The Richmond County Council of PTAs makes the whole year about serving students, but its members reserve one night to celebrate themselves.
They thank the principal who helped support a PTA effort or the teacher who raised extra money.
“We want to give our members a pat on the back,” said Dawn Duncan, the council’s second vice president. “It’s very, very important to continue to motivate and inspire.”
About 200 people gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel on Tuesday evening for the council’s Schools that Achieve Great Goals Awards. The group recognized about 20 members for outstanding service and support.
Council President Monique Braswell said the 2011-12 school year was a success because of the outreach done by PTA. The groups held tutoring for students, a back-to-school drive, meals for first responders and worked with principals to improve schools.
“They’re working very hard all year, and it’s not just one individual but their entire school,” Braswell said.
To recognize the members who went above and beyond, schools submitted candidates for each of the 17 categories and a group of five outside educators and parents chose the winners, Braswell said.
The event hosted guests from the state and national PTA organizations, along with Richmond County School Superintendent Frank Roberson, who reminded the audience that all the efforts are to benefit one result – the children.
“We’re in this for our children,” he said. “Our children are our future ... Every single thing that we do, we must think about, ‘How will this impact, in a positive way, our children?’ If the response to that is that we’re going to get a positive result from it, then we must do it every single day consistently.”
Deer Chase Elementary School PTA Vice President Cynthia Tanksley said having an active PTA is vital to keeping parents informed about their children’s education and strengthening relationships in the community.
The strong force at Deer Chase helped establish accelerated reading and math programs, along with raising $25,000 for the school.
Braswell said the PTAs in Richmond County are going to get stronger, with next year focusing on more outreach efforts and advocacy.
“Next year, we’re going to come bigger and better,” she said.