January was School Board Recognition Month in many states throughout the country.
While district superintendents and administrators are often the public face of their schools, school boards have important decision-making powers over budgets and policymaking. Their work is often done with little fanfare or compensation.
According to Tom Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the most important role of school board members is to ensure that every voice in your local community is represented in district decision-making:
“The role that school boards play is one of the most important ones. It requires them to be honest in vigorous discussions about issues…There really ought to be a vigorous debate at the school board table if there are competing interests. The question is, what do you do and how do you address those interests? And, that’s the community leadership role that boards have to play. I think it’s really the most important.”
Throughout January, school district leaders, students, and staff across the country used the opportunity to celebrate the important work and leadership of community school board members on social media and elsewhere in their communities.
Here’s a few highlights from online chats like #SchoolBoardMonth:
Soaring for success at Crowley ISD
The Texas Association of School Boards invited school districts throughout the state to recognize their local boards with the theme “Helping Kids Soar to Success.”
Students at Crowley Independent School District took that theme to heart by recording an acapella version of the song “I Believe I Can Fly” and including that music in a video that celebrates the strong, positive influence local board members have on area students.
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In Denver, celebrating ALL board members
Denver Public Schools showed its support for board members—both the adults…
January is #SchoolBoardMonth, and there has never been a better time to say “thank you” to our Denver Board of Education members, who serve as volunteers to ensure all of our city’s kids receive the best education possible. Learn more about them: https://t.co/Wad9JKtZEL. pic.twitter.com/6CFAMLEoba
— DenverPublicSchools (@DPSNewsNow) January 26, 2018
and the students who make up the district’s student school board. The student school board aims to bring student voice into district leadership.
School Board President Anne Rowe and Vice President Barbara O’Brien praised our Student Board: “Each and every one of them are exceptional individuals, and we look forward to seeing the impact they make as they become leaders of our community in the future!” #SchoolBoardMonth pic.twitter.com/bbZYuZQJS0
— DenverPublicSchools (@DPSNewsNow) January 23, 2018
Saying thanks at Romeo Community Schools
At Romeo Community Schools in Michigan, students at every level, plus teachers and staff members, showed their thanks with a series of photos and videos posted to social media.
— Romeo Schools (@romeoschools) January 19, 2018
— Romeo Schools (@romeoschools) January 18, 2018
— Romeo Schools (@romeoschools) January 12, 2018
— Romeo Schools (@romeoschools) January 11, 2018
Did your school or district recognize its school board this month? What steps do you take to give everyone in your school community a voice in important school decisions—and what role do board members play? Tell us in the comments.