The PTO Family Night Carnival signals the onset of autumn in Glencoe. PTO stands for Parent Teacher Organization and serves as a supportive group for the school district. With bouncy houses, cakewalks, carnival games and a book fair, the fun event is scattered outside throughout the campus and buildings.
The PTO carnival is run by teachers, staff, students and parents. A continuous event for more than 50 years, the activities bring the school community together for a fundraising opportunity. PTO helps the school purchase requested items for individual teachers and big projects such as new high school lockers and an outdoor basketball court.
“I believe the carnival brings the community out to have a great fun-filled time,” said Sharla Reed, who has been the PTO president for eight years.
It is way for families to be involved with their children, too. Everyone can eat together with delicious food offered including smoked brisket sandwiches and Frito chili pie.
A 42-year veteran in the classroom, Donna Stallings, has been helping with the PTO carnival for 36 years.
“Seeing so many of my former students bringing their children to the carnival is the best part for me,” Stallings said. “It’s great to see families enjoying themselves outdoors with the rest of the community – without any electronics involved! There are activity booths for all ages and I love the coronation.”
Each grade level selects a male and female to represent their class in the coronation. The winning candidates from Glencoe Elementary School are sixth grade students Morgan Matheson and Connor Bailey. The PTO King and Queen from Glencoe High School are freshmen Christian Ryan and Jamie O’Bryant. The freshman class sold $680 in tickets for the PTO raffle to qualify as the coronation leaders.
Junior Class member Cheznee Bundy remembers “dressing up fancy and feeling like a princess” when she was in the coronation. Her sister, DanLee Bundy represented the Fourth Grade this year.
“She looked like Cinderella,” Bundy said. “The atmosphere is very welcoming for everyone and the night is so enjoyable with smiles on everyone’s faces. Old friends get together and talk. You really see the pride in the community, too.”
DanLee and Cheznee are the daughters of Marty and Danna Bundy. Cheznee said her favorite activity is bingo every year and other games with great prizes.
Glencoe Elementary School teacher Lindsay Bailey coordinates all the event prizes.
“We appreciate all the teachers, students and parents helping with booths and serving in the kitchen.” Reed said. “Many people and lots of donations help make the event successful.”
Columnist Lexi Clark is a freshman and photographer Caitlin Leimenstoll is a senior at Glencoe High School. Students Khloy Guinn, Jace Low Dog, Evan McDaniel and Jamie O’Bryant contributed to the report.