Thursday, May 10, 2012

Montgomery County PTA Leaders Defend Choice of 15-Year-Old Officer // Youth Leader Has Students' "Best Interest At Heart"

A few days ago, Maryland Juice wrote about the remarkable story of a 15-year-old Montgomery County student who was recently elected to the leadership of the countywide PTA (aka the MCCPTA). The Gazette reported:
GAZETTE: When Richie Yarrow stood up as a newly-elected officer of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations at its meeting last week, some members were shocked.

Richie is 15 years old....

He said he wants to bring a stronger student voice to the 48,000-member organization, which is, for the most part, parent-run.

“This is my education that is at stake, and I want to have some say in it,” Richie said....

Richie, a freshman at Richard Montgomery High School, served last year as the vice president of Eastern Middle School’s PTSA. He was also president last year of Montgomery County Junior Councils, the county’s organization for middle school student government.

REDEMPTION: Maryland Juice was disappointed to see some parents so quickly complaining about Yarrow's victory. But yesterday some grownups set the record straight with letters of support for student representation. The Gazette printed two letters from residents who are supportive of Richie Yarrow's service on the MoCo PTA. The first comes from the incoming President of the MCCPTA, Janette Gilman (see excerpt below):
JANETTE GILMAN:  Increased engagement in the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) and our local PTAs by parents, school staff, community partners and students is a goal the organization has and will continue to encourage and nurture...

...all of our high schools and about half of our middle schools are Parent-Teacher-Student Associations that include student members....

Ritchie Yarrow's election as the Recording Secretary for the MCCPTA Delegates Assembly is an important step towards — and an important sign of — the progress this organization is making towards achieving the goal of student engagement.

The MCCPTA Board of Directors recently also acknowledged its interest in formalizing the role of student involvement by creating a new committee with that charter in March....

The second letter of support comes from a former MCCPTA Delegate Tom Brennan of Germantown (see excerpt below):
TOM BRENNAN: Congratulations to Richard Montgomery High School freshman Richie Yarrow for being elected to serve the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) as Recording Secretary....

Although I have never met or spoken with Mr. Yarrow, having been a onetime delegate to the MCCPTA and having worked with past MCCPTA leadership, I am confident that he will bring a maturity to the MCCPTA that has been lacking for a long time.

It seems that the MCCPTA is still full of politics and personal agendas....

It wasn’t Mr. Yarrow who voted for someone he didn’t know anything about. He isn’t the one now complaining. And he isn’t looking to change the rules to protect himself from his own ignorance.

The board dynamic will change, if Montgomery County Pubic Schools are lucky. Mr. Yarrow’s presence may just force other board members to be better prepared with an understanding of each issue, better able to explain the issues and perhaps better prepared to vote smartly.

The schools and the MCCPTA will be served well by Mr. Yarrow. There will now be someone serving who wants to be there for the right reasons, has no personal long term agenda, and has no political motives. Mr. Yarrow will truly have the student population’s best interest at heart....

Now THIS is the MoCo I know and love....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment