sight!
One major concern was how to communicate, schedule and effectively organize three different schools. We wanted to establish a fair, friendly and consistent organization. [With VolunteerSpot] everyone who wants to help can take the initiative and sign up for the activities that best suit their schedules and interests. We offer more than 250 volunteer options typically in one month. In addition, we have before, during and after school opportunities to meet mostly everyone’s schedule.
VolunteerSpot removes the possibilities of the dreaded PTO “clique.” With the online signup, parents are the ones selecting and choosing when and where to help. It is wonderful and has expanded our PTO - those that want to help will.
What are some additional activities you’re involved in?
Although being PTO President takes up most of my volunteer time, I am also a Sunday School teacher and serve on the Steering Committee for the school district. All of my other time is spent being a mom of three little ladies.
Prior to becoming a mom, I was a full-time teacher. Through my own experiences as a teacher, I gained an understanding of the rigors of being a teacher and try to lead the PTO in a way to support not just the students but also the teachers.
What is one piece of advice for parent volunteers?
There is a big need for volunteerism, please find something that interests you and give it a try!
We salute Kathy and all the other PTO leaders out there working hard to give our children the best school year possible. Check out how VolunteerSpot’s PTO Volunteer Software can save you time and stress and boost parent involvement in your school. Take a tour today!