WASB: School boards serve with heart

Publicly elected school boards could not happen without dedicated citizens willing to step up.

School board members cherish what education gave them, and their service manifests their desire to pass it on to the next generation. They serve with hope and with heart.

In Wisconsin, more than 2,700 people currently serve as locally elected school board members. At all times, that service is balanced with careers, families and other duties.

This School Board Week, held from Oct. 3-9, it is my hope that school board members will be acknowledged for their service. Remember, school board members are not usually experts in school governance when they join their local boards. They learn on the job, and it’s not an easy one.

They set the vision of student success for their district and monitor progress. They’re accountable to local residents for how taxpayer dollars are spent. They hire and oversee a district administrator to run day-to-day operations.

In addition to attending meetings, school board members spend countless hours preparing for meetings, studying the issues, participating in professional development, and advocating on behalf of their students and communities.

Strong school boards lead to strong schools and strong communities. Helping school boards be effective is the mission of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

We ask you to join us this week in thanking your local school board members. It’s important to honor and recognize their commitment to public service. It’s also important for our children to see the direct link between their schools and their community and know that there is a large group of adults, many they never see, who care about their education and well-being.

Wisconsin School Board Week is Oct. 3-9. Please take a few minutes this week to thank the people who step up to serve on your local school board. If you get the opportunity, ask them about their role and about your schools. You’ll undoubtedly hear about how proud they are of the students and what they have planned to make your schools even better.