Our district's teachers, administrators and staff deserve praise for their constant efforts to ensure the learning of every student in our district. But equally deserving recognition and an expression of gratitude are the locally-elected members of our Board of Education.
Jennifer Beckner, Larry Dodson, Joyce Fletcher, Walt Schumm and Kevin Woosley put in countless hours to do what is best for our kids. They are more than just elected officials -- they are the link between the school district's citizens and its schools and in their individual walks of life they are part of the fiber of our community. They are responsible for developing the school district’s budget and setting its policies -- both of which must be aligned to our district’s vision and mission in order to create the conditions necessary for student success and satisfying working conditions for our employees. This important responsibility requires each of them to make lots of tough, and sometimes unpopular, decisions.
This month, Kentucky joins other states in celebrates School Board Recognition Month, the 20th year the Commonwealth has done so.
I am proud to work with board members who focus on the children they were elected to serve. And, when our board members champion local schools and students, it comes with a personal cost. Your board members spend hours reading materials and looking over reports to prepare for a single board meeting. These laypeople take time out of their schedules to obtain training to become knowledgeable about the budgetary process, current educational policy topics, and other details they need to know to do their jobs. And, like all elected officials, they must be prepared to respond to questions and concerns brought to them anytime, anywhere by you, our stakeholders.
As the demands of high-stakes accountability have increased for our schools, the job of our local board members has likewise become increasingly complex, requiring more time, training and knowledge. They also must ensure the safety and maintenance of school buildings and buses, support teachers by making sure they have adequate professional development, lead the charge for programs that help students of every ability level and closely monitor the finances of the school system. There is not a single aspect of overall district operation that isn’t tied to the work of our board members.
This month, stop them with a “thank you” for the work they do on behalf of the Oldham County Schools district and its students and staff.
— Dr. Will Wells, Superintendent