PTA Council of PUSD: Building Bridges

Scott Harden

First published in the Aug. 11 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

By Scott Harden
Special to the Outlook

Just as we have since 1915, PTA Council of PUSD stands proudly at the intersection of our Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre public schools and the communities they serve, advocating for opportunity, success and wellness for every PUSD student.
Throughout our district, 20 unique Parent and Teacher Associations nurture a culture of advocacy and engagement at their local school sites. From programs and activities designed to enrich the educational experience to volunteerism that lightens the load of our hard-working teachers and administrators, PTAs are the backbone of the parent and community engagement experience.
But we couldn’t perform the quality work we do without the support and partnership of all parent engagement groups across our community. And that’s why this year, PTA Council’s operating theme is about “building bridges” across our educational community. From leveraging our strong relationships with on-campus advocacy groups as well as strengthen our ties with hard-working community groups.
As we do every year, PTA Council has set big goals to achieve the bridge-building we envision. And in that spirit, we will strive to:
• Bring our community closer together. We’ll work to ensure our PTA leaders and members are connected between schools so that they can benefit, learn and lift each other up.
• Clarify the “why” behind PTA. Everyone has heard of PTA but we have found that not everyone knows the true mission of PTA as a program and advocacy organization. PTA strives to represent every child, especially those that need it the most.
• Increase our community outreach. We want to be partners and collaborators with our district staff and leadership. We believe that by showing up as impactful decisions are made, we can keep the conversations going that ensure public schooling is representative of all who benefit from it.
• Increase diversity among our membership and leadership. Our PUSD PTAs are strong and trusted advocates for children. But we need to ensure that they speak for all of us. We plan to increase inclusive training and leadership development to ensure that every PTA looks like the school they represent.
As PTA Council of PUSD’s board president, I am proud to represent our committed leaders and members on this wonderful journey of inclusion and advocacy for all PUSD students. I encourage you to visit to learn how you can join your local PTA and take this journey with us.

Scott Harden is president of the PTA Council of PUSD.