Inside ECS: Tami Lapp, Bristol

“One of the best things about working in the school system is having past students see you out in public and come over to visit, give you hug, and thank you for everything you taught them and did for them. “ Hearing a student say “Mrs. Lapp I’m really good at…..because of you, thank you.” Makes all of the rough days worth it!”

When Tami Lapp chose to volunteer at Eastwood Elementary, she didn’t know it would evolve into an opportunity for so much more! Tami began to realize what others saw in her, and that she had a gift for working with students.

In September 2012, Tami accepted a position as a classroom paraprofessional at Bristol Elementary School. The following year, she was recruited to a new position and became the technology instructor. Two years ago, Tami moved into the role of head secretary at Bristol. “It’s the best of both worlds – I still get to work with Bristol students, staff, and our fabulous parents!”.

Tami knew early on that she was going to be an active participant and support her daughters as they navigated their way through school. She first joined the elementary school PTO, saying that participating in the PTO allowed her to meet other parents, get to know the staff, and be involved.

Tami has always encouraged her kids to try many different activities. “It helps students learn to prioritize their time, discover new activities they didn’t know they liked, as well as weed out activities they thought they would like, and make new friends.” She stresses the importance of being involved and active in your student’s activities, “Being involved helps them meet new people, learn to work with various personalities, and helps you as a parent understand what is going on within the school.”

Being a parent of two active students, Marisa, a 2016 Elkhart Central graduate, and Madelin, currently a senior at Elkhart Central, Tami has been dedicated to being actively involved throughout the years. Her girls have participated in many different activities including: speech, robotics, tennis, Blazeline, marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, jazz band, symphony orchestra and National Honor Society, to name a few.  “Students may never remember an award or event, but they will always remember that you were there supporting them.”

Most recently she is helping out with the Elkhart Central Blazer Brigade and orchestra to create their concert programs. Tami and her husband Mike, are also active with the Blazeline Winter Percussion program and help Mr. Weirich with solo ensemble competitions. The Lapp family donates their time and talents by pulling the equipment trailer and helping to feed the Blazeline members on their long rehearsal days.

There are many ways to get involved in your students’ schools but Tami suggests being involved in any PTO or booster group. “Go to concerts, plays, sports events with them, even if they don’t hang out with you!” She also suggests being open to new adventures and time schedules, reflecting on how quickly the time passes. Something Tami learned early on was that children want you to be involved, “even if they don’t admit it.”

Outside of volunteering with her daughters’ schools and her passion for the students and families, Tami enjoys music, working in her yard, and visiting with family and friends.

Currently, Tami is reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. “I first read it in high school and it quickly became a favorite. I read it at least once a year and it never gets old!”