Michigan Recognizes Service of Community School Board Members

Lansing, Michigan –The month of January provides a unique opportunity to acknowledge a special group of volunteer elected officials in education.  It is School Board Recognition Month, and it offers communities across Michigan a way to acknowledge the continuing efforts of local and ISD school board members in providing leadership and guidance to local school districts. Across the state, there are more than 4,100 school board members who dedicate countless hours of hard work to improving education for Michigan children.

“Few people fully understand the scope and implications of school board service,” said Kathy Hayes, executive director of MASB. “When citizens elect a school board, they’ve given those few members the great responsibility of steering public education in the communities they represent.”

School board members take that responsibility and public trust very seriously, dedicating an enormous number of hours to their work both in and outside of board meetings. Attending school functions, preparing for board meetings, reading financial reports, agendas and proposals, and making a host of difficult and challenging decisions are just a few of the regular activities board members participate in through their service.

Many board members have also made a commitment to continuous professional development to ensure they stay up-to-date on the latest education issues. In 2011-12, school board members across Michigan participated in nearly 7,000 hours of classroom courses and an additional 1,000 hours of online learning, all focused on education- and board-related issues.

Today, more than ever, school board leaders are faced with the overwhelming charge of providing a quality education at a time when financial constraints weigh heavily on the health of school district budgets. In an era of unprecedented choice in education, school boards are also tasked with charting a course that provides long-term, sustainable success for current and future students in all of Michigan’s public schools.

“Every day I see boards stand strong together, show great fortitude and leadership and continue to make decisions in the best interest of their districts,” said Hayes. “For that we owe them a deep debt of gratitude.”

School Board Recognition Month is part of a national effort co-sponsored by the Michigan Association of School Boards and the National School Boards Association to build community awareness and understanding about the crucial role school boards play in our communities.

Board members come from all walks of life with diverse experiences and backgrounds, but working together, School Boards “lead strong” in the best interests of Michigan’s children.

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For release on Twitter:@masb: Join MASB in recognizing the contributions of your local school leaders during School Board Recognition Month in January.

The Michigan Association of School Boards provides quality educational leadership services for all Michigan boards of education, and advocates for student achievement and public education.