Amy Arness was thrilled to be elected and installed as a Member Representative for a second term to the National PTA® Board of Directors at the 2019 National Convention. Subsequently she received a Presidential appointment to the Convention & General Arrangements Committee. During her previous term, Arness served on the Finance Committee & Executive Director Review Task Force. She was also her state’s delegate to the concluding meeting of National Council of States on the topic of PTA Relevance, which informed the 2020 Strategic Vision.
In North Dakota, Arness’ PTA service record resulted in an invitation to the Governor’s Inaugural Innovative Education Summit as a Panelist. The Superintendant of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction also appointed Arness to the ESSA Task Force and several related work groups. She believes her diverse hands-on experiences have made her a good listener, a willing learner and a committed Board member—organized and prepared for the work to accomplish our association’s goals.
The beginning of Amy’s PTA story is like so many of our members. She joined PTA to learn what was going on at her child’s Kindergarten Center. 23 years later she has served at the local, council and state levels of PTA, including a two-term state presidency and a term as president-elect, as well as serving North Dakota PTA as Health & Welfare Chair and State & Federal Legislative Chair. Arness has been the Fargo Council President and has served as PTA President at Eagles Kindergarten Center, Centennial Elementary, Discovery Middle School and Fargo South High PTSA. Her assorted other Committee and Chair positions include—Strategic Planning, Bylaws, Nominating, Budget, Convention Planning, Reflections Celebration, Social Media, City Rep, Hospitality, Jr. Great Books, After-School Theater and Room Parents.
Arness has been married for 35 years to Richard, a physician with Sanford Medical. They have a daughter Jacky, a 3L Student at University of Minnesota Law School, and a son Derek, presently an Accelerated Nursing student. Amy received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis in Communications. She was a Manager for Dayton’s (now Macy’s) department store but made the decision to be a ‘full time’ Mom when they started their family.
Along with PTA commitments, Arness’ favored ways to spend time have been 29 years of philanthropic endeavors, including service on performing arts boards, time with Mission Jamaica, business management duties, and serving as a travel companion for her daughter’s year as Miss North Dakota. She looks forward to traveling to all 50 states (48 down, two to go!) and pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Honors and Awards
- National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award/President’s Distinguished Service Award
- National PTA State Membership Increase Award
- National PTA School of Excellence Award—The first for North Dakota!
- Lifetime Achievement Award—North Dakota & Montana PTA
- Governor’s Service Award—2018
- Fargo-Moorhead Salute to Moms honoree