Appreciation for OurCarman-Ainsworth Board of EducationAs citizen leaders, individual school board members of Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools 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 our school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our nation’s public schools.
All Michigan citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children. 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 of their communities—that of educating our youth.
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 continuous improvement in student learning. Our local trustees tackle a very important and difficult job. Too often we are quick to criticize our school board members without really knowing all the details that went into a given decision.
Although they wear many hats in the workday world, our school board members put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve. Though they may individually disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal.
Too often we forget about the personal sacrifices our school board members routinely 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 devote. They also work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership; are deeply involved in community activities; and attend many extracurricular events. Their love for learning and deep concern for students, staff, and community drives their desire to see students achieve.In recognition of their valued service, January is formally designated School Board Recognition Month, but any time is appropriate to say, "thank you." We, at Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, are especially fortunate to have dedicated men and women who care and endeavor to provide our students with a variety of quality educational opportunities, all designed to meet the needs of our students.