February 12, 2018
Board Member since 2011
Darcey Soto is all about helping others and apparently creating delicacies on toast. Her giving spirit has been evident with her dedication to the Lawrence Schools Foundation – first as a volunteer, and then as a board member of the organization since 2011.
Soto earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work and her professional career included working as an investigator for child protections services, a patient advocate in a hospital setting, a family preservation specialist and a therapist.
Soto has also flipped houses and managed an eBay-commissioned sales business, “but mostly I have been a mom and a community volunteer for the past 23 years,” she said.
She has served on every LSF committee, except the finance committee, during her seven-tenure on the board.
“’Everybody Benefits From Great Public Schools’ is so much more than just a slogan,” Soto said. “Preparing our kids for a successful future by supporting our schools and ensuring a great education will not only benefit that individual child, but our society as a whole. If I can have a hand in aiding our public schools to help create that better educational opportunity for a child, I want to do that.”
Soto and her husband Bert have three children – Max, an aerospace engineer major at Kansas, Jack, a nursing student at Washburn and Grace, a junior at Free State High School. About 10 years ago when all three of her kids were in Lawrence Public Schools, Soto was asked to assist with a Foundation fund-raiser. That led to her increased involvement with the organization.
“I really believed in the work the Foundation was doing to aid and support our public schools and I wanted to contribute more on an ongoing basis,” she said.
Soto has many hobbies, but recently she has turned to Instagram to document the incredible lunchtime concoctions she creates on toast.
“My oldest son shamed me onto the social media site because he was tired of me sending him pictures of all of the toast I was making for my lunch,” Soto said. “He told me that there were other “food nerds” like me who would probably like to see my pictures. I was surprised to learn that he was right. Now I spend way too much time making, eating and posting toast pics and scrolling through my feed.”
And while she has served the Foundation, our teachers and students in many ways, she has yet to serve the Foundation staff any of her cooking creations.