By Shelby Lofton
The Parent Teacher Student Association at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) is well-established and busy, as it holds a massive school together behind the scenes, but now it is time to bring all of their hard work to the forefront. I sat down with three parent volunteers to hear them share the triumphs, struggles, and exciting parts of running school events, on top of parenting teenagers.
Busy mother, loyal volunteer, and new cafeteria employee, Dana Hartmann does it all! When she is not organizing ticket sales for Grad Nite, fundraising for school functions, or raising her own teenagers, Hartmann works in the school cafeteria, serving lunch to the thousands of hungry teenagers that file through the doors. As students quickly grab their food and go, they often fail to notice the hard work and group effort that goes on in the kitchen hours before and after mealtimes.
“I serve the kids and cook and clean. I enjoy the people who work in the cafeteria,” Hartmann said.
Many teenagers would cringe at the thought of having to see their parent in the middle of the day but Hartmann’s children do not seem to mind.
“My second [son] comes and visits me during school hours.” Jokingly, she added, “I won’t follow them to college.”
Other parents may feel exhausted just hearing about her multitude of jobs, but Hartmann does not treat her responsibilities as burdens.
“I like to help out, see what’s going on at the school. I enjoy hanging out with the ladies, they’re my goods friends,” she concludes, with a smile.
As one of the women behind the excitement of Grad Nite, Joyce Killingsworth’s responsibilities start from early in the year and don’t end until the night of the big party. Seniors are often unaware of the details that go into planning for and may be surprised to learn of the logistics behind ticket sales, bus assignments, and the preparation for countless situations that could go awry the day of Grad Nite.
According to Killingsworth, one of the most stressful volunteer assignments is “selling Grad Nite tickets…when there are long lines at the windows and you are trying to get everyone taken care of as quickly as possible.” With all the required work, people often wonder what motivates parents like Mrs. K to sacrifice their own time.
“I volunteer at GHCHS because my daughter is a senior at the school. Everyone I have worked with at the school has made it so enjoyable. Everyone is so appreciative of our help, that I look forward to time spent here,” Killingsworth said.
All of the PTSA’s hard work and dedication will be on display at Teen Impact in April, highlighting safe driving with a presentation of first-hand accounts, and, of course, in early June when the seniors depart for Grad Nite!
Parent extraordinaire to the senior class, Jennifer Sheridan organizes everything from Open House to parent advisory meetings.
Articulation nights, graduation parties, and parent meetings are not the only projects this mom takes on. Among her many jobs, Sheridan is also the main Advanced Placement (AP) Proctor during AP Exam season.
Additionally, she has played an active role in her children’s schools since kindergarten, taking on many different volunteer positions.
“When I see my kids [at school] and they see me, they give me a hug,” Sheridan said, “They want people to know I’m here.”
Although she is constantly running programs at the school and is constantly organizing senior activities, her gratitude towards the school is evident.
“The most rewarding part is knowing what’s going on at the school…the appreciation the faculty shows is very rewarding,” she said.
This semester, the PTSA’s biggest goal “is getting to help with [the funding for] security cameras, and helping kids in the school that are less fortunate.”