What makes a good board member?

 By Oregon School Board Association

Many of the qualities that make board members great are acquired over time, through training and experience, so don’t discredit your potential worth as a board member, even though you may never have served in such a capacity.

As you consider running for the school board, think about whether these characteristics of effective board members describe you:

  • You hold a conviction that public education is important.
  • You are committed to public involvement.
  • You have the ability to make decisions.
  • You believe in the democratic process.
  • You’re willing to devote time and energy to your new position.
  • You can accept the will of the majority.
  • You have the courage to stand up for your convictions.
  • You have respect for district employees.
  • You communicate well with others.

These are some characteristics of ineffective board members:

  • They become involved in school, ESD or community college administration.
  • They allow personal feelings toward others to affect their judgment.
  • They allow personal interests to transcend the best interests of the district.
  • They neglect board duties.
  • They can’t make decisions or take a stand.
  • They represent special interests or a particular geographic area rather than the interests of the entire district.
  • They adopt an arrogant or paternalistic attitude toward district employees or the public.

Other Sources:

“What makes a great school board member” article http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/volunteering/93-what-makes-a-great-school-board-member.gs

Connecticut’s expectations- “Be A School Board Member” http://www.cabe.org/page.cfm?p=64

Brochure http://www.cabe.org/uploaded/School_Board_Service/2007_So_You_Want_to_be_a_Board_Member.pdf

 

NY State’s expectations http://www.nyssba.org/index.php?category=leadership_dev&;ref=RunningforBoard&src=gendocs

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