Karen Wald

Cochair, Heights Elementary PTO
Sharon, Mass.


Best known for: Wielding a paintbrush. Wald recently painted the doors to the school office and library for a summer mural project. Before that, she and a few other local artists decorated Adirondack chairs for the PTO’s annual auction fundraiser. (Hers fetched nearly $200.)

Inspiration: “I’ve become addicted to all the home improvement shows on TV. I’ll try anything,” she explains. “I love doing decorative painting on furniture, walls, accessories. There isn’t a surface that shouldn’t be painted!”

Background: Media and website production. She’s currently producing an IMAX film about gravity and weightlessness.

First parent group project: “I started doing a lot of graphic design for the PTO when I suggested that I could spruce up the newsletter,” Wald says. That “sprucing up” became two years of putting together the group’s newsletters, flyers, raffle tickets, forms, and a website for the auctioned chairs.

Why she does it: “It’s a lot more fun than the business of writing up agendas, looking for volunteers, dealing with the various personalities, and fundraising,” Wald says. When her term as cochair is done, she plans to devote herself entirely to using her “creative juices” for the good of the group.

Wet paint: Over the summer, she painted a foursquare box, hopscotch grid, and map of the United States on the playground’s blacktop.

Beyond the brush: Wald also helped coordinate last year’s Heights of Fashion, an annual PTO event that features students modeling clothing. “Target lends us the clothing, shoes, accessories, and provides a raffle prize item,” she says.

Next on the agenda: Raising money for a new playground, assisting the art teacher with another mural project, and creating more chairs. “We’re buying 10 new Adirondack chairs to be painted...for next year’s auction,” Wald says. “My paintbrush never gets a rest!”