We would be remiss if we didn't pause to recognize all of our area school board members who serve so diligently and unselfishly, as School Board Recognition Week was recently celebrated this month.
Our volunteer school board members spend thousands of hours each year doing everything from hashing out budgets and making sometimes unpopular decisions to keep those budgets in line, to advocating for new programs in order to ensure every Iowa student receives an excellent education, the likes of which is valued and envied throughout the country.
This year's theme - Making Strides in Education - emphasized by the Iowa Association of School Boards, recognizes that step by step, and one program at a time, local school board members are making great strides in improving education while moving forward through strong leadership and attention to community needs.
The annual Recognition Week is an opportunity to highlight the excellent work being done on behalf of students, and to thank the more than 2,000 men and women who help govern Iowa's public education system.
Is this important?
Those 2,000 volunteers guide the education of more than 480,000 Iowa students, and oversee a combined budget of $4.4 billion!
Included in their valuable time donated to public education, school board members must have the vision to engage the community in setting the course to guide local education with student achievement the primary focus, ensure that human and financial resources are allocated to accomplish that vision, monitor student achievement and evaluate progress toward District goals, serve as key advocates on behalf of students and public education, and build partnerships with others to support the ultimate goal of student learning.
Their pay? Perhaps acknowledgement of a job well done and an occasional pat on the back.
They deserve more. If you know of or happen to encounter a school board member from any District, please stop and tell them thanks for their dedication to our kids and our schools. They really are among the unsung heroes in any community.