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Anyone serve on a school board?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by KCC, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    The local school board has an opening that will be filled before the next election cycle (so it will be an appointed position, not an elected one). The new member must be from my community, and I am thinking of submitting my name for an interview. This is a very small school district (in terms of the number of students), but large in geographic area. From what I hear, the board is very professional and the members work well together, so there does not seem to be issues of infighting and dysfunction. I'd imagine that budgets and preparing for potential school violence would be the biggest agenda items.

    Does anyone here have experience serving on a school board? What types of issues did your board address? Is there a personal liability issue that I should ask about? Any suggestions on how I should prepare for the board interview?
  2. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I don't have personal experience, but I know two people who have been school board members.

    It is a thankless job because no one you serve is ever happy. Judging by my friends' experience, and compared to jobs like local or regional councillor, state/provincial representative, or federal representative, I think it is probably the most thankless position. There are never enough resources to run the schools as they should be run, so there are always choices to be made, and there will always be someone to complain about whatever choice is made - students, parents, teachers, administrators, whoever feels they are being hard done by. If the board works well together, that's a big plus because then you don't have to deal with infighting on top of all the complaining.

    If you are going to put your name forward, I think you need to have a clear idea of why you want to serve in that particular position and what you can bring to it.
  3. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your perspective. I think our state takes more of the blame for the cuts that districts must take than the school boards do, but I do tend to try to please everyone. Need to give this a bit more thought, and I have a lot of questions about expectations and how my skills and experience can be useful.
  4. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I would find out if the board has an adversarial or cooperative attitude with the teacher's union. Our board thinks we are overpaid morons and that makes negotiations ugly, uncomfortable and unpleasant. And drawn out.

    But I do think it's great that you are interested. We need more good people on school boards. :)
  5. UMBS Go Blue


    Kudos KCC for stepping up! :cheer2: :40beers:
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  6. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    I went through a round of interviews and was just notified that I was selected for the school board. I will be sworn in on July 15. (This is a 1-year appointment, after which I will run in the election.) The other board members seem very professional and they work well together -- here's hoping for the best. Everyone says the budget and safety are the two biggest issues that keep them awake at night. It is Idaho after all, which is at the bottom of the states in per pupil spending and where guns are prevalent. Should be a challenge.
    Meredith and (deleted member) like this.
  7. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    :respec: Now go forward and do good. :lol: Lots of teachers on the board to "guide" you.
  8. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    Yes. :saint:

    Congrats on your appointment!
  9. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    It will be a challenge. Congratulations. My two pieces of advice would be: first, stay in touch with teachers, staff, students, and parents (not those who speak up, rather those who don't). Second, don't think you have to dedicate your life to this. Do your best and when it's time - get out.

    Just my experience on the other end. I'm a staff assistant at an elementary school. The superintendent in our district has absolutely no experience in education (long story). He has made many questionable decisions in the last three years - lots of things that other districts in the state wouldn't think of. However, he couldn't have taken any of those actions unless the members of the school board had approved his plans.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013