For volunteer Analisa Webster, playing an active role in a child’s education takes on a new meaning. For eight years, Webster has dedicated herself to the parent-teacher organization (PTO) at Oak Hill Elementary and Severna Park Middle School.
Webster, who has a son in seventh grade and a daughter in fifth, was volunteering at the Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church preschool when she was approached about taking over as the volunteer coordinator at Oak Hill Elementary.
“I really love to help and I'm not somebody that sits around doing nothing,” she said. “I have kids, so it makes sense to help while they're in school.”
As the volunteer coordinator, Webster, who was new to the area, had to recruit volunteers for various events.
“I started out at the school and not knowing anybody, other than who had been at Woods,” Webster said. “I met lots of people throughout the years and became good friends with most of them, so it's been exciting.”
She has recruited and managed volunteers for many events at Oak Hill, including the bedtime story event, the fall movie night and the race for education. She was also present at the events to ensure that they ran smoothly and to help wherever needed. One of her proudest moments was the silent and live auction, which is an adult-only event for staff and members of the community. The event includes dancing, dinner, a silent raffle of baskets, and a live auction of student art. The event, which Oak Hill principal Deneen Houghton said Webster was instrumental in organizing, raised over $30,000 for the school.
“I'm proud of the amount of money we were able to raise and support Oak Hill with anything that they needed,” Webster said.
Webster’s son and daughter were both involved in the Oak Hill theater productions and, even with all of her other responsibilities, Webster was eager to help.
“I helped with ordering T- shirts and distributing them to all the crew members and cast members,” Webster said. “And I was backstage, frontstage side-stage, wherever they needed me. It was so much fun. I loved it.”
Her son is now a member of the varsity choir at Severna Park Middle School and her daughter is planning to audition in the fall.
For two years, Webster has moved on from the Oak Hill PTO and begun to volunteer with the PTO at the middle school. She is the treasurer of the Spartan Lyrical Society and the PTO. A self-proclaimed lover of numbers, she crunches the numbers for other organizations as well.
Webster said she hopes that her children will see her volunteering and playing an active role in their education and do the same for their children in the future.
“I think that children model their parents,” Webster said. “If I can be a good model for them, they will grow up and be good parents for their kids.”
Webster said that she will continue to volunteer at her children’s schools as long as there is something for her to do, but when there isn't a job for her, she will continue to help in the community.
“When they go off to college, I will most likely help other nonprofit organizations in the area,” she said. “I just enjoy it. I'm lucky to be able to do it.”