2024 Newsletter 3 – From the Executive Director
News2024 Newsletter 3 – From the Executive Director

During a recent board development session, one of our members wore a shirt bearing the powerful message, “Know Your Why.” This simple yet profound statement holds immense significance, especially in the realm of being a school board member. Your collective “Why” is the driving force that propels you forward, particularly when faced with the many challenges that may attempt to divert your attention from your ultimate goal: student achievement.

At the heart of your responsibilities lies a fundamental truth – students should be the primary focus in every decision you make. Whether deliberating policies, resource allocation, or educational strategies, the true test should always be how your actions will impact student achievement. Your commitment to this principle ensures that you remain steadfast in your dedication to the students you serve.

One best practice observed in board meetings is the initiation with a student recognition moment. It serves as a refreshing reminder for everyone present about the core purpose of your roles. Starting meetings with such a focus underscores the significance of keeping student achievement at the forefront of your minds. This is equally true when we engage with student representatives, who provide valuable insights and perspectives.

Recently, during the kickoff event for School Board Appreciation Month I attended the Charlottesville City School Board Meeting and, I had the privilege of witnessing an awe-inspiring meeting. The session began with the student board representative sharing her thoughts, offering a unique perspective from the students’ standpoint. It was a poignant reminder of why board members give their time and energy on their local boards in the first place – to enhance student achievement and make a positive impact on their educational journey.

It never hurts from time to time to reaffirm your commitment to keeping your “Why” alive and vibrant in every decision you make. As you navigate the intricate landscape of decisions on behalf of K-12 students in your division, remember that your initial motivation for joining the board was rooted in the desire to foster student achievement. Embrace this guiding principle, and let it serve as the compass that directs your actions, ensuring that you continue making a meaningful difference in the lives of the students you are entrusted to serve.