The Raleigh Park Elementary PTO is led by a group of hard-working, dedicated parents who donate their time each month to operating this amazing non-profit that benefits all children who attend Raleigh Park. Take a moment to get to know the current PTO board members and see what inspires them to dedicate some of their free time to our school.
Karen Eggert, President
Meet Karen, leader of Raleigh Park’s PTO.
Now in their fifth year with the school, Karen and her husband Chris are both active Raleigh Park volunteers. Two of three of their daughters attend Raleigh Park, and in the fall of 2018, their youngest Celeste will join. Currently, Elizabeth is in 4th grade at Raleigh Park and daughter Lillian is in 2nd grade.
Among the many things that Karen finds special about Raleigh Park is that Chris attended the school when he was in younger. (Very cool! – and she’s not the only story of a parent whose kids are now attending Raleigh Park.)
What would Karen say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Raleigh Park?
Wade Flanagan, Vice President
Wade is Dad to Perrin in 3rd grade and Millen in 1st grade. Wade is a native of New Zealand who grew up playing Rugby and Cricket. Since there isn’t an overwhelming demand for coaching these sports in the States, being on the board is his way of giving back.
Wade’s day job is with Nike, Inc. where he works as an Engineering Director of Cushioning Innovation.
Wade was inspired to join the board 2017-2018. He states that there is a tremendous feeling of community in and around the school due to the active involvement of the families and staff.
What would Wade say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Raleigh Park?
“Do it! Don’t over think it. The strength of our school is only increased with more involvement. Besides, it’s also a great way to get to know others in the community.”
Nicole Ruggiero, Secretary
Nicole has three children at Raleigh Park. Sylvia who is in 5th grade, and Colton and Pearl, both in 3rd grade. In addition she has two step-children, Mason in 9th grade and Stella in 7th grade.
Nicole is a huge fan of PYP, the warm community of people at Raleigh Park and the efforts to honor and support our cultural diversity within the school.
Her passion to be on the PTO board comes from wanting to contribute to supporting her school, teachers, and kids. Her kids have been in two other school before attending Raleigh Park, giving me a broader perspective on different approaches to providing tailored support. She is particularly interested in finding ways to be inclusive to the whole Raleigh Park school community.
In her free time, Nicole has a sense of humor when she asks, “so feeding the pets and paying bills doesn’t count as free time, right?” Instead of being known for mindlessly looking at “stuff” on her phone, she has some great hobbies. She likes to run, garden, ski, camp, and work on home improvement projects in their old house.
What would Nicole say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Raleigh Park?
“Every bit helps! There are ways to contribute both actively an passively; during the school day or outside of that. At the very least, your ideas and comments are welcomed.”
Maureen McGrain, Past Officer
Maureen is a freelance writer who loves spending time at the coast or curling up outside in a hammock with a good fiction book. She and her husband have three children: Dylan, a fourth grader, Rose, a kindergartener, and Ben, age 4. With a preschooler at home it’s challenging for Maureen to volunteer in the classroom, so being on the PTO Board offered her an opportunity to get involved in a way that fit better for her schedule. Plus, she has learned so much about how the school works through the PTO.
One of Maureen’s favorite Raleigh Park moments came last year at the Jog-A-Thon. One of the volunteers she was working with knew almost every single kid who came around the track because he had coached them in various sports or knew them through his own kids. He was cheering for all of those kids so loudly and enthusiastically, she couldn’t help but smile. She also believes the teachers and staff are what make Raleigh Park special. In her words, they are innovative, thoughtful and energized contributing to the community feel of the school.
What would Maureen say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Raleigh Park?
“I would give them the same advice a former PTO board member gave me: If you’re unsure about it, just go for it. It will be rewarding and enlightening. The school can always benefit from a fresh set of eyes.”
Laura Buck, communications coordinator
Laura is in her third year as a Raleigh Park parent. Her daughter Isabella is in 2nd grade and she also has a one-year-old named Alden. Alden isn’t quite ready, but the rest of the family loves to go roller-skating at Oaks Park. They also love going to the beach, sampling all the good food Portland has to offer, hanging out with friends, and traveling.
When her family moved to the neighborhood in 2013, they picked their house because of its proximity to Raleigh Park. They had heard great things about the school, its leadership, and the community of families. When Isabella started kindergarten the next year, Laura signed up to volunteer in the classroom and had a blast reading, helping teachers, and doing Art Lit with the kids. She still loves working with the kids one on one, but wanted to take a bigger role on the PTO Board.
What would Laura say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Raleigh Park?
“I wanted to help out with all of the incredible things that happen at Raleigh Park, and working on the website and social media is a great way to do it. Volunteering and working on the board are great ways to really get to know what’s going on at school and the help is so appreciated by the teachers, staff, other parents, and especially the kids. It’s also really fun and a great way to meet other parents!”