The vice president’s role is often the least understood, but the office provides a real opportunity for a motivated PTO leader.
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.
- A passion for the school and the PTO
- Good listening skills
- Assist the president
- Accept delegated responsibility
- Lead meetings in her absence
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- Participate in executive board meetings and provide input for decisions
16 Tips for Executive Board Members
- Be an ambassador for the PTO and the school
Optional Additional Duties
These optional duties may be enumerated in your PTO’s bylaws:
- Serve as PTO parliamentarian
Robert’s Rules for Leaders—Top 10 Things You Should Know
- Serve as a bylaws expert
10 Key Points About 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.