October 25, 2018
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--It goes without saying that students in the Walnut Valley Unified School District benefit from a supportive and involved community of parents.
On any given day, it is commonplace to see volunteers in classrooms offering helping hands during lessons, listening to children read, or assisting with math problems.
Additionally, parents coordinate schoolwide fundraisers and activities, chaperone field trips, sell snacks to benefit programs, prepare meals for band competitions, and more.
This month, 30 moms and dads stepped up to participate in a growth opportunity to bolster leadership skills on their campuses.
The parents, representing every school, are active members in Community Clubs, Booster Clubs, and Parent Advisory groups.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor facilitates the new Parent Leadership Development Seminar that will meet during four full-day training sessions.
“Our goal is to offer a rich and meaningful experience for these parent leaders who have already given so much to our students,” he said.
The 30-hour workshop is designed to help volunteers build their leadership capacity throughout the school district.
“I've always admired Dr. Taylor's leadership style, so to have the chance to learn from him is such a privilege,” commented parent Lily Eibert, the Community Club co-president at Suzanne Middle School.
During the October 16 meeting, parents received tips and tools to run successful meetings at their schools.
A Minute to Win It activity spotlighted the relevancy of starting a meeting with a focus on collaboration and laughter.
The group learned about the Green Line Theory to emphasize the importance of balancing structures and practices with relationships and teamwork.
Parents will be reading and discussing several books including When by Daniel Pink and Who Moved My Cheese during the course of the seminar.
In another breakout session, groups examined chapters of Pink’s scientific secrets of perfect timing, and then reported out to the entire team.
“We shared about the three Chronotypes of a person and how it affects productivity,” said Nancy Castorena, the WVUSD Coordinating Council president.
The unique networking experience also provides parents with a place to form stronger bonds with other volunteers dedicated to putting kids first.
“This is a great way to learn more about team building and mindset,” Castorena added.
“We all take pride in what we do,” shared volunteer Rich Nakama from Quail Summit Elementary.
“I’m hoping it will give us the confidence to take teamwork to the highest level at our schools,” he said.
Participants received several resources to support their endeavors, including a Moleskine to keep organized and a Meeting in a Box filled with handy office supplies.
“Most parent leaders do not have any formalized leadership training and are often learning on the job,” Eibert added.
“This seminar gives us all an opportunity to step back and better understand how we can be more effective leaders, have more efficient and productive meetings, and engage and retain parent volunteers.”
Walnut Valley USD Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor facilitates new Parent Leadership Development Seminar on October 16.
Parents receive tips and tools, including a Meeting in a Box, to boost organizational skills during new leadership development seminar.
Parents participate in breakout activities during leadership development seminar on Oct. 16.