David and Beth’s service to the PTA marked the start of their commitment to community service, and was the lynchpin for David’s lifelong advocacy of public education excellence. Through various fundraisers, service projects, and Beth’s presidency for five terms, the Picklers unwavering support for the PTA has never wavered. The friendships made along the way will forever be cherished.
PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION
When David’s children began their education at Farmington Elementary, his wife Beth became deeply involved in the PTA. She devoted herself continuously in activities for the kids serving five terms as PTA president. Through Beth’s commitment to educational leadership and excellence, David, too, would soon discover his passion for public education. In fact, his decision to run for the Shelby County Board of Education began germinating through the volunteerism work in the local PTA. It was the catalyst for a lifelong passion for public education engagement.
David began his public-servant career in the PTA by involving himself in various fundraisers, supporting Beth and the phenomenal work she was displaying. Beth would go on to serve five terms as President of the PTA – four at Farmington and one at Houston Middle School.
From 1992 to 1999, Beth chaired the PTA’s Fall Carnival. During that same time period, from 1996-1998, he agreed to serve as the Project Coordinator for the Farmington Elementary Garden. The entire Pickler family was deeply involved with this project. This garden would just so happen to be his son’s, Chris’, future Eagle Scout Project and ceremony site.
Beth Pickler: A Friend of Education
Beth engaged every year by organizing programs to maintain and improve the grounds of the school. Other initiatives she led were large fundraisers, like the annual blood drive and Fall Carnival. But perhaps the most unique program led by Beth was the Memphis in May Celebration at Farmington. Like the annual event held downtown, Beth and the PTA would honor a specific country and engage the children in a Full Immersion Day. One year, when the celebration was honoring Italy, David dressed as the Pope, discussing the history and culture of the country.
Because of her selfless dedication to the PTA, in 1996, Beth was given the Bill Colvard Friend of Education award. This award recognized her as Shelby County PTA Volunteer of the Year, and culminated with the Beth Pickler Day at Farmington Elementary.
Middle School and Beyond
From 1997 to 1998 and from 2002 to 2003, David served on the Houston Middle School PTA Board.
The pinnacle of his PTA volunteerism was displayed while he was serving as Chair of the Shelby County Board of Education. Seeing first-hand the impact and importance of a strong, local PTA, he took note of how a robust association would greatly benefit every child in the county. During his tenure on the board, he advocated for and passed a policy in which every school would have an active and engaged PTA.
This policy was met with resounding success, seeing 100% PTA membership meaning a PTA member designated for every child in district. This was unheard of at the time, and Shelby County was the first large district in the country to achieve this accomplishment.
During his service to the PTA, David raised $750,000 in local, annual funding for Farmington Elementary and Houston High School. David also had the privilege of operating funding for these schools, engaging the educational community with his passion for finance and public-education excellence.
In 2008, David was awarded PTA’s National Lifetime Achievement Award. A few years prior, Beth was also recognized with this incredible award – an accolade that defined their legacy of creating a successful future for all public-school children.
To this day, David continues his support of the PTA through his granddaughter’s school, Donelson Elementary in Arlington, Tennessee. He is an active supporter of the school’s playground project.
2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, created by Parent Teacher Association. This award is based on recognition of devoted and distinguished services to children and youth and not specific to financial services and does not imply an endorsement, recommendation, or reflect the performance of the advisor.