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PTO Leader of the Week: Jen Alger

This week, we’re highlighting another fabulous PTO leader, this time Jen Alger!

She’s been an active PTO board member for three years and had a rough introduction to the PTO world, first getting involved when when COVID broke out, and no one but the kids were allowed on campus.

It wasn’t until the 22/23 school year they were able to really become an active PTO group and you just have to read for yourself to see their amazing progress!. 

Tell us a little about your family and your PTO/PTA journey.

I have been the PTO President for Mt. Horeb Elementary School for two years, and this will be my last year serving on the PTO Board as my daughter will be moving up to middle school. 

I am married to my amazing husband of 10 years.

He is a Regional Safety Supervisor for an electrical company based out of Lexington, KY.

I moved to Dandridge, TN from California in September 2013 where I live with my wonderful husband, beautiful daughter and our two fur babies, Hunter and Bella.

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom and friend who will give the shirt off my back when it’s needed.

I work full time for Walker and Dunlop as a Senior Asset Manager overseeing low-income housing projects.

My daughter is in 5th grade and has attended MHES since Kindergarten.

She is a Junior Black Belt working towards her 1st degree black belt. 

I have the utmost respect for educators and what they do for our kids, especially the MHES Hawk’s teachers and staff.

Tell us about why you got involved in your school parent group?

I enjoy helping the teachers, staff and students. I enjoy knowing I’ve been able to gain the trust of our teachers and staff.

I love seeing the smiles on the kids, and the sense of relief from the teachers knowing PTO is there to help. 

What’s your favorite way to volunteer?

I like creating events where parents and teachers can help with different tasks. I also like to help the staff and teachers with anything they need help with. 

What’s coming up in your PTO/PTA that you’re excited about?

Penny Wars in November!!

I will be hearing the word “sabotage” a lot, and will be helping the 5th graders beat the 2nd graders … aka the G rated version of the Dutton Family.

What’s something you’ve accomplished with your PTA/PTO that you’re super proud of?

Last year we had a balance less than $2k at the start of the school year, and we ended the year with close to $8k.

We were able to buy choral risers for our music program, new Cricut machines for the teachers, and created a non-profit entity for our PTO.

Currently I’m working on getting an EIN established for our tax exempt status.

We had an AMAZING Penny War event and raised $3,500. The students and teachers loved “sabotaging” the other grades.

The teachers said it was the best fundraiser they’ve had in a long time.

Our first annual vendor and car show was amazing!!

We are doing this again this year as well.

My goal before I have to step down this year is to install 2 shaded areas for our playgrounds.

What’s one piece of advice for PTO/PTA leaders who are just starting out you’d like to share?

Create a firm and trusting relationship with your principal and your main point of contact for the school.

Build a great PTO Board who will work with you, make suggestions and work well together.

Understand the needs and wants that the teachers would like to see PTO/PTA help with.

Think of fun fundraisers, but also make sure your show the teachers and staff some appreciation. 

In a word, sum up your life as a PTO/PTA volunteer


Want to hang out with Jen more?

Come join us in the Super Star PTO Leaders Facebook Group!

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