School board appreciation

A few weeks ago I listed the goals in this column that were set by our school board this past December. Annual goal setting is an expectation of our board of trustees according to our policy. This exercise provides our district with a direction for the coming year. Even though goal setting is important it is only one of the many requirements a board member is expected to accomplish once they assume their role.

The seven-member Rockdale ISD board of trustees is our district’s policy- making body. While it is comprised of individuals, it acts officially only as a group. The RISD board works with the Superintendent and staff to set the direction of the school district with the education and well-being of school children as its primary focus.

The Board consists of seven Trustees serving terms of three years, with elections held annually. The terms of one-third of the Trustees, or as near to one-third as possible, expire each year. Elections are held on the May uniform election date. There are no term limits.

Responsibilities include, but not limited to, hiring and evaluating the superintendent, establish the tax rate, adopt the District vision statement, adopt the budget, collaborate with the superintendent, and adopt policy. That job entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend; reams of reports, agendas, proposals and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make.

Our board members ensure that students come first through their questions and research prior to making a decision. Board members contribute hundreds of hours each year governing our district. Whether they are craf ting policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns, or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members devote to this non paying job.

All of their decisions might not coincide with every stakeholder’s wish, but each member votes with a student-first attitude. Their love of learning and concern and caring for students, staff and the community drive board members’ desire to ensure every student can succeed. As we face public education’s most difficult financial scenario in over five decades, our board will continue to make decisions with the needs of children as their first priority.

January is School Board Appreciation Month as declared by the Texas Governor Rick Perry. When you see a RISD School Board Member, please let them know that you appreciate their dedication, their willingness to give up hours of their personal time each month, and their courage to ensure that children come first in Rockdale ISD.

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2012-01-19 digital edition

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