The Iowa Association of School Boards has designated May as School Board Recognition Month, this year recognizing these ‘Superheroes for Public Education.’ As citizen leaders, Southeast Polk board members face complex and demanding challenges. Yet few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. All Iowa citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and focus attention on the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children.
School board members come from all walks of life. Although they wear many hats in the workday world, school board members put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve. Though they may disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal.
The seven members of the Southeast Polk board establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. To accomplish these goals, board members contribute thousands of hours each year leading their districts. Whether it be crafting policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns, or advocating with legislators, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours’ school board members spend leading in their districts. They work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership; are deeply involved in community and school activities, and they create, read and study countless reports, agendas, proposals and other information to guide difficult decisions. Their love for learning and their commitment to the students, staff, and community drives board members’ desire to help students achieve their potential.
Join your community in saying ‘thank you’ to these superheroes for public education Lori Slings, Tom Naeve, Adam Krell, Ric Powell, Gary Fisher, Bill Buffett, and Brett Handy and recognizing their efforts throughout the year.