2013-01-20 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

Thank You for Your Leadership
By John Strycker Superintendent New Lothrop Area Schools

This past week, I asked a group of upper elementary students to write on the subject, “What I want to be and why.” It is always interesting to listen to our students when they express themselves. I am proud to say I was pleased with the content of what the students produced from the assignment. From what was read, it was obvious that our students were thoughtful of their future and thankful for the opportunity and promise ahead!

The month of January is considered School Board Recognition Month. As citizen leaders, individual school board members face complex and demanding challenges. They are alternately described as having the most important volunteer jobs in the country and facing the toughest challenge in elected American government. Yet school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our nation’s public schools. We often forget about the personal sacrifices school board members make. Board members contribute hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading their districts. Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate for continuous improvement in student learning. The job of a school board member is tough, the hours long and the expressed gestures of appreciation are few and far between. Too often we’re quick to criticize school board members without really understanding the complex nature of their decisions. Now’s the time to thank them for their untiring efforts.

Board of Education members Kevin Birchmeier, Curt Bitterman, Adam Green, Stacie Krupp, Greg Ruddy, Joe Vincke, Rich White and past member Terry Wending, we thank you for your unselfish giving of your time, talent and heart for the students we serve. Your leadership contributes to our students’ feelings concerning their future as one with opportunity and promise. You are not only helping our students as a result of your leadership, but you are setting an example of service for the benefit of others.

On behalf of our school district and students, thank you.

John

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