I want to take this opportunity to thank nine of the district's hardest working volunteers. Jane Bertone, Bob Eldredge, Bill Fagan, Jackie Fenn, Cynthia Hallman, Alice Johnson, Norm Long, Bob Yorczyk and Jim Watson are the nine members of the DASD School Board. This group meets weekly to establish a vision for our educational program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to their community and advocate continuous improvement in student learning.As citizen leaders, these individual board members face complex and demanding challenges, yet few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of their responsibilities. Their job entails an endless string of meetings, appearances at school functions, and countless nights and weekends pouring over multiple reams of reports, agendas, proposals and other information they receive each week.

Time spent in board meetings represents just a fraction of the hours school board members spend being involved in their districts. They keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership by attending and working hard at training sessions and conferences. Those who are committee chairs meet with administrative liaisons before each month's committee meeting to discuss and review agenda items. In addition to their one regular monthly meeting, our members attend weekly policy, curriculum, finance, facility, governance and personnel meetings. Whether crafting policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns or recognizing outstanding programs, our board members work hard in this voluntary, unpaid position. Our school board members wear many hats in the outside world.

However, they don a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading this district. Though individually they may have differing perspectives on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward a common goal of helping our students achieve.

In acknowledgement of this dedicated service, January is designated School Director Recognition Month. This is a time for us to show our appreciation to the nine men and women who provide grassroots governance of our public schools. In making complex and sometimes difficult decisions these nine members are contributing to the successful achievement of our public school students.

If you run into one of our board members this month, make a special effort to tell each director that his or her hard work has been noticed and is truly appreciated.

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