Note from the President

A Message from California State PTA President

Thank you for entrusting me to serve our amazing association in the role of state PTA president for the 2013-2015 term of office. I'm honored to be a part of such a diverse, knowledgeable and passionate team of volunteers who work every day to positively impact the lives of all children and families — a focus that has remained consistent throughout the years.

Some have told me that PTA is engaged in a "righteous" endeavor. The fact that we are unafraid to stand on principle, even when it's unpopular, the fact that PTA is beholden to no special interests other than improving the lives of children, the fact that we choose to devote precious time to speak, to grow — these remind me, again and again — of the absolute necessity of our mission. And these facts continue to inspire and excite me moving forward.

The California State PTA has an unprecedented opportunity to learn, to remain relevant, and to accomplish anything. We must not let anything hold us back. Our challenges are many: inadequate school funding, decline in children's physical fitness and overall health status, summer learning loss, challenges for special needs students, barriers to meaningful family engagement and more.

I believe PTA benefits from the diverse assets that each individual brings and shares — sometimes overlooked, seldom trumpeted, but absolutely an essential driver of who we are and what we can accomplish. Advocacy, both local and statewide, is informed and strengthened our diverse assets, and remains our powerful bedrock and mission; it lends to our credibility, and ensures the collective voice for children is not silenced.

It is for children like my grandson Alexander, and for all children, that we break large challenges into small increments; tread forward unafraid, and remain excited to meet all that awaits us. Persistence will carry us far. And remember, the only people who do not make mistakes are the people who "don't do anything!"

I have great hopes for PTA and we must take steps with which we are sometimes uncomfortable, but people have heard me say: change is incremental, is often painful, but absolutely necessary if we are to continue as the preeminent association that speaks for every child with one voice. Let's move forward together, secure in the knowledge that commonalities bind us, mission unites us, and diversity excites us!

Colleen A.R. You
California State PTA President

View a list of the California State PTA Board of Directors.