Being President of any organization can be a daunting task to anyone looking to step up into the role.
A clear set of expectations and an outline of duties and responsibilities, or job description, takes away the surprise of unanticipated expectations.
Who likes the surprise that they should be doing something or other after the fact? No one! With this perfect PTO President job description, you’ll know exactly what a PTO President should be doing.
In this post, I’ll do a deep dive into what’s really expected from PTO Presidents and what the role looks like…
Not from the perspective of someone who’s never filled the role before, but from someone who’s had experience as PTA President of two different schools, over several years.
In addition to laying out what the duties and responsibilities of PTO Presidents are, I’ll also highlight some things that PTO Presidents should not be doing! How about that?
Whether you’ve already raised your hand to fill the President role or if you’re quietly mulling it over, this post is for you!
And also, if your group doesn’t have bylaws, then you can use this list to help flesh out the PTO President job description!
PTO President Responsibility #1: Being front and center
First and foremost, PTO Presidents are always the public face of the PTO.
External (think news media) requests, and internal communications from school staff and administrators, should go through the president.
This doesn’t mean that the PTO President is in charge of everything.
That’s totally a Don’t!), but rather the President has to stay in the loop of pretty much all communications so she knows what’s going on.
The President serves as the main point of contact for everything and anything PTO related, including all PTO committees.
Funneling everything through the President reduces confusion and misunderstandings.
She then needs to regularly communicate with her board to ensure even more people know what’s going on.
Only then can the board work together.
There’s one notable exception to having everything go through the President.
That’s relating to the Nominating Committee, filling the slate of officers for the upcoming year.
In fact, to avoid the great influences of the office, the President should never ever sit on the Nominating Committee.
No exceptions to this, ever.
The reason for this is because people have a hard enough time saying “no” as it is.
Saying “no” to the President can be quite intimidating. Your PTO does not want people saying yes when they really didn’t want to.
That’s a one way ticket to a hot mess!
Keep in mind that the President should be communicating on behalf of the PTO, with her PTO hat on, so to speak.
She should position her statements to support the PTO, which might conflict with personal beliefs and opinions.
Sometimes this is difficult, but that’s part of the lumps you have to take in this role.
Responsibility #2: There’s a reason for the gavel
For executive board and general membership meetings, the PTO President schedules, serves as the moderator and runs the meetings.
She also sets the agenda for each meeting.
The President and ensures the meetings run smoothly, on time and also creates the actual agenda for printing.
This doesn’t mean that the President is the only person who talks or can add items to the agenda.
She ensures there is an agenda that it is followed.
The President should be a good listener and facilitate the discussion during meetings to keep the meeting moving along.
For example, if she sees that additional information is needed to make a decision, she should table the issue and add it to next month’s meeting.
This means that it’ll be handled at a future time with the needed information. Then an educated decision be made with that information.
Responsibility #3: Be a rule follower
PTO Presidents also must ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations, including reporting deadlines.
This includes filings related to keeping non-profit and tax exempt status.
Again, the President shouldn’t be taking care of all of the filings.
She just has to make sure the filings have been made and not assume everything is being taken care of.
Blissful ignorance can strip your PTO of 501c3 tax exempt status.
Plus, it’s a big pain to get reinstated.
Stay on top of things and there shouldn’t be an issue.
Also, on a more personal note, PTO Presidents should follow every school and PTO rule, policy and procedure.
If you don’t like a particular rule, policy or procedure, work to change it.
Never act like the rules don’t apply to you as President.
They do and you just look like a jerk by not following them.
Responsibility #4: Checks and Balances. Literally.
PTO Presidents should be on the PTO bank account and have the duty to be a co-signer on checks.
The President should also ensure that an independent annual audit takes place and anything flagged by the audit is resolved.
The President should work with the Treasurer to fulfill this responsibility.
Forming the budget with the Principal, incoming Treasurer, the outgoing President and Treasurer, if available, is another presidential job.
The outgoing President and Treasurer will have many, many insights into what should be tweaked.
Without their input, creating the budget can take a lot longer and be more inaccurate, requiring adjustments going forward.
Responsibility #5: Set the Schedule
Setting the PTO Calendar of events is another crucial duty of all PTO Presidents.
Together with the other PTO officers and committee chairs, a master calendar of events should be created and maintained by the President.
Your PTO’s calendar is a valuable tool to keep everyone on track and in the loop, and minimize conflicts!
Responsibility #6: Fill open positions
The PTO President should work to find volunteers to fill open board and committee positions.
I know that you’re thinking I just told you the exact opposite in Responsibility #1, but this is different!
The distinction is that board positions ask a lot of volunteers as far as time. So the Nominating Committee should be first in line to fill those positions.
But what happens after the Nominating Committee has completed their work and a board member moves away or steps down for another reason?
In this case, the President should seek a replacement. But heed my warnings about the intimidation factor of Presidents, no matter now nice or sweet they are!
This has turned into a mega long post!
So let me wrap up with a fun graphic that goes deeper into some of the concepts explored above!
And now, just like that, you know exactly what to do as PTO President! Share with with a friend who might need some pointers. 🙂
Before you go, let me share another thing you’ll likely want to have for yourself or get for your friend is the President’s Success Kit!
It has everything you’ll need for a stress-free and organized term as President.