Volunteer of the Month – October 2023

This month we’d like to recognize Kelly Spangler for her incredible dedication and unwavering support at Olive Mary Stitt. Kelly has been an invaluable asset to our school community through her involvement in various roles over the years.

Her commitment to the 5th-grade committee, volunteer work in the LMC, and her role as a room representative exemplify her exceptional dedication. Recently, Kelly has taken over the Membership role with enthusiasm.

Beyond these responsibilities, Kelly’s willingness to lend a hand, be it in her children’s classrooms or anywhere help is needed, is truly commendable. She’s even responsible for the beautification efforts outside the school by planting flowers around the OMS sign and in the pots by the front door. Her contributions have had a lasting and positive impact on our school, making it a better place for students, parents, and educators alike.

Thank you, Kelly, for your outstanding commitment to the OMS community; you are a shining example of what makes our school so special.

How did you decide to volunteer with the PTA?

That was easy; I knew I wanted to volunteer for PTA roles and events before my kids were even in school, but it did take me a year to actually do something! Our family’s first year at OMS was the year everyone began the school year online because of COVID. I wanted to jump in and help out, but being new and unsure of almost everything, I didn’t raise my hand for anything. It’s unreal to think that I didn’t step foot inside the school for an entire year because of COVID. My kids eventually started attending in-person and I still hadn’t been inside the school! When the next year started, I made up for lost time.

I have such clear memories and feelings of having fun at elementary school. I remember specific games we played at Halloween parties; I remember the songs we sang at our Winter music shows; I remember how it felt to be in my school at nighttime; I remember loving to be in our classroom all day and feeling like I belonged to a little unstoppable pod of awesome kids.

I’m hoping that all the small things I do at OMS add up to help create memories and feelings like mine for students and anyone that walks into OMS. Ms. Davis and the teachers and staff already do a fantastic job of this. The PTA is there saying, “Ok, what else can we do? How can we support and expand the kids’ experiences? They work hard all day, let’s plan some things so they can play hard too.”  Everything we do is to delight the kids and that’s what I like about it.

What has been the best part about volunteering?

The best part is getting to know both parents and the teachers and staff at the school. There’s no other way to get to know people that work inside the school all day than to get yourself inside the school. And, of course, seeing my own kids enjoy whatever school event I’m there for. Almost even better than my own kids, is seeing the faces of students that know our family go from happy-surprise melt into comfort when they see a familiar face. “What are you doing in the school in the middle of my day?!” Have you ever seen a whole class of kids walking by whisper-yelling and enthusiastically waving at a Mom they recognize in the hallway? That’s the best. Every year in the LMC I have worked alongside a Grandma! How wonderful is that?! That should tell you something about OMS.

What has the time commitment been for you?

Ha! You don’t want to know the answer to this, (or see how tall my laundry piles are), but it’s my own doing! The time our kids are in elementary school is so little and so quick – I love being immersed in their worlds as much as I can while I can.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering at OMS?

Just do it. Your help and time are so valuable and appreciated by the PTA, no matter how much you give. But, if you are feeling unsure or worried about committing to something unknown, go to that event. Go to all the events! You will see how it’s run, meet the parents already there doing it, and then you’ll get a better sense of everything. Be sure to think about the timing of events as you sign up too. If you know your schedule is awful in the spring due to xyz, then focus on opportunities at the beginning of the school year. There is a PTA position called the Volunteer Coordinator – email this person. Tell them what time of year is open for you and roughly how much time you want to spend, and I guarantee they will find a role or event or spot for you at OMS. We need you, but more importantly, the kids need you!

If you, or someone you know, would like more information on volunteering at Olive Mary-Stitt, please contact us here and we will answer any questions you have. The positive benefits to both the volunteers and the students are enhanced by the programs we organize every year.