It’s not spam that’s munching megabytes of Ozreen Parker’s email inbox; rather, it’s a steady stream of questions and comments from parents at her school. The PTA president at Whittier Elementary in Frederick, Md., says she receives about 20 emails a day—including weekends—regarding PTA and school matters. But she doesn’t hit the delete key until she’s read and answered every single one.

“My motto is, ‘If you ask me, I’ll tell you, or I’ll find the answer for you,’ ” says Parker, who’s currently finishing her rookie year as president. Her answers are drawn from four years of volunteer experience at the school. She has assisted teachers in classrooms, chaired the cultural arts committee, and cochaired the school’s family involvement committee.

Parker is also trying to meet requests by Whittier parents for after-school enrichment programs. A PTA committee has surveyed students about activities and researched how other schools coordinate their own enrichment programs. Parker is also arranging for teachers and parents to help lead activities. The program will be free for students, so the PTA wants to raise $5,000 to cover the costs. Parker has that covered, too: “We are having a silent auction the end of this school year earmarked for after-school programs.”

Whittier Principal Mary Wright lauds Parker’s involvement efforts. “She is enthusiastic about making the school accessible to parents who want to work to support students’ learning and enrichment,” Wright says. She notes that Parker’s efforts to implement after-school clubs and activities in areas such as language, chess, math, and scientific exploration can help enhance student learning—and, she adds, “It can also build relationships among families.”

Being approachable and easygoing has helped Parker accomplish much for families during her time as PTA president. “I am a very calm person,” she says. “It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. I have not had a wind that strong this year.”

There was a lot of rain on one particular day last October, though, during the PTA’s walk to school event. Undaunted by darkened skies, more than 100 families walked to school, completely waterlogged.

Parker often receives appreciative emails from other PTA members who tell her that she’s doing a terrific job. But inside the school is where she finds the answer to why her involvement really matters. “Anytime I walk into Whittier and a child says ‘Hi, Mrs. Parker,’ ” she says, “I know I’m making a difference.”