PTA work rewarding for River Grove parent
Kathy Haff, former president of River Grove Parent Teacher Association, was among those honored at a recent PTA meeting. | David Pollard~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 9:36AM
RIVER GROVE — Although her last child has left River Grove School for high school, Kathy Haff still considers the school and the people in it part of her family.
At the Feb. 6 River Grove Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting Haff and other PTA members were recognized for the positive contributions they’ve made to the school.
Haff has been active at the school since her two daughters Hailey, now 17, and Jacqueline, 15, first attended River Grove School. She has lived in the village 17 years.
“The whole time the kids were in school I was on the PTA board at least eight years and then the last two years (2011, 2012) I was president,” she said. “I just wanted to get involved and help out with room parties for the holidays and fundraising events and I ended up on the PTA board. They get a hold of you and that’s it.”
Haff, 44, a nurse at a Chicago hospital, had a flexible schedule so she could fit her involvement at the school around her job.
“I was there almost there almost every day,” she said. “There was always some sort of function going. You have to be at school a lot when you are in the PTA.”
She said she’s been at the school so much she has been mistaken for a teacher or a school employee. And while some children would have preferred their parents not be at school so much, she says her children didn’t mind.
“They got used to me being there,” she said. “They still come and help me with Market Day (a monthly fundraising food sale) and what have you.”
She said the biggest obstacle is getting more parents involved in school activities.
“People all think they are too busy,” she said. “I liked being there and being involved.”
And that effort came with benefits, she added.
“It really helped me to see what’s going on,” she said. “I just made the time because I thought it was important to be there. It does make a difference.”
Now that her two daughters are in high school, her work at River Grove School could be considered done, but she doesn’t see it that way. She still runs the Market Day fundraising event at the school.
It’s not that much compared to what I was doing before,” she sad.
But says she doesn’t mind helping out at the school that has grown to become her second home.
“I got to know all of the teachers, staff and got to know all of the parents that way,” she said. “It’s like a big family at the school. Everyone is really nice.”
But hanging out at River Grove School isn’t the only thing that makes her who she is.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
Q: What’s your favorite television show?
A: “The Big Bang Theory.”
Q: Favorite music?
A: “I like rock-and-roll, I went to a Pat Benatar concert last night. It was awesome.”
Q: Cubs or Sox?
A: Cubs. I’m a Northsider.
Q: Paper or plastic bags?
A: Plastic, because I can reuse them.
Q: Favorite trip?
A: Alaska, I went on an Alaskan trip two years ago. It’s beautiful and you can see the glaciers and all the wildlife. It’s really nice.
Q: If you could change one thing to improve your school and others what would it be?
A: The funding by the state. The state should fund the schools better so the school doesn’t have to keep going to the residents (to increase taxes). The state should take more responsibility for the schools.
A: Married to Brian (Haff) for 17 years.
Q: What’s the secret to a successful marriage?
A: Lots of patience.