Gratitude for local school board members | Editorial

It’s a job that doesn’t pay, requires long hours, lengthy meetings and number crunching come budget season.

School board members do it because they care about children and their education.

Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed the month of January as School Board Recognition Month. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the annual observance initiated by the National School Boards Association in 1995.

The Washington State School Directors’ Association, along with fellow educators and the broader community, take time in January to honor the 1,477 elected school board members from Washington’s 295 school districts.

“There is no more important elected office when it comes to our children’s future,” said WSSDA President Mari Taylor. “School board members put in long hours to guide public education in their communities. This recognition is well deserved.”

All told, school directors in Washington state govern districts with more than one million students, a combined annual budget of nearly $13 billion, and more than 160,000 employees.

School board members play a crucial role in developing policies and making tough decisions on complex educational and social issues, which affect the entire state. They are also directly accountable to the citizens in their districts, serving as a vital link between members of the community and their schools.

“Universal public education is one of our country’s greatest contributions to the world,” Taylor said. “It remains one of our most important assets and one that we need to continue to nurture.”

During January, school districts across the state will honor their local school boards and publicly thank board members for their hard work.

Our Orcas board members are Janet Brownell, Tony Ghazel, Scott Lancaster, Jim Sullivan, and Chris Sutton. Next time you see them, offer some gratitude for their service to our community’s children.