After a stellar two-year run leading Farragut Primary School’s Parent Teacher Association — and following the ascent of younger son, Ben, to Farragut Intermediate — Wendy Stiles, too, has “graduated” and will be overseeing the next organizational level, the Knox County Council PTA.
The Farragut resident was recruited earlier this year to serve as president of that organization, which works with all 47 Knox County schools. She will officiate her first meeting Friday, Aug. 16.
“It is a very important advocate for teachers and schools in getting families involved,” Stiles said of KCC PTA.
Until she became involved when her older son, Max, started at FPS, Stiles said she “didn’t realize all that the PTA did — and what they do is amazing. To see all these women stepping up and doing all they do inspired me, and it became a passion.”
It certainly did. Even though Stiles works full-time and has family responsibilities, she jumped in with both feet and never stopped looking for new projects or volunteers.
“I can’t say enough wonderful things about Miss Wendy,” said Jaleece Strong-Clark, an assistant principal at FPS. “She did a fabulous job here at our school during the two years she was president.
“From teacher appreciation, to fundraising, to bringing in sponsors for our schools — she has just been a pleasure to work with — and she was a phenomenal parent, too.”
It was that reputation as a tuned-in, hands-on, hard-working leader that led to her new post.
“The nominating committee approached me and asked if I would like to work on the county level,” she said.
The group has not had a full board of directors “in a very long time,” added Stiles, who remedied that problem very quickly, asking seven Farragut women to join the Board in various capacities.
Stiles said she hopes the board can focus on a variety of causes, including “Read City,” an initiative introduced by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, training for SSO officers and much-needed suicide and bullying prevention programs.
Saying she has a special place in her heart for teachers, Stiles was influenced in that area by her sister, a teacher for 25 years, who encouraged her to participate.
“She told me to get involved with the PTA,” said Stiles, who took the advice and realized, “Our teachers need to feel loved. They are taking children and helping raise them. They are part of a village, and I am here to help them however I can.”