Q&A with PTA committee member, Dr Sandra Cardarelli

I hope that parents have all received the PTA survey which we sent to you by Clarion on Wednesday. We would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to fill out the survey by Friday 26th May so that we have time to analyse the results and take on board feedback before the end of term. If you need the link again, you can find it here,

The PTA committee support the school in so many ways and work hard with the school to the benefit of staff and pupils. We are so grateful for everything they do for the school. Following on from last week’s Q&A with joint Chair of the PTA Committee, Mhairi Miller, please see below a Q&A with Dr Sandra Cardarelli about why she chose to serve on the PTA committee.

When did you first join the PTA? And how did you hear about it?

All parents are automatically members of the PTA, but I became an active member in October 2015. I had read about it in the school weekly news, but it was through the Parent Forum that I learnt more about it.

Is there anything similar in Italy?

No, not at all. There is nothing comparable to it in my country and so I am learning the ropes as I go along! Mhairi Miller and Lindsey Cornwell (PTA co-chairs), as the other members of the committee, have been very welcoming and I am always amazed by the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the PTA team. They are very humbling.

What position do you hold on the committee?

I am not holding any specific position within the committee, although as I am the only parent member from the Junior school, I like to think that I contribute to the group from a different viewpoint that is more relevant for the Junior families and also bring a more international ‘flavour’ to the group.

Why did you join the PTA?

I feel that taking part in the PTA is a way to have a say in decisions that concern the school environment and therefore our daughters. I also wanted my daughter Emma to learn that every privilege comes with responsibilities and part of these responsibilities involves working with other parents to raise funds for the school. As in every community, things do not magically happen, everybody is responsible for them. It is important that they understand that – the laptops that they are using are just one of the tangible outcomes of the concerted efforts of the PTA team and the parents who took part in the school events. As our co-chair Mhairi Miller pointed out last week, the social aspect of taking part in the PTA is equally important and very rewarding. I am also a dreamer, and I envision St Margaret’s as the place where pupils and families from different countries and backgrounds can bring their unique sets of values, skills and ideas to help the school thrive, and I think the PTA offers a great way to network with other parents and build valuable relationships.

What has been your favourite event to help organise?

I greatly enjoyed helping for a fundraising afternoon tea coupled with the 2nd hand uniform sale last year. Wendy Kenny (PTA Secretary) has gifted the school lovely assorted china cups and crockery and her daughters had made beautiful floral decorations for the tables. It was great fun to shop for the afternoon tea and help organizing and serving food. We had great attendance from families and staff and everyone enjoyed getting together. I also loved taking part in the preparations for Sports’ Day – the PTA team worked very hard - but we also had great fun together. My daughter was very impressed to see her mum in charge of the chocolate fountain!

Why is the PTA so important to St Margaret’s?

I think that particularly in a small school like St Margaret’s, the role of the PTA is vital, not only for its fundraising and social activities, which are of course hugely valuable, but also in bringing together staff, parents and children in supporting the school. I hope that you will not mind if I take this opportunity to thank all the staff members involved in the PTA, as we sometimes forget their contribution.

Why would you encourage other parents to join the PTA committee?

We need to have the Junior school better represented at parent level in the PTA and so I am particularly keen to encourage Junior parents to join the PTA and help shape the future activity of the association to cater better for that part of the school, as well as the school as a whole. Every time that I have the opportunity to get together with other parents I never cease to be amazed by the talent of St Meg’s mums. We need that talent engaged for the benefit of the school. Please come and help us!

The PTA has numerous events planned for next session, what are you most looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to the Treasure Hunt next session! It promises to be great fun for everyone and to become a hugely popular feature in St Meg’s / PTA calendar. In the meantime I am getting ready for the Sports Day and look forward to a wonderful day together with plenty of good food and to celebrating the winners and all who take part in it.

Thank you very much to Dr Cardarelli for her time and support.


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