Parent helper’s life surprise
As an educator herself, Felicity Michael always valued the involvement of parents in their child’s education.
That’s why she had no hesitation in becoming a member of Deniliquin’s Edward Public School Parents and Citizens Committee 13 years ago — when Felicity and husband Anthony’s eldest child Isabel started kindergarten.
With four more children also attending Edward Public in the years that followed — Billy, who is going into Year 10 this year, Jack (Year 9), Henry (Year 7) and Katie (Year 3) — Mrs Michael is still an active member today.
With her time on the P&C including about six years as president before standing down from the role at the recent AGM, Mrs Michael was recently bestowed life membership for her work.
‘‘The life membership took me by surprise, but I feel really honoured,’’ she said.
‘‘To be in the same company as the other five life members is just mind-blowing.
‘‘I chose to send my children to Edward Public School because of its staff, and because I knew it to be a school that works really hard for every child.
‘‘By attending the school my children have learned so much about difference and acceptance.
‘‘The attitude of the school is also why I wanted to work with the P&C to ensure we could cater to every child at the school.
‘‘It’s not a huge P&C, but it is a committed one. Our emphasis has always been on providing the best experiences and facilities for every child.
‘‘Our children have done very well there, and I hope I have been able to support the staff during my time there as well.’’
Mrs Michael said some of the initiatives the P&C has established during her time as a member include support for the annual Stage 3 excursion to Sydney, which she said makes it easier for all children to attend.
She said others have been fundraisers for the school, which involve the whole community.
‘‘The return of the school fete was a big initiative, and we’ve held two of those now.
‘‘I’m also very proud of the P&C’s inception of the Edward on the Edward music event — it’s a positive project for the school and for the town.
‘‘The P&C has installed a big sandpit, has been instrumental in technological advancements like smartboards and ipads and we’ve also achieved a goal to install a covered outdoor learning area, which had been on the agenda since before I came on the P&C.
‘‘One of the strongest things is that we’ve always had a school uniform shop offering high quality, low cost clothing affordable for all families.
‘‘Prior to being president, I was the uniform shop coordinator.’’
Mrs Michael said while the list of achievements for the P&C is continually growing, she said it’s not why parents get involved.
‘‘I do it because I love it, and I get a lot out of it, too,’’ she said.
‘‘I know the value of when parents are involved in their child’s school and that follows through as a benefit for the children — they love seeing you at school.
‘‘There’s a good community aspect to being on the P&C, and it’s a great way to meet other parents.
‘‘As time went on, I enjoyed having an input into what happens at the school, which is a real collaborative effort between the staff and the P&C.’’
Mrs Michael was presented with her life membership by her successor, recently elected P&C president Scott Mildren.
RIGHT: Felicity Michael with her youngest children Katie and Henry.