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Board members have integral role in school district

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January is School Board Recognition Month in the state of Kentucky, and the Carroll County School District is proud to honor its local board members.

The Carroll County Board of Education has five members:  Mona Kindoll (chairwoman, District 2), Carolyn Jones (vice-chairwoman, District 4), Dru Maiden (District 1), Rob Spenneberg (District 3) and Mary Ann Pearson (District 5).

“Our board members make every decision with the interest of kids in mind,” Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D. said. “In our school district, we are Champions for Kids, and our board members set an example for everyone. Board members are often the unsung heroes of a school district. They work behind the scenes, out of the spotlight; however, their decisions impact everyone in our community.”

Kentucky often leads the nation in implementing new education initiatives, and much of that momentum comes from the school board members of the 173 public school systems in the state.

“The past several years have challenged school leaders – board members and superintendents alike – to support continued academic progress,” said Kentucky School Board Association President Durward Narramore, a member of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education. “In 2013, Education Week’s Quality Counts report ranked Kentucky in the Top 10. Our school board members played a role in that kind of improvement. I’m proud to be a local school board member in this state.”

School board members must invest a significant amount of time into each meeting that they attend. Reading reports, analyzing budgets, speaking with constituents and collaborating with the superintendent all require ample time investments. These elected officials also attend training sessions to further their expertise. Finally, board members are constantly on call, whether they are at the grocery store or at a sporting event. Board members must always be ready to answer questions and to note the concerns of their constituents. 

“Like many in the education industry, school board members do not sign up for a 9 to 5 job,” James said.  “Being a school board member is a lifestyle. They are the public’s official representatives in the school district.”

At its core, a school district is controlled by its community.  According to the National School Boards Association’s article “Why School Boards?  Five Reasons for Local Control of Public Education,” “School boards, elected or appointed by their communities, represent the community’s beliefs and values.  Who better than these community representatives to shoulder the responsibility for preparing children to live productive and satisfying lives?”

The school board members in Carroll County have taken responsibility for leading the district for the betterment of students.  The school district’s initiatives and direction are not the result of a bureaucratic state or national-level decision making process.  On the contrary, policy for the district is set by citizens of Carroll County.

“I encourage everyone to take some time this month and thank a school board member,” James said.  “Their service is critical not only to the success of our school district but also to the success of our entire community.” 

 

Carl Roberts is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.