A+ Schools offers many opportunities for the community — parents, students, educators and concerned citizens — to take an active role in making our schools great so students can succeed.
Whether you can donate a few hours of your time just once, or are ready to be on-call for our regular outreach, your help can impact our reach in a major way! Community members provide us the strength we need to be forceful advocates for children and their families on their educational journey.
"I volunteer because our youth are our future. And they matter!"
LaTrenda Leonard is the Deputy Chief of Operations and Administration for the Mayor's Office here in Pittsburgh, and a strong supporter of equitable and excellent public schools.
"I'm a volunteer who cares for all children: red and yellow, black and white."
Ms. Dean is active with the Langley Parent Nation group and is also a School Works volunteer.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because the work is very important, and it is everyone's responsibility to get involved."
Mary Ellen is a property owner in the Brookline neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
"I enjoy being involved in my child's school."
Nicole is a graduate of Brashear High School and the President of the Mifflin Pre-K-8 PTA.
"I'm interested in being involved with A+ Schools to help improve the city schools through volunteering."
Mark lives in Pittsburgh and works at Carnegie Mellon University.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I want to gain a better understanding of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and what they are doing to ensure success for their students."
Emily is a graduate student at Duquesne University in Psychology, and is a volunteer in Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I would like to see all students succeed in their educational environment on their levels."
Talaine is a product of Pittsburgh Public Schools that attended Perry High School.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I work with students in PPS, and I would like to understand more about the schools."
Malina is currently serving is a KEYS Americorps member working with Reading is Fundamental.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because supporting our schools should be the task of us all."
Evelyn is pursuing her MPA at the University of Pittsburgh's GSPIA. She is interested in educational equity and policy.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools to learn more about communities and organizations as part of social work schooling."
Erik is a veteran, and a student at the University of Pittsburgh seeking his MSW.
"I'm volunteering with School Works because I am interested in what is going on in the Pittsburgh Public Schools; I like to stay abreast of the current issues in the schools."
Emily is a Special Education Teacher who briefly substituted with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and is the mother of 3 Pittsburgh Public Schools' graduates.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I want all children to have the opportunity to succeed in school and become productive members of our society."
Polly is a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and has two daughters that attend Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because part of my responsibility as a citizen is to care about all the kids in Pittsburgh - A+ Schools gives me tangible ways to help."
Katie works for Serving Leaders - a non-profit committed to developing a thriving city in all sectors by growing leaders committed to serving the common good. She longs to see a thriving PPS.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because this is important work."
Bobby is the President of the Heinz Endowments and a strong supporter of Pittsburgh Public Schools and public education in the region.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I am a future educator, and I want to learn more about schools."
Megan is currently a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying PreK-4th grade education.
"I'm volunteering with School Works because it is important to keep a pulse on what is happening in schools, and A+ provides the opportunity to hear first hand from school leaders."
Kathryn has worked with PPS students with the Neighborhood Learning Alliance and with the United Way of Allegheny County.
"I believe in quality Public Education for all. It is a fundamental right and it democratizes opportunities across socioeconomic boundaries. Healthy schools equal healthy communities."
Melinda is the parent of four Pittsburgh Public Schools' students.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I have a long-standing passion for education and learning, and I believe in the good work A+ Schools does."
Andy is a self-described cheerleader, coach and "pointer-outer of the obvious" and has two children enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because education is so valuable."
Avery is the mother of 3 daughters, all of whom attended Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I love learning, and I want to help every child develop that love."
Annette is a grandparent and great-grandparent of PPS students. She works closely with Board Member Sheri Hazuda to keep her community informed about PPS.
"I care about public education and believe in the possibility of GREAT Pittsburgh Public Schools!
Arita currently works as a Project Director, School Health at UPMC Shadyside, and has been a long time volunteer with School Works and Board Watch.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because I have an interest in education policy, education disparities, and youth development."
Talia is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh and intern at the Institute of Politics.
"I'm volunteering for School Works because I want to educate myself more about Pittsburgh Public Schools."
Jamisha is a volunteer with Circle of Hope Outreach Ministries and also part of Coro Pittsburgh's Next Leaders of Northside program.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because of the work they do and because it is part of my professional responsibility."
Aisha is the Director of Ready Freddy, kindergarten outreach and recruitment program. She is a former adjunct instructor at Urban Pathways Charter School.
"I'm volunteering with A+ Schools because my son's education, and the education of all children, is of the utmost importance."
Kathleen is a Pittsburgh Public School parent and early childhood education professional.
"I joined School Works because I want to be more involved with our schools. I thought that interviewing principals would be a great learning experience for me."
Julia is a Parent of 3 girls at Mifflin Pre-K-8, in grades PreK, 2nd and 3rd. She is very active at Mifflin and loves being able to help the children there.
"I believe our schools need more parents and community members to be involved in making them better places for our children."
Gail is the grandmother of five PPS students. She is the President of the Bedford Dwellings Tenants Association and is actively involved in after school programs for children in her community.
"I'm volunteering with School Works because School Works conducts very useful, needed research, and I enjoy going into schools that are new to me."
Lesa is the parent of two PPS graduates (one went to Schenley, the other to CAPA). In her words, "My kids received a rigorous education that enabled them to complete challenging courses."
"I'm involved with School Works because I want to learn more about our schools and how they interact with community organizations and feedback."
Brittany is currently a student at the University of Pittsburgh where she studies elementary and special education.
"I am involved with School Works because I know my great-grandson needs not only his teacher's support, but also his family involved in his studies."
Mae is the great grandmother of a student at Pittsburgh Mifflin K-8 and works with our Parent Nation and School Works programs.
"The interaction of working with the students is a great experience and opportunity."
Maureen is the mother of a third grade student at Pittsburgh Mifflin K-8. As a Parent Ambassador, she is frequently at the school helping to support the anti-bullying programs at the school.
"I'm involved with Parent Nation so all children can have the best education."
Monique's son is an 11th grader at Brashear High School and has worked as a Teacher's Aide in the past. She's currently working as a hairstylist in the North Side and lives in the Hill District.
"I love working with students and helping them out in school."
Lyneel supports the work of Pittsburgh Mifflin's Parent Nation team and is the proud father of a young daughter who will someday be attending Pittsburgh Public Schools.
"I care about Pittsburgh students and School Works supports Pittsburgh kids!"
Jennifer is a math teacher and mother of children that attend Pittsburgh Minadeo.
"I'm involved with School Works because I look forward to seeing how other schools work. This gives me an opportunity to do it."
Lynn is the mother of a Pittsburgh Mifflin student and a former PPS student herself.
Andi is a recent graduate of Penn State University and has been with Board watch since the fall of 2012.
"The success of our youth is paramount. I'm willing to commit my time in any way that I can to help keep our youth focused on education and success."
Barbara is a Community Program Liaison for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. She has been very involved with A+ Schools, helping out on our Transition Task Force in 2011-2012. She also is active with Ready Freddy and other parent enrichment programs that bring information to Housing Authority residents and her community.
"I'm involved with Parent Nation because I want to be a part of the change that I would like to see in the education system. I love education!"
Jaquaya is a graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools. Her son Caleb attends Liberty Elementary.
"I'm involved with Parent Nation because I appreciate the advocacy A+ Schools has provided, and I want to be more involved."
Hill is a musician, entrepreneur and parent of children attending Dilworth and Obama IB Academy. Hill also serves as a parent representative to PPS Excellence for All parents committee.
"I'm involved with Parent Nation because parents have power!"
Tanya is a social worker that works as the School-Community Liaison at Pittsburgh Faison K-5. She's a graduate of Central State University and the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a parent with a daughter a Pittsburgh Langley K-8.
"I'm involved with Parent Nation because it's very important for me to advocate on behalf of PPS parents whose voice is not heard, and specifically to work on closing the achievement gap."
Maria is a dedicated parent advocate who serves on PPS Equity Advisory Panel and the Title I State Parent Advisory Council. Her two daughters attend Obama IB Academy and she's a lifelong Northside resident.
Kathy is an educator and parent of a Pittsburgh Public Schools graduate. She has taught at a variety of levels in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and has been with A+ Schools for many years.
"School Works is a great opportunity to see what’s going on in our school system and have an impact on what direction our school district is headed."
When Maria Bethel joined Board Watch as part of the pilot group in 2009, she wanted to better understand the public school system that her children would be a part of. Through her involvement in the Board Watch program, Maria feels she has become more informed and involved through the critiquing and observing of school board meetings. Maria encourages others to volunteer for A+ Schools by noting that “knowledge is power,” and that “knowing what policies exist within public education will allow parents and community members to form appropriate expectations of administrators and educators.”
Evelyn has been a Board Watch Member since the program's inception in 2009. She is also a retired educator and active member of the League of Women Voters.
Shimira has volunteered with School Works and Board Watch. She is an avid technologist and entrepreneur who serves children in East Liberty through a variety of programs.