Next week is School Board Member Appreciation Week. Join me in thanking our board for a job well done!
Imagine a community with no voice in the operation of its public schools. Think about an education system where all policy is set at the state or national level. Imagine putting the future of your children or grandchildren in the hands of people you don’t know and then being asked to pay the bill.
Fortunately, in the United States, we elect our friends and neighbors as school board members and rely on them to make tough educational decisions on our behalf. While their occupations and life experiences are varied, when they come together in regular public meetings, they are there to make education their common business. They are willing to invest countless hours making sure our schools reflect local traditions and unique needs. Their decisions often reach far beyond classrooms to impact local businesses, economic development, and ultimately, the future of this community.
School boards set the tone for school districts — for student achievement, continuous improvement and financial management.
Successful school boards are made up of individuals without personal agendas and with a desire that all children have the opportunities that come with great schools. They understand that they are a bridge between the community and its schools, with one foot in each. They know they are stewards of the public’s interest, and they are responsive when the public reaches out to them with questions or issues.
Quality public schools, like the ones we are blessed to have in Seminole County, bring the things that ensure a high quality of life — strong economic climate, better jobs, civic engagement, more citizens voting and an emphasis on the arts. And quality public schools are tied directly to the performance and effectiveness of their school boards.
While most of their efforts go unrewarded, when they are acknowledged, it is usually in the form of criticism. But, think for a moment, what would you do without them? To whom could you easily go with your concerns and your questions?
Each March, School Board Member Appreciation Week in Georgia provides an opportunity to recognize in our case five men who serve so faithfully and so selflessly.
We are particularly fortunate in this community to have board members whose vision and accountability are making sure our children can compete successfully in college and the work place when they graduate from high school.
So, when you have complaints or suggestions, remember that you don’t have far to go to contact your school board members. Remember, too, that you and your board members share a vested interest in making sure your public schools are operating efficiently and effectively. And, while you are at it, especially next week, say thanks for a job well done!
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