This PTA mom brings a little bit of Scandanavia to our neighborhood

By Anna Waugh and Rachel Stone / Photo of Helene Honeybone by Can Türkyilmaz

Helene Honeybone has been known to hang out at Ikea, singing Swedish folk songs and Abba hits. The neighborhood PTA mom also brought Scandinavian culture to Stonewall Jackson Elementary School last year. She’s a Sweden native who has lived in Texas for 16 years, and she throws herself into work at her children’s schools as hard as she does her work in the advertising company she owns. Her older child is now in sixth grade at J.L. Long Middle School, and Honeybone already is entrenched in PTA activities there, too.

She also makes time to keep in tune with Swedish culture. A member of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association, Honeybone for nine years directed the choir, which occasionally performs around the area, including, yes, at Ikea.

“I think when you’re from a different country and you come to such a melting pot, it means a lot to meet people who are from where you’re from, and it helps you overcome some of the obstacles,” she says.

Honeybone and the Swedish association spread the culture last year, when Stonewall selected Scandanavia as the culture to study for the entire school year. It was an honor to see the culture represented in every corner of the school, Honeybone says. She planned some events on the topic, including a Saint Lucia celebration in December.

“There’s a saying that Saint Lucia brings light into the darkness because it’s so dark in Sweden,” she says.

Although Honeybone and family own a home in Sweden, and they go back to visit at least once a year, Texas is home now.

“It grows on you, doesn’t it?” she says. “And now I’m Texan.”

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