Arcado principal pledges to skydive if PTA membership hits 100 percent

LILBURN - Joe Ahrens is ready to take a leap of faith.

The principal of Arcado Elementary School has pledged to jump out of an airplane if his Parkview cluster school achieves 100 percent PTA membership.

"I've never even had an inkling of a thought to want to do it (skydive)," Ahrens said. "I'm not a huge daredevil."

But Ahrens, entering his fourth year as PTA Membership Committee chair, has been trying to think of ways to reach that 100 percent mark. Last year, he offered to kiss a pig. This year, Ahrens was inspired by a former student who recently parachuted out of a plane.

To reach the goal, the Arcado Elementary PTA needs to sell one card for each student and faculty member at the school. Enrollment projections for the school mean the PTA will have to sell nearly 1,100 memberships.

Typically, Arcado begins the year with between 500 and 600 members. Ahrens said he would love to reach 100 percent by the end of August.

"But I'll never give up until I'm jumping out a plane," he said.

To join the PTA, prospective members have to pay dues of $5. Membership isn't limited to parents of the school's students; grandparents, aunts and uncles, and community members are welcome to join.

"Five dollars gets a PTA membership - and gets me thrown out of an airplane," Ahrens said. "I'm ready to go."

Ahrens, who is beginning his sixth year as Arcado's principal, said he feels the PTA is an important piece to have in the school.

"A strong PTA shows the community is a strong one," he said, "... (and) that the school and community are sharing the important role of teaching and learning."