January is School Board Recognition Month | PostIndependent.com

January is School Board Recognition Month

Theresa Hamilton
Garfield Re-2 Director
of Districtwide Services

They are alternately described as having the most important volunteer jobs in the country and facing the toughest challenge in elected American government. Yet school-board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our nation’s public schools.

“Volunteer school-board members serve countless hours working to improve public education, and we have some of the best in Vicki VanEngelenburg, Howard Stapleton, Jan Hubbell, Kim Goossens and Jay Rickstrew,” said Dr. Gary Pack, Re-2 superintendent.

Public education is the backbone of American society, and local school boards are deeply rooted in tradition. Their origins can be traced to colonial times when the Massachusetts Law of 1642 empowered town officers to compel parents to teach their children to read.

Today, local school boards continue to do the most important work in their communities ” that of educating our youth. Yet, board members sometimes tackle an often thankless job.

Too often, we forget about the personal sacrifices school-board members routinely make.

Too often, we forget about the important role school-board members play in assuring local control over our public schools, control that is in the hands of people we know, people who are our neighbors.

Too often, we forget that, in the tradition of a representative democracy, school-board members are our connection to influencing how our public schools are governed.

Too often the efforts of school-board members go unrecognized and unrewarded.

January is School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to show our appreciation and to begin to better understand how local board members work together to provide a better future for our children.

School-board members serve as key advocates for students and are responsible for communicating the needs of the district to the public and the public’s expectations to the district. The school board works closely with parents, education professionals and other local citizens to create the educational vision we want for our community.

It is in the schools of each local community that real teaching and learning happen. Consequently, it is the local school board that can best bring together in our democracy the entire community ” parents, business and civic leaders, and all others concerned about the future of our children.

In January, join with others from throughout our district and state to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools.


Congratulations to Kelsey Blotske and Devon Conn for their award-winning entries into the Elks’ drug and alcohol prevention poster contest.

Kelsey’s poster earned second place in the state and Devon’s earned third place in the state. The Wamsley Elementary fourth-graders earned savings bonds for their designs, and each poster will go on to national competition.

The students are committed to the cause of alcohol and drug prevention.

“Lots of people get lung cancer from smoking cigarettes,” said Devon. “I don’t want more people to die.”

This was the first year that the Rifle Elks Lodge participated in the competition, and they landed two state placers.

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