And that need will take her down a different route, and one with more flexibility as Petraits focuses on time spent with family after a long career.
“This has been exciting, but I’m ready to move on,” she said. “My husband (Mike) is retired, so he’s got a lot of flexibility and I’m jealous of that. He does a lot of subbing for the schools, but he has the option of saying ‘I don’t think I want to work today. I’m going to jump on my motorcycle and go for a drive’ and I envy that.”
Petraits also said that her father has fallen ill, and caring for him is a high priority in her life, as well as spending time with two young grandsons. She says all of those things contributed to her deciding to step away.
But she won’t be disappearing completely, and the talents learned at Brownsburg will be spent elsewhere on a consulting basis statewide for smaller school districts that do not have the option of having a full-time communications coordinator but still need to relay important messages to the community.
Petraits says she’s seen a lot in her time at Brownsburg, from the rise in community options, to the prevalence of social media —both of which she says is a blessing and a curse. In an effort to give more of that communication to parents, Petraits created Vision BCSC 11 years ago, a program where community members get a once-a-month, in-depth look at behind the curtain of the district. She said that is one of her most proud accomplishments.
“The reality is, school districts and school personnel are bound by privacy laws, and there’s only so much information that you can freely divulge,” she said. “We try to always give all the information that we possibly can. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that when there’s a void of information, it gets filled, and it’s not always the right information. So it’s incumbent upon us to make sure the right information is available.