PTO Q & A with PTO Volunteer Coordinator Shannon Hedrick
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I have been married to Guy McPherson for nearly 13 years. We met in music school. I was a singer. He was a composer. He wrote songs for me. The rest is history. Now I teach piano from home and Guy is an attorney.
We have two daughters, Penelope (3rd Grade) and Josephine (Kindergarten). Penelope’s heart is with nature. She dreams of living on her own piece of land that is inhabited by more animals than humans. Josephine’s spirit zooms through our house like the wind. She is inspired by people she meets and new experiences. She has the most contagious positive attitude and joie de vie.
We also have Syliva, the very tired and disgruntled cat and Cresty the crested gecko.
Q: Tell us how you came to serve as PTO Volunteer Coordinator.
A: A couple of years ago, I was a Village leader and saw a need for someone to help organize all the opportunities that are available to parents at Driscoll. I was new to the school and was unaware of all the amazing things that happen and how to get involved.
I spoke with my fellow Village Leaders and the Principal and eventually was connected to the PTO Executive Board. They helped me to define goals and set priorities.
Since then I have worked with the Co-Chairs for all the events to develop written descriptions of our programs and online and paper sign-ups for parents. I connect with each event Chair before their event and coordinate their volunteer efforts. Some activities need a lot of my help and others, need less.
Q: Tell us what we should know about the PTO and why volunteering is so important.
A: One of Driscoll’s core values is community building. We work together to create an environment for our children that we value and nurture. To me, volunteering shows Penelope and Josephine that we have the power to create the community we want to be a part of. And I like that it’s something that they can relate to because it is their day-to-day life. I feel I can show them that when you care for something, you put in the work and reap the rewards.
Over the last few years I have learned that all of our programs – Chinese New Year, Book Fair, Arts Equinox, Science Solstice, the Spring Fair, Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, Early Dismissal Movies, DASA (there are more to name) are all parent run. Without the passion of our stellar parents, these opportunities would not exist for our children. I am proud that our school embraces these diverse activities so that each child has a chance to connect to something extra special over the course of the school year.
I feel honored that these occasions have allowed me to work alongside our top-notch teachers. Volunteering has allowed me to be in the classroom and to see how our teachers ignite our children’s curiosity and make Driscoll and safe and positive place to learn. I am so grateful for this.
Q: Do you have advice for the next PTO Volunteer Coordinator?
A: With all volunteer opportunities at Driscoll including the PTO Volunteer position, I would say…jump in and make it your own! We are our most powerful if use our own individual strengths to benefit our school. You will meet so many wonderful people in the process.