Board Service

In most of my years as an administrator, I’ve been required to attend Board of Education meetings. As principal at Randolph, principal and the assistant superintendent at Gowanda, and now as superintendent at Randolph, I spend a lot of time with Board of Education members.

The time commitment, energy and thought required of these volunteers is endless. Sometimes, as is the case with our current BOE president Carol Luce and Gowanda’s outgoing BOE member Linda Wilson, that service lasts for many years. These two ladies saw their respective districts through many changes in leadership, building projects, issues to consider and problems to solve.

In some districts the BOE members are the only constant as administrators come and go. BOE members remember where the district’s been and they help to set the course for the future. Often times the decisions they help to make are difficult and are poorly understood by the community they serve. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times or in how many ways we share information, there always seems to be plenty of misinformed folks out there.  Face it, how many people come to BOE meetings to hear what’s happening or even read the budget newsletter? More than once someone’s asked me about something at school in which I’ve thought, “WHAT? How did anyone draw that conclusion?” I’m grateful when they ask because at least I get to clarify—it’s all the people who don’t ask, who just perpetuate false information, who cause so much confusion. And if you’re reading this blog–THANK YOU–this is one more way I can get good information out there. 😉

Most of the time, it’s the Board members who get to answer those questions, hear the complaints and address concerns with us here at school. They get to do that EVERYWHERE that they go, in the grocery store, at the drug store and when out to dinner with their families.

Board service is crucial to our school communities and it’s too often a thankless and frustrating job. And did I mention that it’s a volunteer position? I try very hard to keep our BOE members well informed, to ensure that they know the thinking behind a decision, to answer every question that they have and to do it all with honesty and integrity. If I expect them to back my decisions, it’s crucial that they understand them and that they can trust me. Frankly, I get paid well to come to school every day, to answer questions, hear complaints, address concerns, solve problems and work hard for our students, faculty/staff, and families.

What do BOE members get? Too little appreciation, in my opinion. Too much grief. Too much blame. Too little focus on every excellent decision made and too much focus on the one or two decisions with which everyone disagrees. And do they ever make a mistake? Just like every one of us, of course they do. But at the time, they make the best decisions they can with the information at hand. Isn’t that what you do?

I PROMISE YOU, after seven years of attending BOE meetings, the BOE members I’ve been fortunate enough to work with are well intended, studious and hard working. They are volunteering their time because they believe in service to the school, they care about what happens and they want to make a difference.

I, for one, thank Carol Luce and Linda Wilson–and every other outgoing and standing BOE member–for your dedicated and caring service, for listening, for the millions of minutes in which you think about our schools when you could be thinking about your own lives. You are important, your work is valued, your service does make a difference. THANK YOU for every day and every way that you changed the lives of our students.

Kimberly Moritz, Superintendent of Schools

  1. Thank you Kimberly for voicing your thoughts on BOE members service to our district and children. As you know for me, it is all about being involved, trying to make a difference. I have endured some sharp critizism and have probably even damaged my business because many people see me as the enemy, or me against them. I think it is important to volunteer, to teach our kids the value in giving back, in standing up for what you believe in and using the voice we’ve been given.
    A huge thank you should go out to Carol who has put in many years of service, many hours of reading, researching, learning and caring about not just kids, but taxpayers, teachers, staff and all the various things a board member deals with each year. Regardless of the reasons the community did not re elect Carol, we all owe her a big thank you.

  2. Thank you, Kim for your thoughts and kind words.
    While I have gotten the message load and clear, I don’t feel that I am the loser here.

    My role may have changed, my objective has not. I am still a citizen of Randolph school district. I still pay taxes here and I have grandchildren attending RCS.

    I remain a very well informed taxpayer who is paying attention.

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