Three boys is enough to keep most moms busy. For Kristy Olk, motherhood is just one of life’s many competing interests. Olk is able to balance caring for her sons, helping her husband of 21 years with the family business, as well as doing the books for other local businesses. As if that were not enough, she has volunteered and participated in various volunteer campaigns related to the school district for the past seven years.
Olk’s school volunteerism started while her oldest son, Tyler, now 12, was in kindergarten. She started by chairing the Measure J bond campaign to rebuild the North Tahoe Middle and High School campus and went on to work on oversight committees for Measures A, and R/J. She also worked for the King’s Beach Elementary PTO.
“Through my involvement with the district on these various committees I became passionate about our public schools and people started to encourage me to serve on the board,” the ex-sales and marketing manager wrote in an e-mail.
In addition to the school related committees and campaigns, her first volunteer appointment was to the Recreation Commission for the North Tahoe PUD. She was recruited by Teresa May Duggan who then talked her into working with the North Lake Tahoe Truckee Leadership Program. Administrative duties are not all she volunteers for. Olk is also currently on North Tahoe’s AYSO board and is involved in North Tahoe Little League.
She notes that her toughest challenges as a board trustee are “balancing the many different needs of the district within a limited budget that changes every year based on property taxes and state revenues.”
She said as a board member she attempts to meet the needs of all 4,040 children in the district.
“[We need] to provide them with an opportunity for the best possible education and preparation for success in life,” she said.
To provide that opportunity takes money.
“The budget is a balancing act between employees, educational, emotional, enrichment and athletic programs for students, facilities, transportation and a list of needs that goes well beyond our ability to fund. As a consequence, tough tradeoffs have to be made.”
To help prioritize budget decisions and “better align our dollars to our strategic priorities” the board of trustees brought in professional consultants this year.
When she is not prioritizing budgetary issues, she likes to go skiing, hiking, RV camping, ride dirt bikes with the boys, and just play at the beach. In her down time, if there is any left, she enjoys reading and scrap booking.
Why does she do it?
“I believe it is important to contribute to your local community. By getting involved in our schools you can make a difference, not just in the lives of your own children but in the lives of all the children in our community,” Olk said.
Olk believes in the local school district and said that she will be a Tahoe Truckee Unified School District parent for a long time.
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