Good Neighbor– Katie Brown,
Military Wife Serves the Community through PTA, Church
By Amy Morgan
Every parent’s experienced it. The desperate pleas for help from harried teachers or organizations. Most kids’ activities are undergirded by parents’ hours of volunteer service. Whether its shelving library books, serving field day popsicles, selling snacks or supporting teachers and staff, parent volunteers are the Good Neighbors that fill in the gaps to keep our communities running smoothly.
Once their children complete their school years, most volunteers take a much deserved break. But not so Katie Brown. The long-time NEISD PTA volunteer agreed to spearhead this year’s NEISD PTA Council Used Book Sale, despite the fact that the youngest of her three children graduated from Reagan last year.
Katie became involved in Stone Oak’s PTAs in 2013, when she and her husband, Steve, determined to make his San Antonio Navy posting their last. With the Brown children entering their teen years, they decided to put down roots in Stone Oak. A permanent address allowed Katie to take the position of PTA President at Lopez in 2016/2017, during which time she received the PTA Lifetime Achievement award. Once her children headed to Reagan, Katie busied herself as a band booster, serving as Co-VP of Concessions for two years, President for another two and finally Co-President her last year on the board. She counts chaperoning the close to 300 students who made the trip to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as one of her favorite Reagan memories.
“North East has such wonderful extracurricular programs for the kids with so many opportunities for them to explore the things they really love to do,” she said. Katie believes volunteers make a difference.
“I am very fortunate that I don’t work outside the home, so I get to volunteer and help other people,” she added. “I wanted school to be the best experience possible both for my kids and others. PTA provided a place to serve.”
Katie joined the 30-member NEISD Council of PTAs in 2017. Council members host district-wide PTA events including Founder’s Day, Reflections and the used book sale, which involves volunteers and donations from all 67 eligible NEISD schools. Books are sorted and displayed at the Littleton Gym at Blossom Athletic Center. The more than 90,000 titles cover every inch of the floor. Proceeds are returned to the PTA chapters to fund their programs. Katie stepped up to chair the committee this year when the original leader was offered fulltime employment sooner than expected.
“It is a huge undertaking, but we have a tremendous committee. There are people who look forward to it every year,” Katie added. “I like to say, there’s a book here for everyone.”
During the early days of the pandemic when school volunteer opportunities slowed, Katie packed and distributed boxes of food through Catholic Charities. Her family attends Holy Trinity’s Parish, where she taught CCD when the Brown kids were younger. Katie also helped at San Antonio’s COVID vaccine clinics last year. Once her council term is completed, Katie’s next chapter includes learning how she can get more involved at Holy Trinity. One thing she won’t do – rest on her laurels.