Thursday, September 3, 2009

2009/10 Year- running for Board Chair

Here we go!! The new school year has started with a bang and it promises to be a very interesting year. The Board of Trustees has held a series of meetings this week to plan for the upcoming year. It's been intense work, but, I believe, some of our most productive. There is a tremendous consensus on the Board regarding our focus, our mission and our commitment to the very best educational outcomes. It is often during points of crisis or challenge that a group (be it a family or a community or a board) has the opportunity to see what unites it. At these moments, we learn about our strengths in new ways and there is a strong impetus to let go of all the unnecessary distractions. I think our Board will demonstrate this sharp focus and commitment in the upcoming year.

On September 8 at 7:30 PM, we will have our first Public Board Meeting of 2009-10. This meeting is called the Organizational Board meeting and it deals primarily with electing trustees to the executive positions (Board Chair/Vice Chair/Conference Chair) and deciding the committees trustees will serve on (Planning and Policy/Government Relations/Community Relations/Board Evaluation/Superintendent Evaluation, etc.).

I have decided to let my name stand for Board Chair this year. The Board Chair position is challenging balancing act. The list of attributes for a Board Chair may be impossible for one mere mortal to achieve, but I think it's worth articulating the ideal to inspire and motivate.

In my humble opinion, the Chair should:
encourage the best from her fellow trustees,
facilitate board meetings and keep the board focused on board work,
represent the board to the community, government and the media,
be able to synthesize many points of view,
be a skilled communicator (both internally and externally),
facilitate the development of leadership qualities in others,
protect the rights of all trustees and ensure that all are heard equally,
form a strong, open, trust-based relationship with the Superintendent,
provide leadership, inspiration, hope and vision for the Board,
seek to build consensus on the board (a unity of purpose) through dialogue,
uphold democratic ideals at all times (including welcoming dissenting points of view),
act with integrity.

I have been speaking with my colleagues about these ideas and regardless of the outcome, I think the conversations have been fruitful and thought-provoking for all. I do not think we would have had these conversations had the Board Chair position been uncontested and so, for that reason alone, I am pleased.

The public is welcome to attend all Public Board meetings. Hope to see you there.
(p.s. it's a short meeting!)

1 comment:

Christopher Spencer said...

Good luck, Sue! It is shaping up to be an intense year, but the challenges are also opportunities.