Volunteer Spotlight: Gina Schley

Hello, my name is Gina Schley.  I grew up in northwest Ohio in a small town near the Great Lakes and attended public schools throughout my education. Many of my fondest childhood memories were made roaming outdoors and fishing on Lake Erie. I went to Bowling Green State University and studied technology. Growing up in the rustbelt, home of glass manufacturing, I started my career in sales and marketing in the fiberglass industry.  I worked for Owens Corning for a decade in various roles before they transferred me to Denver in 2001. Once I had a family I decided to stay-at-home full time, which opened doors to truly find meaningful work.  Today, I lead community agriculture initiatives and co-host a PBS television show on sustainability. Agriculture and education have pretty much won my heart over.

I have two children at MPCS. My oldest child is in the 5th grade and was part of the very first Kindergarten class at this campus, and my youngest child is in 3rd grade.

How are you currently volunteering at Mountain Phoenix?

I current volunteer as a Governing Council Representative (aka Board Member). I was elected into this position by the community and currently serve as the Secretary. Our primary responsibility is to select excellent school leaders, however, we also do a lot of work around school finance, policymaking, strategic planning, and master planning.

Can you share a rewarding or memorable moment from your volunteer work?

I started volunteering as a class parent when my oldest child was in Kindergarten. That lead to helping with the festivals, Stewardship Day, Gardening Committee, Annual Give Committee, Master Planning Committee, Marketing & Communications Committee then eventually I trusted the process and became a board member. My primary work since being on the board has been to strengthen our policies to create appropriate structures for school-wide accountability.

My most memorable moment came just recently when founder, Maggie Payne, and myself submitted our Charter Renewal Petition to Jeffco requesting another 5-year contract. Over the last 5 years, the school has done some serious soul searching—refining who we are, who we want to become, and how we plan to do it. This work did not unfold without a lot of, gracefully and not so gracefully at times, collaboration. Finishing our Charter Renewal brought tears to my eyes because it was the culmination of important work over the last five years by so many people. Looking through the documents and seeing reflections of parents and educators I can confidently say, “the virtue of each one is living.”

Volunteerism is important because…

Volunteerism is important because it is a way for parents to having a meaningful voice in their child’s education.