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Vantage point: Putting Governance First 

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and I’m delighted that so many of our Board of Directors and Delegate Assembly members are taking the initiative to bring about new levels of engagement and partnership within their regions and local school districts. From symposiums focused on work force training and career technical education collaborations to evening programs addressing the role of effective governance, there are many ways in which your regional and statewide leaders are demonstrating the value of putting Governance First.

For me, Governance First, CSBA’s slogan that will be echoed in messaging for Board Member Action Day and other advocacy efforts, is central to our role in ensuring strong public schools that are equipped with the resources to provide students with a world-class education. But Governance First also means taking the initiative, as some of your leaders have already done this spring. Partnerships and dialog don’t happen by chance. They happen by purpose. Good flourishes through purposeful action. Spring is the ideal time for you to work with your fellow board members and superintendent to initiate new endeavors that will advance your districtwide goals and expand community engagement, support and partnerships. Spring is the best time of year to demonstrate effective teaching and the value of Governance First. This is the time, after all, when students’ yearlong team-building projects are coming to fruition, when high school seniors are readying their senior project presentations and students at all grade levels are actively competing for academic awards and honors. This is the ideal time to begin anew and consider what can be. This is the best time for you to initiate—to put Governance First—by inviting key leaders from your local community and legislators to your campuses to learn about your role as a governance leader, the value of local governance and to underscore the important work that is underway each day in your schools to shape young lives and bright futures.

I encourage you to have a strategic dialogue with your superintendent and colleagues on the board this month to determine how you can use this spring to your advantage from a strategic, policymaking point of view. Invest the time this spring to lay the foundation for stronger partnerships and increased visibility of your schools and students.