Every parent wants his or her child to have the best high school experience, but for Northeast High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) president Michele Williams, every student’s experience is a top priority.
Williams, a mother of three who works part-time with the Maryland State Highway Administration, has also been involved with the PTSA programs at Solley Elementary School and George Fox Middle School.
“I went part-time after I had my third kid, and what else was I going to do?” said Williams, who has been a member of the Northeast PTSA for four years. “You have to be involved with your kids and your community. You should know what's happening in your community.”
The biggest PTSA event is the famed after-prom party. In an effort to keep students from getting into trouble after prom, the PTSA works throughout the year to plan an event that provides games, food and prizes to seniors.
“I’ve already reserved a game truck, a photo booth, we get Chick-fil-A, we get pizza from a parent, Glory Days donated food, Bella Napoli asked to donate food,” said Williams. “The kids have wanted doughnuts the last couple years. I’m out there asking for donations right now.”
All of the money to support the after-prom party comes from community and parent donations, sponsors and fundraising. The April lottery ticket sale earns $3,800 annually.
“We do some restaurant nights,” said Williams. “Most of our money comes from the $5 lottery tickets.”
The 328 graduating seniors are all invited to the after-prom party, regardless of whether or not they attend prom. The PTSA purchases gift cards, refrigerators, televisions and laptops to give away to seniors.
The PTSA also works on senior send-offs, senior walks at local elementary schools, staff and faculty appreciation luncheons and more.
For Williams, working with the PTSA is about keeping students safe and happy.
“You do get students who are unhappy, but I focus on the students who have a good time,” said Williams. “I focus on the kids who are having a good time and staying off the streets and not drinking.”
Williams credits her fellow board members and friends for making all of the PTSA events so successful.
“I don’t do all this alone and there is a team, and because I was at the other school, I have contacts with parents that aren’t necessarily on the PTSA that I can reach out to,” said Williams. “It's my village of other moms that step out and help.”
Williams’ youngest son is currently a junior at Northeast, so she has one year left with the PTSA.
“I would hope that we leave it in good hands,” said Williams. “We try to leave it better than we received it.”