Kristen Milner

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How long have you been a parent at Armatage?
My oldest son started at Armatage in 2009 in the Montessori program. At that time the school had ten Montessori classrooms and nine community school classrooms. In the fall of that first year, the district announcement that the community school program would close created vacancies on the PTA board. Officers who had students in the community school resigned. I was asked to join the PTA board as secretary. It was a challenging year, to be sure, but I made a lot of very good friends as we muddled our way through together. By the fall of 2010, the Montessori program expanded from two to four kindergarten classes, and from four to seven 1st/2nd grades. There was not as big a bubble in the upper grades . . . that would follow in the next few years.  We feel so fortunate to have had so many great teachers at every level, from preK through 5th. We really are blessed with exceptional teachers! 

What volunteer roles have you been involved in at Armatage and how did you get involved?
At the end of almost two years as PTA secretary, it was time to move on. I discussed ideas about streamlining communications with the PTA board and with Principal Franks. I thought we could ultimately improve our communications if we tied the KangaNews to the website and if we had something focused on strategic planning for that. So I guess I talked myself into that job. Since then, I have been working on communications, including website, newsletter, and social media. I also enlisted my husband — a computer programmer — to build a few useful applications for the school. He has written the program used for the directory and the M3 auction software as well. I have probably also volunteered at pretty much every event at the school in some capacity. It's always great to take part, but I think my favorite has been being a reader at Family Reading Night.  Volunteering has been a fun way to be involved in the school, and that has enabled us to meet so many wonderful families.

Why do you volunteer and what have you gained from volunteering at Armatage?
It is the relationships I have built that have been the most rewarding parts of my involvement at Armatage. After I left my technology consulting job when Max was born, I gradually lost touch with most of my work friends. Stay-at-home-momhood had been pretty isolating. Getting involved at school gave me the chance to connect with other really great, really talented parents. I feel really fortunate that Armatage has such an awesome parent community. Volunteering also gave me another critical benefit: it gave me the chance to use my brain in a way that parenting hadn't; and it gave me a chance to use my professional skills again and to develop new ones. As a stay-at-home mom, I had missed that. And now, as I look to return to the workforce, I can reference multiple years of really strong experience.

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Editor's Note: Armatage is currently looking for one (or even two) dedicated volunteers to make a one or two year commitment to coordinate the KangaNews and website, as Kristen is unable to continue in this position. The coordinator does not do it alone; she/he is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers. This is a great opportunity to flex those leadership muscles. If you have an interest in communications or project management, like to be the first to know what's going on at school, and/or just want to help make sure these great resources continue to exist at Armatage, please email ArmatageCommunications@gmail.com.