Hello, my name is Helen Clankburg and I am speaking to you today to officially declare my candidacy for president of the PTA. I know that Linda usually runs unopposed, but seeing as her son Liam will be graduating from Curbstone Elementary at the end of next year (if he passes his standardized tests this time), I think it would behoove us to install a new president as soon as possible to ease the transition of power upon Liam’s graduation. My son, Tristan, who you all probably remember as the soloist in the last Christmas pageant and winner of the Autumn Carnival Raffle, will not graduate for another 3 years, which will give me plenty of time to embrace this new role.
First, I want to give you a little bit of background about myself and my family. I am currently a full-time mom and part-time Yelp reviewer who lives in the new Platinum Gardens development just next to the third round-a-bout. My husband, Jeff, works for State Farm as a Budget Systems Analyst Consultant and often travels for his work. You should see all the postcards he has collected! They span all the way from Dayton to Des Moines! My son Tristan will be in 3rd grade next year. He is a kind and intelligent boy who is in the gifted program and skipped a grade in math. Sometimes he tutors Liam. My daughter, Kelsey, will be in preschool at St. Glenn’s next year, which was founded by Glenn Thompson, my masseuse’s husband. He says that his new preschool will teach its students proper fear of the Lord, something I think all children could benefit from (especially Liam, who I heard take the Lord’s name in vain multiple times last week during a game of four-square).
My qualifications are substantial, I can assure you. I have written several of the school’s musicals (with creative input from Tristan), gotten all forms of wheat banned from the cafeteria so that no kids will contract Celiac Disease, and created “The Recess Police,” a group of parent volunteers who watch over recess and stop kids from snorting Pixie Sticks with Liam behind that one tree.
I also have an excellent relationship with many of the teachers and school administrative staff. I schedule weekly meetings with Principal Gutters where I show him articles I’ve printed off about how to interact with gifted and sensitive children (like Tristan) and tell him which teachers I suspect are secretly smokers. Ms. Clark and I speak daily about Tristan’s academic achievements, future goals, and stellar performance as line-leader. I also show her articles I’ve printed off about the importance of healthy living and how it sets a good example for children (I suspect she is one of the smokers).
I’d now like to address some criticisms I’ve received over the years. Let me first remind you that no one is a perfect parent, especially Linda, who has repeatedly been late picking up Liam from latchkey. Luckily, I have always been there to order him an Uber while I pick up Tristan (I do not drive Liam home myself because his allergies are often so violent in nature that his sneezes startle me and cause me to swerve off the road). This neglect, of course, is not entirely Linda’s fault since she often has to work overtime at the ER, but I think we can all agree that it’s mostly her fault.
I know some of you are thinking, “Hey, isn’t Helen the one who was responsible for the crossing guard incident of 2014?” In a way, yes, but in many more important ways, not at all. Was it my idea to have the morning kindergarten children serve as crossing guards in the afternoon and the afternoon kindergarten children serve in the mornings? Yes. Was I the one who trained them? No. That was Nicki, who I happen to know from Stacy (a friend in my book club), just got out of rehab in 1988. I had no knowledge that a former addict, who probably still has impaired judgment, was the one teaching our youngest children how to protect the lives of our oldest. Of course there were several hit-and-runs. The children received inadequate training from a former user. Nicki, as it so happens, is actually quite close friends with Linda.
As for the accusation that I helped Tristan with his science fair project, I hesitate to even respond to such libel. As I’ve mentioned before, Tristan is highly gifted: academically and musically. So it is not inconceivable that he was able to construct a small scale particle accelerator that requires a band saw and “the dexterity of an adult.” Just because I used to be engaged to the head engineer at NASA and we still visit each other when Jeff is at State Farm headquarters in Bloomington does not mean that he or I had any involvement in Tristan’s science fair win or impending patent. I do question, however, whether Linda assisted Liam with his project, since it was actually semi-cohesive, and we all know how much Liam struggles with science, vocabulary, and presentation skills.
One thing that cannot be questioned is my love for this school. As soon as I heard about last week’s bomb threat, I showed up and entered the building right alongside emergency response. Because I care about these children, this school, and the community. Also I left my FitBit in Principal Gutters’ office. And not to point fingers, but how can we be sure that Linda wasn’t the one who called in the bomb threat? She’s always saying how stressful her job is and I think she may have snapped when she heard that Liam killed the class rabbit last week by trying to feed it a highlighter.
In summary, I think I would make an exceptional PTA president. I care deeply about this school, and would hate to see it crumble under faulty leadership next year. If you have any additional questions about my platform, please direct them to my campaign manager, Tristan. His cubby is #32.
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