From the Executive Director
NewsFrom the Executive Director

From the Executive Director

Gina Patterson, Executive Director

Gina Patterson, Executive Director

The VSBA just finished wrapping up the last of our 2022 Spring Regional Networking Meetings, with the Blue Ridge Region closing out the 2022 sessions. Unfortunately, because of advance planning, and most of the meetings being hosted in schools, the regional meetings were all virtual. Hopefully next year we will be able to have the nine regional meetings in person. Our regional officers did an excellent job finding timely speakers and entertainment for the meetings. As I say each year, and this year is no exception, the artwork is amazing. If you haven’t had a chance, please go to the VSBA website and check out the winning art from this year. Click here to view the 2022 student artwork.

As the school year slows down, it is a perfect time to schedule a customized board retreat. VSBA recommends every governance team (the board and superintendent) hold a retreat at least once a year. A small investment of time in targeted board development can pay big dividends. If you have new members as of January or new ones coming on in July, this is the perfect time for a retreat. VSBA offers customized facilitated training based on the governance teams’ individual needs. By meeting at the VSBA Center for Board Development in Charlottesville, boards have the opportunity to meet in an environment that is unrestricted by routines allowing them to focus on the work of the board. It permits more time for discussion, creative thinking, and strategic planning. Remember, a retreat is an excellent time to introduce and discuss new topics and perhaps provide a timely opportunity for the board to hit that reset button. Governance team retreats are more effective when attended by all board members and the superintendent. There doesn’t necessarily need to be an issue to schedule a retreat. It is better to plan one before challenges arrive, as the retreat will provide boards with the tools and resources to handle those times when a crucial conversation is needed. Though the purposes for retreats vary, boards should take advantage of the opportunity to accomplish organizational goals that can’t be achieved through routine meetings that fail to allow boards the opportunity to stop and reflect on how they can do things differently.

Some of the most requested retreat topics:

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Division Goal Setting
  • Superintendent Evaluation
  • Improving Communication Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Board Operating Procedures (Norms/Protocols)
  • Trust and Teamwork
  • Board Self-Evaluation
  • Managing Effective Meetings
  • New Superintendent Transition

Please reach out to VSBA Assistant Executive Director Tom Brewster ( for additional information on VSBA’s offerings to our member boards.

We look forward to seeing you next month at the VSBA Annual School Law Conference in Richmond. With so many policies and laws changing constantly, all school board members need to be current on these changes. Click here to view the Law Conference brochure.

Thanks for all that you do!