A critical time in our school district is upon us — a School Board election.

Being a School Board member is anything but glamorous, but fame shouldn’t be why people run for the Board anyway.

Your personal time, in many ways, is not your own.

Constituents call you, email you, stop you while you’re running errands.

You probably hear more about what you did “wrong” than what you did “right.”

A private life quickly becomes a public one.

Decisions made are sometimes gut wrenching and affect your friends and neighbors.

There are countless long meetings that cut into family and personal time.

So then, you might be asking, “Why would anyone in their right mind be a School Board member?”

Although I can’t speak for our seven Board members, I would hope somewhere in their answer would be a statement resembling, “I care about student achievement and preparing our kids for a bright future in a big world.”

I would also argue that a School Board member is one of the largest responsibilities of anyone in our community. It’s certainly nothing to take lightly, but it’s also something that hopefully can bring a great deal of pride.

I’m tired of hearing the excuse, “I’m too busy to run for School Board.”

Newsflash–it’s the busy people that get stuff done.

Should all Board members agree on every decision? Absolutely not. Civil discourse has many benefits. However, Board members should always remain respectful of each other, administration, and community. Keeping an even temper is key.

If you are a good collaborator, School Board might be for you. A willingness to listen and share ideas is paramount in arriving at the decision that is best. Running for the Board only to use it as a platform for a personal agenda or vendetta is not in the best interest of anyone but yourself.

Although I’ve never been a School Board member myself, I’ve done my share of attending meetings being the Student Representative to the School Board while I was at Dodgeville High School, and then ten years of covering the Mineral Point School Board for The Democrat Tribune before continuing to cover the Board as Communications Director.

I’ve seen Board members come and Board members go, but the importance of the work that needs to get done remains a constant.

I hear wonderful ideas for our schools all the time from parents, business people and others. The Mineral Point School system is great, in large part, because we do have so many engaged stakeholders. So, step up and assume a key leadership role. The time is now. Public education, especially rurally, needs cheerleaders and Board members receive rockstar seating in the front row.

No doubt there will be times where, as a Board member, you will question yourself, “Is it worth it?” Like with anything that is worth fighting for, and public education is no exception, success doesn’t come without sacrifice and there’s nothing more important than our children.

If you’re reading this and think, “Hey, that might be me” or “I know someone like that” have them contact the District Office at 987-0740 for more information, or follow this link:

http://mineralpointschools.org/mpsd/blogs/news/school-board-election-info/

Let’s continue moving the District forward.

The deadline to file for candidacy is Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 5 pm.

If you missed the meeting Thursday night for prospective Board members, the presentation filled with valuable information is available here:

Board Orientation Power Point

PS: Thank a Board member and let them know they are appreciated. They probably don’t hear it often enough.