Imagine a community with no voice in the operation of its public schools. Think about an education system where all policy is set at the state or national level. Imagine putting the future of your children or grandchildren in the hands of people you don’t know and then being asked to pay the bill.
Fortunately, in the United States, we elect our friends and neighbors as school board members and rely on them to make tough educational decisions on our behalf. While their occupations and life experiences are varied, when they come together in regular public meetings, they are there to make education their common business. They are willing to invest countless hours making sure your schools reflect local traditions and unique needs. Their decisions often reach far beyond classrooms to impact local businesses, economic development and, ultimately, the future of this community.
While most of their efforts go unrewarded, when they are acknowledged, it is usually in the form of criticism. But, think for a moment, what would you do without them? To whom could you easily go with your concerns and your questions?
The Ware County School District is joining in a statewide celebration this week to salute the efforts of local school board members. The week of March 12-16, 2018, has been proclaimed School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia. The weeklong observance calls attention to the contributions of local boards of education and provides an opportunity to recognize these men and women who serve so faithfully.
“Citizens elect board members to represent the community’s voice on education matters and to set the vision for the school district,” said Superintendent Jim L. LeBrun. “Our board spends countless hours fulfilling its responsibilities and working together to continually improve our education system, and their efforts show in the accolades our schools receive from state and federal accountability agencies. School boards represent a continuing commitment to local citizen control and decision-making in education,” LeBrun noted. “It is critical that our citizens have the opportunity to elect a voice to represent them in educational matters.”
As constitutional officers of Georgia, school board members are responsible for setting educational policies, employing school personnel, providing buildings and equipment, operating a transportation system and disbursing school funds. As community leaders, school board members serve as advocates for the children in local public schools and must study, evaluate and decide what actions are in the best interest of those students. We are particularly fortunate in this community to have board members whose vision and accountability are making sure your children can compete successfully in college and the work place when they graduate from high school.
The men and women serving our school district and their years of service are: Chair Franklin L. Pinckney, Sr. - 17 years, Vice-Chair Mr. Dee Meadows - 3 years, Barry Deas - 9 years, Mr. Rusty Ganas - 7 years, Mr. Denton Dial - 7 years, Mr. Edward Tyre - 5 years, and Ms. Oneida Oliver-Sanders - 13 years.
So, when you have complaints or suggestions, remember that you don’t have far to go to contact your school board members. Remember, too, that you and your board members share a vested interest in making sure our schools are operating effectively and efficiently. And, while you're at it, say thanks!
Pictured Front Row L-R: Supt. Jim L. LeBrun, Chairman Franklin L. Pinckney, and Vice-Chairman Dee Meadows
Back Row L-R: Oneida Oliver-Sanders, Edward Tyre, Rusty Ganas, Denton Dial, and Barry Deas