A few weeks ago I was very upset with a school board decision and voiced my concerns via Facebook. Since then, several people have talked to me about running for school board. My feelings about this have been all over the map. I want to share some of my thoughts with you and get your feedback. This is a huge decision that will not only impact my life, but the lives of my family as well. Some thoughts:
- I am very concerned and unhappy with the direction in which the current school board and the superintendent are leading our schools. I know many people who have moved out of the county to have access to better schools, who have pulled their kids out to home school them, or who have considered one of these options. These are not acceptable options to me. I love this community. I have served on multiple boards and committees. My husband has opened a business here. We have invested time and money in Lee County and I don’t plan on moving. Homeschooling is not for me. I would never completely rule out private school, but I would prefer for my children to be in public school. So, that leaves me back where I started…unhappy. I have two options. I can complain about what is going on or I can run for school board and hope to have the opportunity to make a difference and create positive and responsible changes in our school system.
- I hate, hate, hate politics. I hate when people get what they want because of dirty politics and who they know. It should be about the issues and about principles. What is so hard about that? We have had several people in NC recently get indicted on corruption related charges. Hopefully this will send a message to others. I doubt it, but one can hope.
- If I did win a seat on the school board, I can assure you that I would vote my conscience. I know that this means that I will make decisions at times that will upset some of those that have supported me, and that’s hard. I know I can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I’ll want to. I can only promise that I will be well-informed, open-minded and fair.
- One of my biggest concerns about running is the amount of time involved. If I do something, I want to do it 100%. I would want to visit all the schools to see their needs first hand. I would want to spend time listening to parents, teachers, and students. I would want to research what has worked (and not worked) in other school systems. I would not want to be someone who literally shows up and “sits” at board meetings. I’ve always found it funny that positions on the school board, city council, etc. are referred to as “seats”. I have a full time job and two small kids. It is a catch 22 — I want to be with them as much as possible, but if I wait to do this until they are older, it will be too late. We need parents of young children on the school board. We need people who understand and “live” with the school system every day.
- I recently stepped down from a leadership position in my church. I was bothered by “what people would think” if several months after I stepped down from that position, I turned around and ran for school board. But, I believe in God’s plan. His fingerprints have been all over my life so far. There have been times when the light had to come into my life in order for me to see the fingerprints and understand why they were there, but they’ve always been there. I know that if this is something I feel called to do, I will have the support of my church family.
- Transparency and communication are leadership skills that are valued where I work. These are HUGE deficits with our current school board. If you are making huge decisions without transparency and communication, you probably know you are not making the right decision for your community. If your decision is right, you should expose it to scrutiny and articulate a strong basis to support it.
So, my dear friends and family, what are your thoughts on this? Pros/Cons? What do you think the main issues facing the Lee County School Board are?