My oldest just graduated from 8th grade. It was as special to my wife and me as it was typical (and maybe even boring) for you, the reader. So I'll spare you the details.

But what struck me from a PTO perspective was the community feel of the whole graduation week. It was palpable; it's what made the week and my son's whole school experience so special, and it was almost all parent-driven. Over the past few years, the school has been the centerpiece, the organizer of our lives -- from homework to sports to family events and fundraisers.

As I sat there on graduation night, it wasn't the dollars that the PTO supplied that I was remembering. Or the facilities or the textbooks. Rather, it was how thankful I am that my son (and his three siblings) attend a school where they feel like they're part of something special. And while I'm very thankful for the teachers and administrators at our school, I'm equally thankful for the parents who've made it so much more than a brick building.

On behalf of all you do at your school -- thank you! I hope you'll feel free to share this note with your fellow parent volunteers.

I'm also reminded of this classic piece, "One Last Dance."