Lisa Lombardozzi

Armstrong Elementary, Reston, Va.
Herndon (Va.) Middle and High Schools

Best known for: Faithfully serving her children’s elementary, middle, and high school PTAs for 15 years. Lombardozzi, whose three kids now attend college, “retired” last June.

Entry-level position: Lombardozzi’s PTA career began with publishing the school newsletter when her oldest child entered kindergarten. “I could do it all at home and then go in after the kids went to bed and copy the newsletter until the custodians needed to lock up at 11 p.m.,” she explains. “It gave me alone time while the copier was running, and I could still help out even though I had small children at home.”

Spread the word—schools thrive because of hard-working parent groups

Golden years: A PTA officer for 13 years, Lombardozzi has held six different board positions. She’s organized everything from family fun days to student job fairs. Her term as second assistant director for the Northern Virginia District PTA ends this year.

Not the rocking chair type: Lombardozzi says PTA retirement life is quieter but notes, “One thing leads to another and you find yourself involved in different activities that are still tied to the school.” This year also marks her 15th coordinating the high school boosters’ annual golf tournament. She also helps the cheerleading team and arranges monthly Hispanic parent meetings.

Retirement plan: Currently, Lombardozzi leads the Greater Herndon Community Coalition and volunteers for Link, a local church group providing emergency support. She also publishes her church’s newsletter. “I’m in my 17th year—guess no one wants this job,” she jokes. “I am still very committed to my community and feel very fortunate to have the time to give back.”

Dividends from the PTA: Last May, more than 70 parents and current and former administrators surprised Lombardozzi with a “retirement” party. There was no severance package; nonetheless, she’s confident that she has invested her time wisely. “My children complained that I was always around the school,” she says, “but now that they are older, they say that they were glad that I was there.”