DATE: February 22, 2022 | AUTHOR: theschooliq
School board members are an integral part of the school district. They are actually the top of the pyramid in the district and the position offers many unique opportunities and challenges. One amazing opportunity that is singular to school board work is having the chance to supervise the Superintendent (the board’s only employee), which affords you the benefit of being at the table to set the course for the district and determine high level initiatives. In addition, board members come from many different backgrounds and bring unique experiences and perspectives to the table. Working with a team of engaged community members is fascinating and you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the district.
One of the major unspoken challenges in board work is that the board is a self-policing group, so they need to hold each other accountable, which can be difficult when dealing with adults. In addition, board members hold no individual power, such as city council members (board members only hold power when they are in quorum). All decisions and discussions must occur in public, due to open meeting laws, which creates a whole host of ramifications and keeps things very interesting!
While school board members come from many backgrounds and serve as the representative voice of the community, often people run for school board seats without the information they need. Getting this crucial information early in the process (before you decide to run) is incredibly helpful!
School boards often require education and support from other experienced board members who have walked the same path and can help guide you on yours. Whether you are deciding if you should run a school board campaign or you’re learning how to handle communication issues within the board, you will never be bored on a school board! You will have the opportunity to develop relationships with the superintendent and other board members. You’ll learn to supervise a superintendent, develop a strategic plan, learn about policies and budget and connect with others who are in similar positions.
School board work is exciting, challenging and rewarding. You’ll never have another experience quite like it and your community will benefit greatly. It is a great feeling to give back to your community through board work.