Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mail Call: School board members deserve praise

January 11, 2007

School board members are ordinary people who have an extraordinary dedication to our public schools. It is time we thanked them for their untiring efforts.

Too often we forget about the personal sacrifices school board members routinely make.

Too often we forget about the important role school board members play in assuring local control over our public schools, control that is in the hands of people we know ... people who are our neighbors.

Too often we forget that, in the tradition of a representative democracy, school board members are our connection to influencing how our public schools are governed.

Too often we are quick to criticize school board members without really knowing all the details that went into any given decision.

Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized and unrewarded.

We can begin to correct these oversights throughout January, which is School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to show our appreciation and to begin to better understand how school board members work together to provide leadership for our schools. The school board works closely with parents, education professionals and other community members to create the educational vision we want for our students. It then formulates goals, defines results and sets the course for an adequate and equitable educational program for all students.

The school board is accountable to the public. It is responsible for assuring the public the money allocated to the public schools is providing a good return on the investment. Thus, the board oversees regular assessment of the district's students, staff and programs. The school board is also a strong advocate for public schools and is responsible for communicating the needs of the school district to the public and the public's expectations to the district.

In January, join with others from throughout our district and state to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools. Make a special effort to tell each school board member his or her hard work has been noticed and is very much appreciated.

Sharon Zoellner
USD 232 superintendent of schools

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