Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed January 2011 as School Board Recognition Month. Districts across the state will use this opportunity to show their appreciation of the critical role elected boards of education play in their local schools and communities.
â€śThe biggest challenges facing the education system can also be among its greatest strengths. For example, during a time when state and national mandates rightly place more emphasis than ever on setting the bar high for education, it remains important for each community to retain control of its own educational system,â€ť Governor Perry said.
â€śBalancing the need for local control with directives coming down from larger governmental bodies is a difficult and oftentimes unappreciated task, but for over two centuries, American school boards have risen to such challenges. School boards also deal with issues such as the rapidly expanding role of technology in the classroom, the challenge to keep our children both well-educated and physically active, and â€” as always â€” the difficulties inherent in dealing with budgetary priorities.
â€śThe people who make up these boards volunteer their time because they care about their communities and their schools. Each year, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) designates January as School Board Recognition Month, to emphasize the importance of the services these dedicated men and women provide to the schools and students of Texas. At this time, I urge all Texans to recognize the invaluable contributions realized through the work of our school boards,â€ť he said.
â€śMore than 7,000 locally elected school board members serve a crucial role in our communities and schools. These dedicated men and women strive to maintain the health of every district and serve as strong advocates for our kids. In a time of financial uncertainty, they are willing to step forward to face the critical challenges facing our public schools,â€ť said James B. Crow, TASB executive director.
â€śWe hope every community will say thanks to these board members for their commitment and offer support as they voluntarily tackle the important task of governing school districts. Local trustees tirelessly work with parents and educators to develop sound education policies and set high standards for student success. We applaud them for shouldering enormous responsibilities and making the time to share their vision and voice about the future of Texas schoolchildren,â€ť Crow said.
In elementary school, it seems that everyone wants to be the leader! â€śItâ€™s my turn!" each child calls, jostling to the front of the line.
As we grow older, however, we grow more cautious about leadership roles. We know that it takes time. We know that it may mean sacrifice. We recognize that leadership has responsibilities.
In a world that takes pride in â€ślooking out for number one,â€ť it is increasingly difficult to find leaders who will look out for those who canâ€™t advocate for themselves. In a world that asks â€śwhatâ€™s in it for me?â€ť we need those who will ask what is in the common good.
"Fortunately for us, leaders have stepped forwardâ€”leaders who are willing to donate their time, willing to set aside other priorities, willing to accept responsibilities," said Sweetwater Independent School District administrators. "Fortunately for us, we have leaders who advocate for kids and regularly consider what is in the best interest of our community."
"Sweetwater ISD school board members provide the leadership that is so vital to the health of our school district. School board members dedicate themselves to achieving what is good for our community. School board members often establish goals for the school district that serve as the rallying cry for the entire region."
"We want to pause this month to express our appreciation for the leaders who have stepped forward to respond to the demands of leadership and accept the responsibilities of leadership."
Just as the follow the leader game cannot move forward without someone leading the way, so Sweetwater ISD could not advance without their willingness to serve.
To Becky Jimenez, Nancy Johnson, Gail Lawrence, Ginny Mayes, Jeanie McPherson, Russ Petty and Bryan Studdard, we want to say, â€śThank you for stepping up.â€ť