Jennings Rauschenbach is president of the Coppell High School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Growing up with a volunteer role model, Rauschenbach always saw what it meant to give back. As president, she’s serving the school district and helping develop ideas that can assist teachers. She said she would like to see PTO continue to attract new faces.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been married for the past twenty years to someone I went to high school with in Louisiana. We have three kids, my daughter Terri is in 11th, my son Ty is in ninth, and my son Tate is in seventh. I have been a social worker since 1996 and currently work in a dialysis clinic.
What led you to get involved with the PTO?
My own mother was often volunteering at my schools, so I had her modeling that for me since I was young. I also like knowing what is going on at the place that my kids spend more waking time than our house!
What are your duties as president?
My primary duties are to help coordinate all the other amazing parents that lead each of the other committees or positions on the board. We review requests from the school and brainstorm ways we can support our educators and our students to have an enriched educational experience.
How does the PTO help support CHS and CHS 9?
From behind the scenes in the summer, PTO is working with the school to ensure students can access their schedules, obtain school supplies, and PE wear to start off their school year smoothly. Throughout the year, we have parents working on programs to bring before students and sometimes the parents, as well. We support several teacher requests for innovative supplies or educational tools to allow them to make the classroom experience fascinating for their students.
What do you enjoy about serving with the PTO?
Serving on the PTO’s for the past twelve years has allowed me to get to know administers, support, staff, and teachers in a way I would not otherwise have—simply because PTO activities and meetings allow me to have more face-time than the average uninvolved parent. I also like to be able to be a “part of the solution”—nothing irritates me more when people complain about how things are done, what is or isn’t being supported, or how money is spent, but aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to make things better.
What's your favorite program the PTO's sponsors and why?
The teacher grants is my favorite program by far. I like to see how hard the PTO works to ensure grants given by the CEF aren’t duplicated and what grants will impact the largest amount of students. I love getting to see the faces of the educators who receive something that will make their life in the classroom easier and the students who celebrate their teacher’s “win” just as loudly as their teacher!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with friends, I also like to travel to do things (girls’ trips, mountain biking, etc.) A few times a year I will run various races….my favorite being 24 hour team relay races. I love going to Ranger games or concerts.
What’s your favorite movie?
I literally can’t think of a favorite movie. I am more of a concert goer. My favorite band is tied between Metallica and Mastodon.
What were you like in high school?
I was always the “new girl”. My father was a Lieutenant General in the Air Force and we moved an average of once every eighteen months. I attended three high schools. I was involved in cheerleading, softball and track. Because of my frequent moves, friendships were something that became very precious to me. Living in Coppell for the past thirteen years has been the longest I have ever lived anywhere in my life. I love seeing the same people at the gas station or knowing people that have known my children since they were in preschool. My village is the thing I love most about Coppell.
What’s your ideal weekend?
My ideal weekend would be finding a porch somewhere on a Friday night and have drinks and fantastic conversation with friends. On Saturday, watching my boys wrestle, play lacrosse, or baseball in the morning, attend a Ranger game at night. A perfect Sunday would be church, a nap, and seeing my daughter play her trumpet at a concert.
How do you hope to see the PTO grow in the future?
I would like to see PTO continue to attract new faces. Coppell has a lot of opportunities for people to get involved—it doesn’t have to be as all-consuming as people fear. You can still work a full-time job, be involved in your kids’ passion, and serve on the PTO in whatever capacity you feel you can make the biggest impact.