The only time many people pay attention to their local school board is when there’s a tax vote, but school board members do much more than just setting tax rates.
Bath County school board members, elected by the people, are responsible for our community’s most precious resource and the key to its future – our children and their educational opportunities.
Maybe they serve to improve those opportunities for their children, maybe they do it to ensure our community is poised to meet the future with a highly educated workforce able to improve the local economy, or maybe they do it because they believe in the role public education plays in creating a better Commonwealth for all citizens.
But whatever the reason, the Bath County board members serve with minimal compensation and maximum effort. Board members spend hours reading materials and digging into reports to prepare for long, detailed meetings. State law requires members to obtain training on finance, ethics, leadership and other topics.
When changes are made at the state level, such as new graduation requirements, school board members look at their policies and budget to decide how to meet the new requirements.
And mostly importantly, school board members are members of the community, they must be prepared to answer questions about district operations at the grocery store or at the board table.
School Board Recognition Month in January is a good time to recognize BATH COUNTY school board members Brenda Holder, Burnsy Stewart, Carla Bowling, Christy Shaw, and John Steele for their work. It’s my hope that the people in our community will take a few moments this month to thank them and to learn more about the work of our school board members who bear the tremendous responsibility of ensuring the long-term success of our school system – and of our community’s children.
Steven R. Evans