I am not the sort of person who brags about the good things I do. I’m much more likely to tell a story that’s funny and self-deprecating than I am to tell you about the selfless, kind, or generous acts I perform that I try to do every day.
Since my freshman was in preschool I have been an active volunteer. I can’t count the number of field trips, class parties, planning meetings, exec board meetings, and newsletters I have attended, the endless copies and bags of popcorn, the times when I have made connections with the kids of West Lafayette, not for the fame and glory, not for the money (hah!), and certainly not because I didn’t have anything better to do, but because I thought I could contribute and share what small gifts I may have with the community, and maybe make life a little easier for my kids’ teachers, which might make the quality of my kids’ education, and your kids’ education, just a smidge better.
When the pandemic started I, along with many others, helped figure out a way to keep the kids who rely on the School Breakfast and Lunch Program fed. We continued this effort until the USDA took over and made the entire program free for all students nationwide. I started a mutual aid network and connected people with something to give with those who were in need – and make no mistake, there is need, even in West Lafayette. I’ve packed and delivered food via the backpack program, and I have even occasionally distributed extra food to those families.
I think my favorite activity as a semi-professional volunteer is writing the Parent Council newsletter. I write one for the kindergarten through sixth grade families one week, and a second for the junior/senior high school families the next. I work hard to keep everyone informed of all the great things going on at Westside in a fun, easy to navigate format. The newsletter keeps me “plugged in” to all three schools and all three parent councils. It allows me to have a broad view of all of the wonderful things that are happening in our community.
The school newsletter has become even more valuable since March. It has been a tool for people to stay connected to the school community while we have been apart. When things shut down, and when back to school plans started to firm up, I helped communicate vital information to the community. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. I hope to be able to continue writing it until my son graduates in 2029!
I believe that the active involvement of our parents is one of the things that sets West Lafayette apart from other school districts. Of course, I’ve always wanted the best possible education for my own kids, but I have been so fortunate to have had a small hand in improving the educational opportunities for everyone else’s kids, too. Working on the Parent Council grant committees, in particular, is a tangible way that I’ve been able to help ensure that your donations could have the greatest impact for the greatest number of students.
Whether I am elected or not, I will ALWAYS show up and continue to do everything I can possibly do for our students and teachers. Because THEY matter!