Tell your school board members you appreciate them month |

Tell your school board members you appreciate them month

Re-2 News
Theresa Hamilton
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

January marks the annual observance of School Board Recognition Month – a time to salute the work of school board members and celebrate public education.

Too often we forget the personal sacrifices our board members routinely make, along with the valuable role they play in the local governance of our public schools. It’s one of the most important elected positions, yet it can be a thankless job. What would our schools look like if local education issues weren’t in the hands of local officials who know our community best?

“Our school board members, like those all over the nation, volunteer countless hours of unpaid time not only providing the best possible education for our 4,500 students, but also serve as the corporate board of directors for one of our community’s largest employers, ” Dave Smucker, Garfield Re-2 Superintendent, said.

This month we can make sure that the hard work our school board members have put in over the past years is recognized and rewarded. January is a time to show our appreciation and better understand how our board members work together to provide leadership for our schools. In Garfield Re-2, school board members must develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues impacting the entire community. They bear responsibility for an annual budget of more than $37 million, 4,500 students, 750 employees and 15 buildings. They are citizens whose decisions affect our children – what they learn, who will teach them and what kinds of facilities house their classrooms. Our board of education, and the hundreds like it across the state, enable us to have local control of public schools, meaning that decisions on school programming are made by local, elected representatives who understand the community’s unique problems, values, culture and circumstances.

Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these men and women who represent us. This January we invite you to recognize and celebrate the work of your local school trustees. Take a moment and tell a school board member, “Thanks for caring about our children.”

Hats off to the dedicated men and women who make it possible for local citizens to have a say about education in our communities. We salute the public servants of Garfield Re-2 – Jay Rickstrew, Scott Doherty, Chris Pearson, Brad Moss and Lee Krauth – whose dedication and civic responsibility make local control of public schools in our community possible. We applaud them for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow for Colorado, and the communities of Rifle, Silt and New Castle.

Theresa Hamilton is director of districtwide services for the Garfield Re-2 School District.

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