Andrew and Wendy Petzold’s Gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure
For Andrew Petzold, it all began with cookies. “I remember when my kids were in Preschool, the teachers welcomed parental involvement,” he said. “I was really excited to be able to help with reading and art, and I remember helping to bake cookies one day. I loved the facilities, the students’ outcomes, and being able to participate in my children’s experience at USM. I thought it would be fun to be a part of that planning process.”
Along with his wife, Wendy, Andrew’s involvement with the school grew over the years. Wendy served many roles within the Parents’ Association (PA), including room parent, division lead, and PA president. Andrew served various roles on the Board of Trustees during his 10-year tenure on the board, including chair of the facilities committee, co-chair of the 2013 strategic planning committee, and board president from 2016 to 2019. Did he ever imagine he would serve in the board’s highest leadership role? “No, no way,” he said with a laugh. “I never would have imagined it.”
As co-chair of the strategic planning committee, Petzold played a large role in helping to position the school to be forward-thinking and to prepare for the comprehensive fundraising campaign that ultimately became Our Common Bond. “The strategic plan and campaign were both very aspirational and deliberate, so it’s been really rewarding to see how the community has come forward to support the school,” he said. “I was very pleased to see the number of new donors who contributed. The investments that we’ve all made have put the school in an extraordinary position in terms of physical space, technological resources, and financial stability. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how vital those resources are.”
They long ago lost track of how many collective hours they’ve spent volunteering at the school. “It became our full- and part-time jobs,” said Wendy, “but I did love it. “I loved being at school and seeing my kids in the halls, meeting parents of their classmates, helping with field trips, facilitating dances, and assisting with the kids’ various activities. We got to work with great people, including other parents and also the amazing teachers, staff, and administrators.”
Andrew and Wendy’s myriad contributions to Our Common Bond, both in terms of time, talent, and treasure, were instrumental to the campaign’s success. They are among the campaign’s top leadership donors for their generous commitments to the Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration, the USM Fund, and the endowment through their planned gift. Additionally, Andrew contributed hundreds of hours of energy and talent in guiding the construction process to its successful completion.
For Wendy and Andrew, their daughter, Grace’s graduation in 2019 was bittersweet (their son, Aaron, graduated in 2016). “Of course we’ll be back to go shopping at Holiday Shops and be involved in that way, but it felt like a chapter of our lives ending,” Wendy said. “We made lifelong friendships through our involvement, and I’m so glad we were both engaged at this level. It was a great opportunity—and an honor—to serve the school as others have before us.”