In appreciation of school boards


Tony Long - Guest Column



School board members exemplify local citizen control and decision-making in education. They volunteer hundreds of hours and an immeasurable amount of energy to assure that our schools are providing the best education possible for the children of our community, and the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center would like to take this opportunity to show them our appreciation during January’s School Board Recognition Month.

School board members are citizens whose decisions affect our children – what they learn, who will teach them, and what kinds of facilities house their classrooms.

These are men and women elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our public schools. They represent you, and they take this responsibility seriously by attending lengthy – sometimes challenging – meetings, conferences and institutes where they broaden their knowledge about education. They engage in numerous conversations about the school and sessions before the Ohio General Assembly.

There are 700 such boards across the state that 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.

It’s a tradition that began nearly 300 years ago. With the advice and counsel of the educational professionals they hire, school boards have an impact on virtually every aspect of our schools. It’s a huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.

Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these men and women who represent us. The staff and students of our school districts are asking all local citizens to take a moment to tell a school board member, “Thank you for caring about our children’s education.”

So, 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 Adams, Clinton, Fayette, and Highland counties 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.

Tony Long is Superintendent of the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center.

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Tony Long

Guest Column

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