Helen Honorow

President, Pennichuck Middle School PTO
Secretary, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School PTO
Nashua, N.H.


Best known for: Sharing her legal expertise to benefit parent group leaders and families at two New Hampshire schools. Honorow, an attorney in the areas of family law, guardianship, and special education, was also appointed to the state board of education last March.

Volunteering to the letter: “I like to write, and do a lot of that in my work, so I have written letters to the editor on behalf of the PTOs, I have created, reviewed and revised bylaws, etc.,” Honorow notes. Additionally, she has volunteered with a program that has legal professionals teaching civics and social studies. “I have tried to use my professional skills to find and seek compromise when necessary, to seek details when needed, and to try to answer questions about volunteer liability,” she says.

Mode of operation: To balance the scales between career, volunteering, and raising a family, Honorow says she keeps a sense of humor and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Case in point: a barbecue, track meet, and baseball game that she and other parent leaders coordinated for 300 middle schoolers. “The gray skies, thundershowers, and overcast temperatures put a huge cramp in the event. We had more leftover hot dogs than you can imagine!” she says. “This year, the same event was a smash hit, with perfectly blue skies!”

Family practice: At Pennichuck, Honorow initiated a speaker series for parents of adolescents in conjunction with the monthly PTO meeting. She and her husband also participated in an enrichment reading group for their son, a 4th grader at Mt. Pleasant.

Probable cause of involvement: “It has been wonderful to hear my 7th grader, whose job it is to push away, be glad that I am involved in her PTO and that I have a sense of what is going on at her school,” Honorow says. “She doesn’t want me in her classroom, and I can totally understand that. She knows we still want and need to be involved in her life, and having her appreciate that we can do that through PTO is great!”