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Making a Difference at Mountain View - PTA Style!

Danny and Mary Ellen Miller are making a huge impact upon the Mountain View School community through their involvement with the Parent-Teacher Association, better known as the PTA. For Danny, and Mary Ellen, who serve as PTA Treasurer and Secretary respectively, being salt and light through supporting teachers and improving the scholastic experience for students, including their 4th grade son Skyler, was a main driver.

Danny states, “My motivation for serving on the PTA was that of being a parent that was involved in the educational system and being a willing volunteer ready to help in any way that I was needed. Through fund raisers, the PTA has been able to invest the proceeds back into tangible benefits for the students as well as to provide cultural enrichment programs that would not otherwise be a part of the student experience at Mountain View. Being able to be a small part of this effort has been is a truly rewarding experience. Mary Ellen adds, “My husband, Danny, led the way by offering to serve as PTA treasurer first, when our son Skyler was in first grade. He said that we needed to give back to the school that our son was attending. I completely agreed and jumped on board. I really believe that our service as Christian parents has been an opportunity to be “salt and light” in the school. I think we have been able to model, through our ongoing work with the children, what committed parenting is all about. Having Danny in the school on a regular basis is truly a ray of light for Christian fatherhood and role modeling.

As Danny puts it, representing Grace Fellowship at the school is a great blessing, noting that our church’s continued presence and commitment are making a positive impact not only upon the school, but upon our church family: “We are so proud of our church’s involvement with Mountain View Elementary. GFC has done an excellent job in becoming a trusted presence at and a true partner with the school. Other groups have come and gone at Mountain View but GFC has shown that they care about the community, students and the families and that they are there to share Christ’s love for the long run. It’s an honor to see this outreach effort be a blessing to the school and witness Christ change many people in our church family through service.”

Through the efforts and initiatives of the PTA during the Miller’s tenure, the school has been able to significantly improve the learning environment for staff and students alike. So much so that it has earned several state awards! Mobilizing students and families through fundraisers has enabled the school to purchase much needed items such as the Google TV for the lobby announcements, a new sound system, teacher classroom gifts, physical education equipment, and student transportation for day camps.

One celebration earlier this fall that highlighted one of those efforts was called “Stronger Together.” That was the theme of the Mountain View Elementary School pavilion dedication ceremony October 4th that involved a “rope tying”, symbolizing the joining together of community and schools. The Pavilion Ceremony culminated the coordinated efforts of school, local government and local businesses that made possible the facility.

The pavilion construction and celebration event were truly a team effort! Lowe’s provided the grant (written by a Mountain View parent) materials and supplies, totaling nearly $10,000 for the facility that doubles as both a shaded picnic area and an outdoor classroom. The City of Johnson City assisted in laying the foundation for the structure. Mary Ellen says Grace Fellowship’s provision of volunteers, refreshments and entertainment for the event added a lot, “During the gazebo dedication GFC provided approximately 20 volunteers plus a huge 50 foot high outdoor inflatable slide attraction that helped turn the event into a celebration and not just a dedication. The GFC involvement and support was overwhelming and meant a lot to the students, faculty and members of the PTA. The church provided everything from food, to even Dan Mills tying balloon animals for the kids at the event, helping push the event ‘over the top’ for all involved.”

The Millers sum it up well when thinking about the impact the PTA has had on them personally, upon the school community and how a solid foundation has been laid going forward. As Mary Ellen notes, “I think we have been able to model through our ongoing work with the PTA what committed parenting is all about. My parents were always active in serving the schools I attended, and it would be my hope that our son will serve his children’s school one day.” Danny adds, “The experience has been deeply rewarding. A strong PTA is now in place at Mountain View and we have fresh new members coming on to help insure a strong PTA legacy presence at the school for years to come.”

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