Most agree that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Invest the time now planning and preparing for your new role as an officer or chairman on a PTA board. This will be the key to success.

PTA presidents receive job-specific resources in the service mailing sent in August that they will pass on to you and other board members. Review the information from the president to enhance your skill set as a leader.

Follow up by talking to your predecessor about how and when things were done in the past and what worked best. Both strategies ensure you will be well-equipped to handle your new position.

Mark your calendar to attend PTA trainings. Local councils and districts often hold job-specific workshops tailored to your needs. Participating in training also connects you to a network of experienced leaders as mentors you can call on during your term.

To initiate and refresh programs for the upcoming year, explore potential new resources by visiting the California State PTA website – –and the National PTA website – There are a wealth of ideas for programs and activities to adapt for your PTA.

In addition to preparing for your role, set aside time and arrange to meet as a new board to assess past activities, identify current needs and set future initiatives to map out the PTA year. Taking this proactive approach, during the summer break, prepares you to work smarter and more effectively as a PTA leader and as a PTA team.

~ Leadership Commission, California State PTA, June 2011