Holly Hermansen


Spotlight Volunteer: Holly Hermansen

Here are Holly's responses to some questions about her experience volunteering at Armatage.

How long have you been a parent at Armatage?
I’ve been a parent at Armatage for five years now! I have one child at Armatage and she is in the fourth grade (Ralph Sievert’s classroom).

What volunteer roles have you been involved in at Armatage and how did you get involved?
I have volunteered in many different ways, first by helping in the classroom starting in kindergarten. In first grade I was privileged to help with the reading groups. That was really fun. I did general support for the teacher as well. I also helped out in the lunchroom a few times and with helping kids get to and from their eye testing.

What have you gained from volunteering at Armatage?
Being in and around the school, sitting at the playground, and chatting with veteran parents have really helped me find ways to pitch in. I met many parents at the Door 15 playground and through some of the in-classroom parties. I found that if I hung around enough eventually someone would ask me if I would be willing to volunteer. That was how I eventually ended up as vice-president of the PTA and then the president. Those two years were filled with fun, hard work and a deeper understanding of how our volunteers collectively lift up our school. I was so blown away by the passion and commitment (and the number of volunteer hours) behind the scenes. Whether people were part of the PTA or not, they were showing up big time for all of our kids and staff!

I’ve loved getting to know the students and the parents in my daughter’s life. I felt connected to her school life and her experience at Armatage in a really enjoyable way. I definitely made new friends, which helped our family because we had just moved here from St. Paul and knew nothing about Minneapolis and surrounding areas. This year I’m back to helping in the classroom and pitching in where I can. I’ve received many gifts from my various volunteer opportunities: friendship, laughter, personal growth, a connection to my daughter’s teachers, the ability to connect with my daughter because I understand her daily routine, an understanding of how [school] district issues and decisions affect individual schools, how budget decisions are made (and how they are opposed when parents are unhappy), what teachers struggle with and also how unbelievably talented and committed they are, and the connections to so many of the staff—principal, lunchroom staff, administrators, janitors, specialists, teachers, and the great team in the park building! I guess I could go on and on. The volunteers at Armatage are such a talented, funny diverse group of men and women and I have enjoyed my experience so much because of them.