©2018 BY FRIENDS OF BETSY LANDERS, JOHN UELEKE, TREASURER

Meet Betsy 

   For more than 20 years Betsy has dedicated herself to the belief that there should be the assurance of a high-quality education available for all children. Devoting the better part of her life working towards the realization of that belief, she has been a relentless advocate of public education and family involvement at the local, county, state, and national levels of government.  In 2011 her years of dedication and service were acknowledged when she was elected as President of the National PTA, the largest child advocacy organization in the country.  Following her term as president she was blessed with the opportunity to return home and continue her life’s passion where it all began, at the local level.  As an appointee to the Germantown Municipal School Board in 2016 she’s had the privilege of lending a lifetime of experiences and providing an impartial voice towards the improvement of our school district. Betsy is focused on helping ensure that the children of our community continue to have a high-quality education, in safe and welcoming schools for generations to come.

   Currently serving as the Chair of the Germantown Municipal School Board, Betsy has been able to pull from her years of experience to help foster the continued success of our local school district. Over the course of her career in advocacy she’s had the opportunity to participate in efforts striving to improve and reform education policy on all levels of government. Through her participation in those efforts she gained a deeper understanding of all aspects of the process needed to affect the change she was seeking; from the budgeting process and school funding to school safety and policy development. Upon her election in 2011 she achieved the platform necessary to continue communicating the importance of family involvement on a national level. As president she oversaw an association with a $14 million annual budget and 6 million members in 2011. During her term, she led the organization through a pivotal transition period by working tirelessly and making the tough decisions necessary. By instilling a strict sense of fiscal responsibility within the organization; she took the association from a $4 million deficit at the time of her installation to a $2 million surplus at the end of her term. Utilizing her diverse experience, she aided the association in opening new doors and increasing their influence, all in a successful effort to expand and improve the brand and reach of the PTA. Her efforts took her many places and allowed her to interact and partner with people across the country; fostering a wide and diverse appreciation of the challenges that our schools and children face. All these experiences taught her the importance of building community and consensus with stakeholders and groups, to successfully achieve a common goal. The knowledge gained through her years of experience have given her the tools needed to return home and assist in our community’s efforts for the continued improvement of our local schools.  

   Looking back, all of this began when Betsy’s youngest child entered kindergarten. Having just moved her family to a new city, she wanted to ensure that her three children were getting the best education possible.  So, begins the tale of nearly thirty years of parent involvement, not just in her children’s lives but in the lives of millions of children across this nation.  If asked what drove her career in advocacy; she would readily explain that it’s about being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, our children.  Betsy loves to share stories of the children and families she has interacted with across the country, often heartbreaking stories, that have fueled her passion to serve. Through her years of dedication and devotion, Betsy has traveled the world, walked the halls of Congress and the Tennessee State House; spoken to countless leaders on behalf of public education and school safety. All in pursuit of the simple belief that ALL children deserve access to a high-quality education.

 

   Children, yours and mine, are her passion and life’s work.  As she has often stated, “It does not matter who they are, where they come from, or their family’s status… every child deserves a high-quality education and a safe and healthy childhood.”

 

   Betsy and her husband Ben have lived in Germantown for more than 20 years. They are blessed to have three children; Benton (Courtney), Nicholas, and Mary Frances (Martin), and two grandchildren - Tripp and Emma.