Volunteer of the Month

Each month the Executive Board selects someone who has gone above and beyond in their efforts to volunteer around the school or at one of our PTA events!

Shelby Strafel

Volunteer of the Month | September 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
A highlight of serving the BES community is getting to know so many other families.  Being a transplant to Texas, it is wonderful to have such a strong network here in Bridlewood. Over the years, we have developed deep friendships that have become family, and for that I am very grateful.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Essential and improving each year
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have gained valuable insights into what it takes to fund a school.  Every dollar earned by the PTA is critical in funding the myriad of things we provide to our students/teachers from monthly educational magazines, to class parties, to robots for STEM education.  PTA is vital to a school’s health.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Serving on the PTA is in many ways is like running a small business.  The challenge is developing processes that withstand the test of time, so that future volunteers can step in and take vacated roles with limited disruption/training.  In the last several years, our PTA has done a great job of starting to pen detailed “job descriptions” so that this machine continues to run, without losing so much data every time a single person moves on.  We are working smarter, not harder!
 

Nathan Swaim

Volunteer of the Month | August 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
They say hard work pays off and while it’s certainly true, seeing the exponential positive effect that comes from something you did is almost unmeasurable as a dividend. Working to improve the outdoor classroom and then seeing our incredible teachers use it as a tool to teach was certainly the highlight for me.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Symbiotic, committed, impressive
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
Gratitude and a strong reminder that the more you give the more you get in return. I’m grateful for the tremendous efforts committed each day by the BES staff and faculty. I’m also grateful to have the skills and abilities that others afforded to teach me which I now use to help others. Knowing that the little bit of time and work spent serving makes a difference and helps our teachers, students, and school is rewarding for sure and ultimately helps me pay it forward for the incredible people who did the same for me. If that’s not return on investment I don’t know what is!
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Dodging chicken poo. You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to dismantle a chicken coop and not get any in your hair or on your face!. Oh, and Fire Ants.. They really don’t like you taking their rotten wood burrows out of the ground! I love the outdoors and sometimes it doesn’t love me back but it’s always worth it and rewarding.

Delia Kemp

Volunteer of the Month | August 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
The highlight has been getting to know other BES families especially during a pandemic.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Engaging, Hardworking, Supportive
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have gained a network of new friends and the ability to feel connected with what’s happening in our school/community.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
The biggest challenge for me was serving during a pandemic when there was minimal in person interaction!
 

Kristen Skistimas

Volunteer of the Month | April 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
I served as the hospitality chair for two years at BES, and I loved serving our teachers/staff and showing them the appreciation they very much deserve. It is always rewarding to know you helped make someone else smile.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Dedicated, Hardworking, Exhausting (but worth it)
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
The group of volunteers we have at BES are some of the most dedicated servants I have ever met. The friendships gained are precious and knowing what we do benefits our teachers and students is incredibly rewarding. We are our child’s best advocate and being involved in their school is the greatest advocacy we can provide them.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
It takes a lot of time to do the job well. There is so much work that happens behind the scenes. I have missed being on campus and making personal connections with our teachers/staff and other PTA members.

Rachel Baker

Volunteer of the Month | March 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
I have enjoyed meeting new people in the BES community including teachers and other volunteers. It’s nice to hear that the teachers appreciate the support we provide them.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Engaging, fun, supportive
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
A great network of other BES PTA volunteers.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Coming up with creative ways to connect with the teachers and staff and show our appreciation during this crazy year.
 

Kim Jones

Volunteer of the Month | February 2021

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
Getting to know other parents who want to support the school as much as I do. 
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Supportive, innovative and giving.
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
Allowed to be so thankful for BES’s teachers and staff during a crazy, unpredictable school year.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Not being able to grow in-person connections Teachers and Staff, along with the PTA.

Kristen Hallinan

Volunteer of the Month | December 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
Meeting fellow parents who care deeply about the success of Bridlewood and the success of their children has definitely been a highlight! 
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
I would describe the PTA as engaged, resourceful and very diligent!
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have certainly gained an extra dose of appreciation for how much love and energy goes into every event or initiative put on by Bridlewood’s PTA. T-shirts don’t make themselves and book fairs don’t just show up!
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
I believe the most challenging thing about serving in PTA is making decisions about where limited resources are allocated; all the suggestions and initiatives are so deserving and could be so impactful. What a beautiful problem to have!
 

Laura Wickham

Volunteer of the Month | November 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
I have loved serving our community and kids in multiple ways, but one of my favorite memories has been cleaning up and redoing the kindergarten free choice center room in 2017. I met some amazing moms and was able to help create such a fun space for our kindergarteners to be kids and play! 
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Dedicated, Involved, and Serving.
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have gained so many valuable relationships with other parents and teachers who are involved in making our school a success. Without being involved in PTA, I would not have felt as connected to what’s going on at our school, getting to know the teachers/staff, and finding other families to create friendships with.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
There is never enough time! It would be great to have all the time and resources in the world to do whatever was wanted/needed, but we have to be mindful of our and others’ personal limits! 

Brooke Morford

Volunteer of the Month | July 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
Serving as the Bronco Bash Sales Chair and the Box Tops Chair, it surprised me to see how excited my children were to see me volunteer.  They were SO happy to help me deliver spirit sticks for various contests or to count admission tickets.  They wanted to come with me to ask local business for donations for school fundraisers. They were elated every time they saw me at school “working for PTA” to help make their school a fun place to be. 
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Helpful, Creative, Fun.
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
One of the reasons we chose to transfer to BES is because of the PTA’s reputation for excellence and active parent involvement.  We wanted to be part of a community that gave us the opportunity to model the importance of service to our children.  I want to teach them to give back!  I have also gained many great friends through serving in PTA.  Since we transferred into BES, I don’t think we would have made so many BES friends so quickly if it had not been for the PTA.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
It is challenging to serve in PTA if you still have babies/toddlers at home; however, the PTA offers many different positions with varying degrees of time commitments.  It is not difficult to find a small OR large role that makes an impact that can be done virtually or in the evenings/weekends. 
 

Cristiane Foust

Volunteer of the Month | June 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
I was very impressed by how much Bronco Bash has been positively impacting the BES community. For the last two years, I have been involved in promoting Bronco Bash at Marcus Homecoming Carnival, responsible for vendor booths along with many other duties for the Bronco Bash and BES Buzz. My experience was delightful and I loved to see the involvement of the entire community and how everyone was always going above and beyond to make this a very successful event.

What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Rewarding, Caring, Fun. 

What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
It made me understand what PTA entails and how important it is to the BES community. Bronco Bash, Book Fair and Build a Bronco are just a few examples of the importance of BES PTA. It also gave me the opportunity to be more familiar with BES staff, parents and students. 

What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Establishing a healthy “volunteer-life balance” since I love to participate in as many BES PTA activities as possible. 

Jonathan Cervenka

Volunteer of the Month | May 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
A highlight for me is just helping a kid smile. 
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Passionate, caring, energetic
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have gained a better understanding of the amount of energy it takes for our staff and students to accomplish their daily goals.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Saying no, because I know I’ll do it. 
 

Laura Riley

Volunteer of the Month | April 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
The highlight of serving as the Book Fair Chairman has been seeing the excitement of the children when they come into the fair. It warms my heart to see the joy on their faces when they find a book they want to purchase. My son adores that I am the book fair chair. I love how proud he is that I am running the fair.  Since I am new to Bridlewood Elementary this year I have really enjoyed getting to know other parents on on the PTA. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming. 

What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Friendship, Fun, Rewarding 

What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
I have gained so much from serving the PTA! It has given me the opportunity to really get to know the staff and other parents at the school. Without volunteering I do not think I would have had that same experience. 

What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
Since I am new to Bridlewood this year, the Fall book fair was difficult for me because I was not familiar yet with the staff, the building, and other parents. I definitely feel next year will be much easier. 

Jay Stobie

Volunteer of the Month | March 2020

What has been a highlight of serving the BES community?
The highlight of my services over the years with the communications team has been the ability of the BES community easily and efficiently acquire information from the PTA website.  Knowing that a central place for parents to go for the latest news, events and information is available at their fingertips by phone or computer is second to none in the area.
 
What are 3 words you would use to describe PTA?
Passionate, Serving, Compassionate 
 
What have you gained from serving in the PTA?
A clear understanding of the entirety of the PTA and what is involved in the PTA organization.  When comparing to other PTA organizations, there is a clear and divided difference that makes me proud to support the BES PTA.
 
What is the most challenging thing about serving in PTA?
The most challenging part of serving the PTA is the endeavor of attempting something most PTA organizations don’t even put an ounce of effort into at all.  What BES has done with their PTA website has changed the whole dynamic of how a PTA can reach its members and keep in contact with their community.