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Outgoing PTA President Dr. Terri Hodges, Farewell Address

 

 

 

My involvement with PTA began in 2005 when my now 17-year-old daughter was in Kindergarten. I was a Delaware transplant and didn’t know too much about the public education system in Delaware, nor did I know much about PTA.  But I knew that I wanted to be actively involved with my daughter’s education. I didn’t mind helping in the classroom and chaperoning field trips, but I wanted a deeper level of involvement that extended beyond the walls of my daughter’s classroom. I knew that if I was going to help my daughter succeed in school, that I would need to understand the system within which she would function. My research brought me to PTA. I spent several years serving at the local level before moving up to the state level, still serving my district as Region VP. A few years later, I found an opportunity to use my educational and professional background in political science and government by serving as the Federal Legislative Chair.

All of this allowed me to stay connected with my school and my district while continuing to grow as a leader and immerse myself in Delaware’s public education system. I never imagined that I would take on a role to serve and represent thousands of parents and teachers throughout the state. But in 2013, that is what I did. I took a leap of faith and answered a call to action and agreed to take on the role as the next President of the Delaware State PTA. I am honored to have been able to lead such a great team of advocates.

I am proud of the growth and accomplishments that Delaware PTA has achieved during the last five years of my term. We have increased our relevancy and visibility within our communities, proving that Delaware PTA is an equal partner in education. We have increased our advocacy efforts while expanding and strengthening our partnerships. By revamping our membership reporting process, we were able to refine and refocus our efforts on membership recruitment and retention. As we emerge from this transition, we now have actionable data that will allow us to interact with our members in ways we never have before. During the last five years, we completely overhauled our digital presence, which began with the development of a new, friendlier and more interactive website and now includes a growing presence on multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. We have developed updated leadership training, hosted a variety of workshops, town halls, and events and developed position statements on topics that impact all our schools such as anti-bullying, assessments, child safety, military-connected student identifier, school report cards, ESSA, student data privacy, restraint & seclusion and many more.

With every success, I challenged my team to do better – to do more. Every request I have made during the last five years has been met with enthusiasm and determination. Every member of the Delaware PTA State board has exhibited a great deal of loyalty and diligence in not only supporting me in my role but in supporting the mission of Delaware PTA. Five years ago I made a bold move, and now I am pleased to hand the reigns over to someone else who is about to make the same bold move and take on this leadership role. I have absolute faith that the processes, resources, and policies established during the last five years of my term will help ensure the success and smooth transition of our new incoming leadership. I look forward to serving them in an advisory capacity and THANK YOU for allowing me to serve as your State President.

Dr. Terri Hodges, Delaware State PTA President

2013 – 2018