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PTA Leader Named Family Ambassador for U.S. Department of Education

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Heidi May Wilson, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 28, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to announce that PTA leader Frances Frost has been named the U.S. Department of Education’s first Family Ambassador. This position is made possible by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation and an agreement with The Campagna Center of Alexandria, Va., to support family engagement in education and increase family engagement in education policy.

“Frances is a leader in family engagement and a strong advocate for quality education and equitable opportunities for all students and families,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are proud that Frances has been named the U.S. Department of Education’s first Family Ambassador. Her leadership, dedication, passion and experience will be tremendous assets to the Department and to students and families nationwide.”  

As the Family Ambassador, Frost will bring the voice of families to national conversations impacting children and education. She will also facilitate discussions with the Department of Education, families and family engagement stakeholders to create effective solutions to the issues affecting education and children’s well-being.

In this role, Frost will share her extensive knowledge of meaningful family engagement and strong family, school and community partnerships to inform and impact Department of Education policies. Additionally, Frost will communicate with families on behalf of the Department of Education to increase their understanding of and encourage their engagement in the development and implementation of policies.

“Parents and families should have meaningful opportunities to both contribute to and understand the policies and programs that impact them and their children, schools and communities,” said Ann Whalen, senior advisor delegated the duties of assistant secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The Family Ambassador will help bolster our efforts to ensure that parents and families are meaningfully engaged and represented in every step of their child’s education.”

Frost has been active in PTA for many years and most recently served as president of Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) in Maryland. Through her leadership of MCCPTA, which encompasses 192 PTAs, Frost worked to ensure more parents of color and low-income families were included and engaged in their school community. In addition to her work with PTA, Frost volunteers with several other youth- and education-related organizations, including Girls on the Run and the Girl Scouts of America.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced Frost as the first Family Ambassador during a stakeholder forum on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). National PTA Executive Director Nathan R. Monell, CAE, was a featured panelist for the forum.

“Family engagement is essential to the successful implementation of ESSA. It is critical that families are at the table to make certain that the law—and all policies—make a difference for education and our nation’s children,” said Monell. “National PTA applauds the Department of Education for establishing the Family Ambassador position and for its commitment to the importance of family engagement.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.