Howard Woman Elected To Pta Board

August 02, 2009|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,

A West Friendship mother of three has been elected to the National PTA Board of Directors.

Mary Jo Neil is one of eight new board members elected to the 28-member panel composed of parents, education professionals, and community and business leaders from across the country. The new board members were announced last month at the 113th Annual National PTA Convention and Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"I'm interested in working at the national level, and learning more about National PTA as well as being a voice on the board of directors," Neil said. "It's a pretty exciting time to be on the National PTA. We have our first male president. Change is coming."

In her new two-year position, Neil will be expected to attend four meetings a year. Members establish the public agenda and board policy, Neil said.

Neil, whose children are 19, 16 and 12, has been working with the PTA for more than a decade. Her eldest child is a graduate of county public schools; her two youngest currently attend the county schools.

She started her PTA work in 1996, when she volunteered as the West Friendship Elementary PTA president. After two years in that position, Neil joined the PTA Council of Howard County as executive vice president in 1998. She became president of the group in 2000. Neil has been a member of the National PTA and Maryland Bylaws Committee since 2007.

Neil volunteers in Baltimore City Public Schools, assisting with an art program for middle school students. She also works with MJS Neil Consulting, which works with organizations to increase parent involvement in youth education.

Neil said that in her new role she is most concerned with increasing male involvement in schools and working with parents in urban areas.

"I look forward to being a voice for children and parents throughout the country on issues that affect them every day," Neil said.

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