Thank you, school board members | Editorial

Thank you, school board members | Editorial

January is school board recognition month, and we’d like to express gratitude to the members of the Orcas Island School board: Diane Boerstler, Janet Brownell, Joshua Culp, John Fleming and Greg White.

They spend countless hours advocating for island students, making financial decisions and overseeing the operations of the district. Thank you to the members for their public service, and if you see one of them around town, we encourage you to say thanks, too.

The following is from the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

Nationwide and throughout Washington state, school districts are currently celebrating School Board Recognition Month. This year marks the 24th year of this annual observance initiated by the National School Boards Association.

With a proclamation from Gov. Jay Inslee, the Washington State School Directors’ Association, the Association of Educational Service Districts and the broader education community take time each January to honor board members from Washington’s 295 school districts and nine elected educational service district boards.

Like our legislators elected to serve in Olympia, Washington’s 1,477 school board members are local citizens elected to represent and respond to the interests of their community.

“The role of school boards is to provide visionary leadership and governance, which requires a great deal of time and energy,” said WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow. “We’re fortunate that community members have the opportunity to step into the role of school director, but even more fortunate that we have 1,477 citizens committed to filling that role in service to our state’s youth.”

In total, Washington’s school directors govern districts serving 1.1 million students, with a combined annual budget of over $15 billion, employing about 120,000 people.

As they help districts navigate a variety of complex educational and social issues, let us thank our school board members for their service. Their efforts are crucial to building a thriving, equitable system of public education for all students.