Deb Strauss

In This Section

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Debra Strauss
Inverness, IL
Sanborn PTA, Palatine, IL

Personal and Professional Info

  • Married to Michael for 38 years.I have two grown children and three grandsons.
  • Graduated from Michigan State University in 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Education.
  • Worked for Girl Scouts of America Illinois Crossroads Council and for the Dean of Education at National Louis University.
  • For the past 20 years, have been a full-time stay at home mom committed to community service and advocacy efforts on behalf of children.


PTA involvement

Current Service Includes:

  • Currently serve on the Mission Engagement Task Force for National PTA, working on the programs sub-committee; charge is to promote the PTA mission through National PTA programs.
  • Continue to serve as the Team Leader during the restructuring phase for the Vermont PTA.

Previous Service Includes:

  • Served as member of the National PTA board of directors, chaired Bylaws and Policy, vice-chair of the organizational effectiveness committee, three years as the Vice-President of Membership and chaired the Policy Task Force. I continue to serve in the two areas mentioned earlier.
  • Have served as everything from committee member to committee chair (multiple committees), from the local PTA unit to council, state and National PTA.  Have been the local unit president of a junior high PTSA, council president and president of Illinois PTA. From July 2017 – April 2018, served as the convention program chair for Illinois PTA.

Community involvement

Current Service Includes:

  • Not currently serving on any boards or committees in my community, though I continue to support The Bridge Youth and Family Services and Journeys.  The Bridge is a social service agency serving troubled kids and kids in trouble, and Journeys is an organization providing housing and programming for homeless families.

Previous Service Includes:

  • Elected member of Township High School District 211 Board of Education from November 1999 until April 2011.  Served four years as board secretary and four years as board president.
  • Elected as trustee of the Educational Foundation of the Community Consolidated School District 15, 1998-2004, served as Foundation Chairman from 2002-2004. 
  • Appointed to Governors P-20 Council of Illinois, co-chairing the Family, Youth and Community Engagement committee, 2009-2015.
  • AdvancED State Council Member, July 2014-2017

Honors and Awards

  • “Those Who Excel”, Illinois State Board of Education, Award of Meritorious Services, 2005
  • Illinois PTA Honorary Life Membership – 1998
  • “Those Who Excel”, Illinois State Board of Education Award of Merit, 1993
  • New Hampshire PTA Honorary Life Membership