They are a PTA volunteer duo, and Don Taylor cheerfully accepts his position on the team.
"I assist her," he said, referring to his wife, Colleen Taylor.The couple, who give most of their PTA hours to Hillcrest Junior High in the Murray School District, say that working together as volunteers has strengthened their marriage - even when Don's "assignments" have been to hawk pizzas or to portray a crash dummy in a car safety skit. "Don gets roped into everything I do," Colleen said.
"That's the fun of it," Don countered.
The Taylors have six children, and both agree that Colleen's primary responsibility is to the family. But she also runs a cottage business out of her basement, and as the family grew, so did the number of hours she put in as a PTA volunteer.
Colleen now volunteers "100 percent of her time," Don said, before admitting he was exaggerating a little.
An executive with Bennion-Taylor Insurance, Don was at first reluctant to be interviewed as a PTA volunteer because he didn't think his limited participation in the program warranted recognition. But people should know that even just a few hours per week of a volunteer's time are priceless, the Taylors agreed.
They said that PTA volunteers are more plentiful at elementary schools, but tend to fall away as the children move into adolescence. But that's just when the children most need the influence of adults - when they are teetering on the brink of their own adulthood.
"There are so many children in school who don't have parents at home who have the time or the qualifications to help them," Colleen said.
There have been times when Colleen was so tired by the end of the day she could barely drag herself from room to room. But Don, who works at the school during his lunch hours and other times on an as-needed basis, understands rather than resents her desire to do something that exhausted her so totally.
The Taylors are now working on an education program at Hillcrest that helps junior high students bridge the distance between elementary and high school, including lessons on how to fare in the world beyond school.
"I think the biggest problem is complacency - kids not knowing where they're going, so they think they're not going anywhere," Colleen said.
Even when he's not involved with a project Colleen is working on, Don wants to hear about it. And that, he says, helps them to grow as a couple.
"I think it helps to do it together, because then you find different avenues to share instead of being isolated," he said.