School board members are ordinary people who wear many different hats in their everyday lives. They might be farmers or bankers, homemakers or doctors, truck drivers or professors, business owners or retirees.
But they all put on the same hat when they get to the board room. It’s a hat that represents an extraordinary dedication to our public schools, and it’s time we thanked them for their untiring efforts.
The time school board members spend in board meetings represents just a fraction of the actual hours that they devote to leading their districts. They attend meetings and seminars to learn how to be better board members. They attend extracurricular events to support their schools and are often involved in other community activities representing themselves, their community and their district.
School board members are charged with a unique job. They must listen to the voices of their community and then craft a vision, mission and goals for their district that accurately reflect those voices in the design. They must guard two of the community’s most precious resources— their children and their tax dollars — while they create the best educational environment possible with the money available.
Too often communities are quick to criticize school board members without really knowing all the details that went into their decisions. As a result, the efforts of school board members often go unrecognized and unrewarded.
November 15, 2016, has been designated as School Board Member Day in Illinois. This is a time to show appreciation and to begin to better understand how school board members work together to provide leadership for schools.
Join with others from throughout Illinois in a “tip of the hat” to the men and women who
provide the 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.