Role of a Board Member

Computer and Notebook
  • Parents
  • Staff

School board representative Jason Potts shares his thoughts on being a board member. 

“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children”

-John Dewey

The decision to run for a seat on the Board of Education reflects a commitment to public service and dedication to democracy. Public schools carry out one of society’s most important tasks which is to educate all students to reach their full potential in becoming productive, responsible, civic-minded adults who prosper and serve. Each school board member must balance the interests, needs, and values of children, parents, staff, residents, and the business community within our district. Performed with authenticity, curiosity, and informed thinking, service on a school board is a vital public service.

Work of a Board Member begins with recognizing that the board reflects the values of the entire community, not any one subset. Our work continues by acknowledging that our efforts must be as a group, not as individuals. No one member has authority, only as a group can we provide direction. There are many laws in place that address how and when boards may conduct their business. Understanding and following these laws, as well as holding each other accountable in this area is another crucial area of focus.

In addition to understanding how a board functions, it is imperative that Board Members understand the purpose of the organization that they govern. The board, as a whole, creates policy that stipulates expected results and specifies unacceptable practices. Creation of policy in this manner clearly defines who is responsible for decision making and implementation. The role of the Board is not to act in the organization, but on the organization.

Composition of this article draws from experience as a board member and the writings of Caroline Oliver, John Carver, and Eric Craymer. For more information about The Howard-Suamico School District, please visit our website at www.hssdschools.org .