|| Matthew Gratton, SPTA
Matthew is the PTA delegate of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."
This simple phrase embraces in simple terms the skills and desire necessary to meet the goals that we set before us. We must have a vision of where we want to be, a plan as to how to get there, the desire to facilitate the necessary steps, and the drive in knowing that once we have arrived our journey has truly just begun.
In life's journey, we all take different paths to get to similar locations. My journey has taken me from the band room, where I have spent the last 23 years teaching, to the classroom where I am beginning a new professional journey. In moving forward, I bring with me all of the skills and desire from one profession into another. This has led me to embrace my new profession with a need for knowledge and a desire to serve. As with all things, I began with what I could see and touch. Working with my classmates as their class representative, I was able to witness the positive impact my service could have on those around me. This success allowed me to see beyond my university and begin looking at how I could have an impact on the profession as a whole.
My service with the Student Assembly began as a member of the Membership Project Committee. Working with current and past Student Assembly Board of Directors members on the committee, I was able to witness what was possible through this service. In attending CSM, my desire to serve my new profession only grew with the more I learned about the possibilities. Clarity arrived for me in attending the House of Delegates, Federal Affairs Forum, and the NEXT conference. It was in those halls, side by side with the Indiana Chapter delegates, fellow students and PTA leaders, I realized that my service to APTA should be through advocacy both within the association and outside at both the state and federal levels. This realization has led me to want to serve the Student Assembly as the SPTA delegate.
It is as the SPTA delegate, I believe I can be of greatest service to my fellow SPTA and APTA as a whole. As a profession, we are all in this together, but currently only about 30% of SPTA and 7% of PTA are members of APTA. As a delegate, I want to be the voice of all SPTA. Passion and desire are contagious. I want to be the ember that can ignite a fire within current members to begin serving and non-members to join. I can see a future with new lines of communication being opened into schools that currently don’t have a presence in APTA and getting their students involved. Through communication, this can be a reality and as SPTA delegate I would work to make it so.
As we all travel forward together, working to reach our goals in life, I truly appreciate every opportunity to serve our profession I have already been granted. It is through these opportunities I have been able to have an impact on those around me and in the profession as a whole. Serving our profession is passion of mine and I look forward to putting my heart and soul into this service going forward.