Apodaca: If Newport-Mesa PTA moms ran the world…

October 01, 2011|By Patrice Apodaca

I have interviewed politicians, chief executives, studio chiefs and celebrities.

None of them has anything on PTA moms.

In the nearly 15 years that I've lived in Newport Beach, I've been bowled over — OK, sometimes intimidated even — by these powerful women.

Indeed, I've come to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place if PTA moms — the ones I know, anyway — were put in charge. They'd set the international debt crisis right, broker Middle East peace talks, solve homelessness in the morning and still have time for lunch and a nail appointment in the afternoon.


A Newport Beach PTA mom knows her stuff and isn't afraid to throw her weight around. She is smart, well-educated, assertive and has a laser-like focus on results, a quality honed from her past or present career as a (choose one) lawyer, doctor, accountant, educator, executive, artist or (fill in the blank) professional.

These women are technologically savvy, financially astute and have a flair for marketing. They know how to balance budgets, manage logistics, work in teams, organize armies of volunteers, engage in creative problem-solving, innovate and fundraise galore. And they still manage to be on time for carpool, get dinner on the table and supervise homework.

"It's the same in Costa Mesa," said Lisa Boler, president of Harbor Council, which oversees all Newport-Mesa PTAs. "In both cities, the volunteers at our schools are the highest quality."

Allow me to pause a moment, mid-rant, to acknowledge that there are plenty of dads who take part as well, and their efforts are equally appreciated.

But we all know that when it comes to PTA-land, it's the moms who are in charge.

They are the ultimate tough mamas, these multi-tasking, get-it-done divas, and they preside with authority over a realm that is primarily democratic, but with a touch of medieval fiefdom thrown in.

Perhaps I'm exaggerating a tad, but not by much. Consider, for example, the annual home tours put on by some of our local schools. These are gargantuan enterprises involving numerous committees and subcommittees that work with local merchants, city government, real estate firms, homeowners associations, restaurants and transportation providers. In addition to the main events — the tours — there are pre-parties, breakfasts, lunches and post-parties to plan.

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