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What Does a Vice President Do?

PHOTO BY JAYFISH/THINKSTOCK
The vice president’s role is often the least understood, but the office provides a real opportunity for a motivated PTO leader.
by Christy Forhan

The role of vice president is typically one of the least-defined jobs on the PTO executive board. Most bylaws identify the duties with a vague description like “Assist the president.” These loose guidelines allow vice presidents the unique opportunity to tailor the job to their own skills and interests.

As vice president, you will play a role in day-to-day operations of the PTO, help formulate the group’s long-range plan, work out issues as they arise, and participate in executive board discussions and decisionmaking. That equates to a fair amount of responsibility but not necessarily a lot of time demands, which means you can take on additional responsibilities that suit your talents and availability.

Maybe you decide to focus on increasing involvement for kindergarten parents. Or maybe you provide training and leadership support for the committee chairpeople. You could even volunteer to chair a specific project like the spiritwear sale. That’s the thing about being vice president—the job is flexible enough that it can be what you make of it.

Serving as vice president is a good entry-level executive board position and provides good training for future presidents. And as vice president, you get the best of both worlds: You are part of the PTO’s overall leadership team, but you can also get in the trenches and do some of the work that defines the PTO.

Job Qualifications

  • A passion for the school and the PTO
  • Good listening skills

Basic Duties

Optional Additional Duties

These optional duties may be enumerated in your PTO’s bylaws:

  • Oversee committees, train committee chairpeople, and be a liaison between committee chairpeople and the executive board
    Chairing a Committee: The Basics

  • Be a liaison for new families
  • Lead the annual membership drive
  • Oversee fundraising selection, planning, and evaluation
    How To Choose a Fundraiser

Keep in Mind:

  • The vice president is subordinate to the president, not a copresident.
  • The president is ultimately responsible for the executive board’s decisions.
 

Comments   

#23 Rose Cafasso 2012-06-13 17:08
Hi gernnybe, The good news is you seem determined to set things right and that's a good start. Not sure what went wrong in the past few years, but consider this article on how to start a PTO. Your group doesn't sound brand new, but maybe you need a "let's take it from the top'' attitude and this article likely has many ideas you can apply to your group: ptotoday.com/.../...
#22 gernnybe 2012-06-13 14:36
I have just been elected VP of the pta at our school and we have got our hands full because the schools pta has not been good the last few years. We need to get some advise on how to get our pta back on track ! We have a BIG problem on our hands. We don't even know how to start . We ar haveing to start from the bottom. PLEASE HELP!!!
#21 me 2011-05-19 21:57
Im running for VP
#20 Kris 2011-01-08 22:29
Sadly some people think the PTO is a click because you only see the same 4-6 people running every and all events. SO NOT TRUE...I am VP on the PTO and we include everyone send out e-mails all the time and try to befriend everyone at events and meetings but we are still with the same 4-6 people who volunteer and we are still called a click.... really sad thats how people think....Maybe some people just need to be a bit more assertive and aggressive. We can only do so much.
#19 jada 2010-09-28 17:37
Im only in the 9th grade..but reading the summary and your comments really did help me with my essay for my class..where doing a mock election and i was running for vice president.. I hope that with the information yall had put on here it helps me and i get a good grade on it..
#18 Mrs.G 2010-06-24 18:44
Thanks for the article... I was curious as our V.P doesn't do anything but show to the meetings.. At the end of the school year I found out she needed to take time for herself, which really made me livid.. As I volunteer for almost anything and everything possible even if my children are not in that school, I have put time into it.. Unfortunately, I decided not to join as the clicks make it impossible to enjoy.. Does anyone else have a problem with clicks within the P.T.O and find that there doing more than you feel others on the board should be?!?!

Thank you!
#17 Craig Bystrynski 2010-04-28 14:20
Check your group's bylaws. Some PTOs only allow parents and guardians of students in the school to be members (and thus eligible to become officers). Even if your trio is still eligible to continue, the one thing they must do is hold elections. Officers can't just reappoint themselves. If you can find a group of interested parents who feel the way you do, perhaps you can vote them out.
#16 Tally 2010-04-27 23:34
I am on the PTO board at my child's school. For the past few years a click of sorts has formed amongst 3 of the board members. They make decisions ahead of time and pretty much decide everything. I was glad that the treasurer would be gone at the end of this school year and break up the superiority trio but although her child will be leaving for middle school, we were informed last PTO meeting that she is staying on as treasurer next year. Is this right?? Can she serve on the PTO Board and not have a child in the school or work for the school?
#15 lee 2010-01-15 05:05
I'm the VP for my school and this is the first year I got involved with the school PTO. I was dispoint when there are no documentation on PTO and expectation at our school until I saw all the info posted here. This really helps. I hope to share this info with my teams. It's alot of work when there are no ground rules set.
#14 mickey 2009-12-28 01:10
i was voted vp of p.t.o please tell me
what i need to do i have friend on p.t.o
she wanteds me to vote with her on every thing
but i dont want vote with her what do i do

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