Past National PTA Presidents (1980-1989)

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Manya S. UngarManya S. Ungar, president, National PTA, 1987 – 1989 (New Jersey)

Increased membership for the 7th consecutive year to more than 6.6 million members. The National PTA made HIV/AIDS awareness a central endeavor and they worked with U. S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop. In 1989 with a $1 million grant from GTE Corporation, National PTA created a prevention program aimed at 9-14 year-olds with a program kit Common Sense: Strategies for Raising Alcohol & Drug Free Children.


Ann P. KahnAnn P. Kahn, president, National PTA , 1985 – 1987 (Virginia)

The National PTA proclaimed March 3-9, National Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week.  PTA developed the Big City PTA Project, with the mission to increase parent involvement in urban school districts by strengthening their PTA councils. 1986 National PTA convention was held in Little Rock, Arkansas, PTA celebrated their 90th convention with the theme, In Celebration.”  A planning kit was developed, In Celebration: PTA Salutes Public Schools – School Is What We Make It.  The governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton spoke at the convention.


Elaine StienkemeyerElaine Stienkemeyer, president, National PTA, 1983 – 1985 (Michigan)

Administration theme, “The National PTA: Advocates for Children.”  Under her leadership in 1984, the legacy of founder Phoebe Apperson Hearst was highlighted with the inauguration of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Educator of the Year Award.  Also established was Teacher Appreciation Week to be held in May.  The 1984 convention was held in Las Vegas, Nevada and after 20 years of decline in PTA membership, membership had rebounded to 5.4 million members. 1985 convention was held in Washington, D.C.

Mary Ann LeveridgeMary Ann Leveridge, president, National PTA, 1981 – 1983 (Texas)

Administration theme, “Parents and Teachers Working Together – Still the Best Aid to Education.”  At the 1982 convention in Chicago, Illinois PTA observed the 85th birthday of the organization with banners on the lamp posts down Michigan Avenue.  Membership for 1982-1983 was 5,359,521.  Nancy Reagan addressed the National PTA’s 1982 Legislative Conference to introduce her “Just Say No” initiative.  National PTA joined with six other national organizations to form the National Coalition to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Abuse and PBS produced the documentary titled The Chemical People.  President Reagan proclaimed October 1982 as National PTA Membership Month.


Virginia V. SparlingVirginia V. Sparling, president, National PTA, 1979 – 1981 (Washington)

Administration theme was  “The PTA Moves Forward.”  Convention delegates in 1980 voted to increase the membership due from twenty cents to fifty (50) cents, effective September 1, 1981.  In 1980, the National PTA sponsored five major conferences to make the public aware of the Comprehensive School/Community Health Education Project and students conducted four Student Health Education forums.