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Carroll County Schools observe January board recognition month

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Like the students in the Carroll County School District, the members of its board of education must do their homework. This means sifting through complicated test data and financial reports while keeping abreast of the latest requirements handed down from state and federal governments, to name just a few “subjects.”

Mona Kindoll, Carolyn Jones, Tommy Unker, Jennifer Beach and Mary Ann Pearson conduct business at one or more meetings monthly, but you’ll often find them at ball games, school celebrations and civic events because they are the link between the school system and the community.

These responsibilities and others are the reason Kentucky and other states set aside the month of January to thank local school board members during School Board Recognition Month.

“We greatly appreciate the hard work and many hours that our board members spend as champions for the children of Carroll County,” Lisa James, superintendent of the Carroll County School District, said. “A lot of time and effort go into preparing for board meetings, listening to constituents, attending school events and receiving training. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated board.”

These five members of the Carroll County Board of Education oversee a $21 million budget and make decisions about multi-million-dollar building projects. All this is done in the face of shrinking state and federal dollars for education and tough economic times locally.

But beyond those “macro” duties, they also make certain the individual child in the Carroll County School District gets what he or she needs to successfully learn in school and beyond.

So why do they do it? Here is what several school board members have said about their job on the occasion of School Board Recognition Month:

Kindoll, chair of the Carroll County Board of Education said that being a board member is rewarding, especially when she sees graduates walk across the stage at Carroll County High School to get their diploma, knowing that Carroll County Schools have done the best they could to prepare those graduates to succeed in whatever they have chosen to do with their lives. 

“I also enjoy seeing our students involved in all of the extra-curricular activities, learning life-long lessons that can only be obtained by being part of a team, club, or organization that involves teamwork and building relationships with others,” Kindoll said. “All of our schools do an excellent job of offering activities for our students. We have a great staff of teachers that are very willing to be sponsors, coaches, etc. in our system, which is very rewarding for me as a board member to see.”

Pearson, a retired instructional assistant with Carroll County Schools, said that she misses working with the students, so serving as a board member is her “way of giving back.”

“I like doing things to help the schools grow and progress,” said Pearson.

Jones, vice-chair of the Carroll County Board of Education, said she wanted to bring about change in her community and felt that her involvement on the school board could help to do that.

“I am passionate about parent involvement and would also like to see our children and families safe, healthy, engaged in learning, and self-sufficient,” Jones said.

Unker, the longest-serving member in his eighth year on the Carroll County Board of Education, said he believes that, with his background in construction, he has been able to contribute on the many renovation projects the district has undergone in recent years.

“My reason for serving,” Unker said, “is to see the children of Carroll County receive the best education possible in our district.”

Jennifer Beach, former chair of the Carroll County Board of Education, said that education is very important to her and that she wanted to make a difference in her children’s education.

“Being a board member requires many hours of training, attending school functions, and having extra meetings on big projects, but if you’re going to do anything well, you have to put in the time and effort.”

Members of the Carroll County Board of Education will be recognized for their efforts at their Jan. 19 meeting. 

A reception in their honor will precede their 5 p.m. meeting at Carroll County Middle School.

 

Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.