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Board members recognized this month

MILLIE HAMNERspecial to the daily

January is School Board Recognition Month, and Summit School District is joining other districts across the state to gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions local school board members make to their communities.The men and women serving Summit School District are board president Jay Brunvand, vice-president Christine Scanlan, treasurer Stuart Adams, secretary Bob Bowers, director Jon Kreamelmeyer, director Erin Major and director Sheila Groneman. Members will be recognized at a special reception at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the school district’s central office.The following comments can be attributed to the Colorado Association of School Boards: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.Public education is the backbone of American society and local school boards are deeply rooted in U.S. tradition. Their origins can be traced to colonial times when the Massachusetts Law of 1642 empowered town officers to compel parents to teach their children to read. Today, local school boards continue to do the most important work in their communities-that of educating our youth. Yet board members sometimes tackle an often thankless job devoid of any glory. It is time we thanked them for their untiring efforts.Too often we forget about the personal sacrifices school board members routinely make.Too often we forget about the important role school board members play in assuring local control over our public schools, control that is in the hands of people we know … people who are our neighbors.Too often we forget that, in the tradition of a representative democracy, school board members are our connection to influencing how our public schools are governed.Too often we are quick to criticize school board members without really knowing all the details that went into any given decision. Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized and unrewarded.This is a time to show our appreciation and to begin to better understand how local board members work together to provide a better future for our children.The mission of the public schools is to educate each and every child to the fullest of his or her potential. School board members serve as key advocates for students and are responsible for communicating the needs of the district to the public and the public’s expectations to the district.The school board works closely with parents, education professionals and other local citizens to create the educational vision we want for our community. In a larger sense, the ultimate role of the local school board is to help preserve our nation’s liberty, prepare our economy for prosperity, and enrich the lives of our people.It is in the schools of each local community that real teaching and learning happen. Consequently, it is the local school board that can best bring together in our democracy the entire community – parents, business and civic leaders, and all others concerned about the future of our children.In January, please salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools. Make a special effort to thank our school board members for the invaluable service they provide.Millie Hamner is superintendent of Summit School District.


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