School Board Appreciation Week – School District of Cornell
By Dr. Paul Schley, Cornell District Administrator School board members are just ordinary citizens – your friends and neighbors – with an extraordinary dedication to our community and our children, providing the best educational environment possible, with the resources available. Serving as a link between the community and classroom, locally elected school boards serve a vital role in ensuring the success of public education. The sustained leadership and grounded decision making of our school board, in partnership with our educators, students, families and the community they serve, fosters the engagement, care and resiliency, that leads to equitable achievement for all students. The school board establishes a vision for the education program in the district, maintains the structure to achieve that vision and provides accountability to the community. School board members study, discuss and research issues, so they can make informed decisions on countless complex issues. The board votes on multi-million dollar budgets, hires and evaluates the district administrator, sets policy, oversees district operations and much more. The job of a school board member is one of the most personally demanding forms of public service. The hours are long, and the thanks few and far between. Too often, we forget about the personal sacrifices made by school board members. They spend hours every month, in meetings advocating for our schools locally, and with state and federal lawmakers. In fact, school board members are never completely “off the job,” as they are always taking the time to listen to concerns of parents, teachers and community members. School board members are committed to children and believe that all students can be successful learners, when the best education is tailored to the individual needs of the children. Their policies and oversight guide the district, as difficult decisions are made on complex educational and social issues that affect the entire community, and the lives of individual students. Public education is more than just learning the basics of math, science, English and history; it’s a platform for all students to reach their potential. It inspires hope for a new generation and a successful future. School board members deserve thanks for advocating on behalf of our collective interests and making the difficult decisions. Most importantly, they deserve to be thanked for being every day heroes, and making our students’ success and our communities’ success, their priority. During this Wisconsin School Board Appreciation Week, please join me in thanking your local school board members, which consist of president Lyle Briggs; vice president Jamie Close; clerk Eileen Sikora; treasurer Stephanie Seidlitz; and member Greg Baker.