Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Left Hand Laurel: Meg Heitlinger

 
Series: Left Hand Laurel | Story 10

January 29, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Meg Heitlinger, president of the Heatherwood Elementary PTO, hangs a note on the school bulletin

Meg Heitlinger moved here from Minneapolis in 2006 for the same reason many people come to Colorado--"the idea of living from snow to sunshine."

Twelve years later, Heitlinger became the much beloved president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Heatherwood Elementary.

"It seems that Meg is here at Heatherwood more days than she's not," said Mary Lietz, Principal's Assistant. "She is constantly pitching in, supporting our school and leading our PTO Crew. She is smart and eloquent and delivers a strong message to our community with a smile on her face."

Heitlinger's background prepared her well for the role. She works in marketing for the consumer products industry. Prior employers include Izzies, Two Moms in the Raw, and Bamboobies, which produced breastfeeding support products for moms. "I have good experience with getting messaging across," said Heitlinger.

Heitlinger was working for Bamboobies when she started getting involved with the Heatherwood PTO. When Bamboobies sold in the summer of 2018, she seized the opportunity to become an independent marketing consultant. That role gave her more flexibility in her schedule. As the mother of two students attending Heatherwood Elementary, she felt the time was right to take on the role of PTO president.

"Our mission is to connect students, family, and staff," said Heitlinger. Heitlinger helps coordinate events like back to school and movie nights, which bring students and parents together across grade levels. She also coordinates fundraising efforts. Restaurant fundraisers are popular, and just this past weekend, a parent volunteered her time to teach a yoga class at the school. Booster fund money goes towards supporting paraeducators, who help give students more individualized attention.

Heitlinger's favorite part about her role is "getting to know the school community and understand how the school works... We have a very supportive community."

In her spare time, Heitlinger embraces the opportunities that first drew her to Colorado. She and her kids are constantly active, biking, swimming, exploring the great outdoors, and taking advantage of museums and other urban opportunities. "It's the benefit of both worlds out here - just minutes outside of the city, you get to see cows, horses... It's a nice blend." Heitlinger also skis and rides horseback in the hunter-jumper style.

Heitlinger encourages other parents to explore possibilities for getting involved with the school. "Everybody is busy, and I appreciate being a parent, balancing work and home, and trying to support your family,... but there are lots of ways to be supportive, whether it's money or time through volunteering." She reiterates that people are often pleasantly surprised by how easy and rewarding it is to contribute to the Heatherwood community.

Historically, the PTO presidency has been a two-year commitment. When her term comes to a close this summer, Heitlinger is sure she will continue to explore ways to support the school. In the meantime, she is deeply appreciated.

"We are very grateful for her time and energy," said Lietz.

 

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