Like the students in the Carlisle County School District, the members of its board of education must do their homework. This means sifting through complicated test data and financial reports while keeping abreast of the latest requirements handed down from state and federal governments, to name just a few “subjects.”
Brian Grogan, Kevin O’Neill, Tiffany Wildharber, Steve Draper, and John Matt Fourshee conduct business at one or more meetings monthly, but you’ll often find them at ball games, school celebrations and civic events because they are the link between the school system and the community.
These responsibilities and others are the reason Kentucky and other states set aside the month of January to thank local school board members during School Board Recognition Month.
These 5 members of the Carlisle County Board of Education oversee a $5 million budget and make decisions about multimillion-dollar building projects. All this is done in the face of shrinking state and federal dollars for education and tough economic times locally. But beyond those “macro” duties, they also make certain the individual child in the Carlisle County district gets what he or she needs to successfully learn in school and beyond.
So why do they do it? Here is what several school board members – no different from those here – from across the state recently said about their job on the occasion of School Board Recognition Month:
“You have to be willing to put in the extra hours to educate yourself. You cannot continually rely on other people to spoon feed you information. You actually have to read policy.”
“My background is in business management and I use these tools in dealing with people and making decisions and looking at budgets, focusing on the best possible outcomes considering the situations and constraints you have to deal with.”
“The very first skill – and I don’t even know if you could call it a skill – and that is you’ve got to have a true heart for children. If you don’t have that you don’t need to be on the school board.”