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Training Helped to Make me a More Effective Board Member

John Tramontana

By John Tramontana, MASB Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, May 14, 2015

I’ve been working with MASB for a little over a year now. During that time I’ve learned so much about board service and what makes board members effective. I was fortunate enough to be appointed to the DeWitt School District Board this past February. At first I thought, “I really don’t need much training. I’m around it every day. What can I learn that I haven’t heard about or can’t learn at the board table?”

But after taking a few classes, I realized there was so much more to being an effective board member. The “Introduction to Board Service” class was invaluable. I learned about the specific roles of a board member, decision-making skills, leadership and much more. For example, there were so many simple takeaways like knowing how you should act as a public official, the importance of your district’s mission statement, how you can work with the community and the importance of a partnership with your superintendent.

I know so many of us are busy. Whether it’s working full time, spending time with our families, recreational activities or volunteering, we have to make time to hone our skills as a board member. Did you know that 75 percent of voters believe board training should be mandatory? It really is one of the few positions that doesn’t require any type of training, yet involves such a large responsibility.

We’re all in this for the right reasons. We want to give something back to our community. We want to ensure all kids are receiving the best education possible. So why wouldn’t we want to arm ourselves with the necessary tools to succeed?

MASB is offering three opportunities to take this introductory class over the next month. If you haven’t taken it yet, you should. Register here to find out more!

But don’t stop there. I won’t. I plan to continue the board member certification program. I owe it to my community, but more importantly, I owe it to the kids. If I’m not willing to do everything I can to ensure they’re receiving the best possible education, why should they?

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