The five board members of the Eminence Independent and the five board members of the Henry County Board of Education oversee large budgets and make decisions on the upkeep, renovation and additions of school district building projects.
But they also make certain the individual child in the Henry County or Eminence Independent district gets what he or she needs to successfully learn in school and beyond. All that is done in the face of shrinking state and federal dollars for education, and tough economic times locally.
These responsibilities and others are the reason Kentucky and other states set aside the month of January to thank local school board members during School Board Recognition Month.
Like the students in the Eminence Independent and Henry County School Districts, the members of the two boards of education must do their homework. This means sifting through complicated test data and financial reports while keeping abreast of the latest requirements handed down from state and federal governments, to name just a few “subjects.”
Our school board members also serve as the link between the school system and the community. That’s why you’ll often find them at ball games, school celebrations and honors ceremonies.
So why do they do it? Here is what several school board members – no different from those here – from across the state recently said about their job on the occasion of School Board Recognition Month:
“You have to be willing to put in the extra hours to educate yourself. You cannot continually rely on other people to spoon feed you information. You actually have to read policy.”
“My background is in business management and I use these tools in dealing with people and making decisions and looking at budgets, focusing on the best possible outcomes considering the situations and constraints you have to deal with.”
“The very first skill – and I don’t even know if you could call it a skill – and that is you’ve got to have a true heart for children. If you don’t have that you don’t need to be on the school board.”
So I hope the community as a whole, and individual parents, students and school staff will take a few minutes this month to acknowledge the critical role and responsibilities carried out by board members.
HCPS Superintendent, and