The role of School Board Member is challenging yet rewarding. The mission of the school board is to improve student learning and prepare students for a bright future in a big world. As an individual contributor to collective board decisions, a member identifies policies to improve schools and celebrates successes with the Mineral Point community. Candidates interested in running for a school board member position should note the general deadline for declaring candidacy is the first Tuesday in January (January 5, 2016) at 5:00 pm.
We have two school board seats that will be up for election in April. Currently, incumbents Matt Lindsey and Larry Steffes hold these seats. Matt and Larry will need to file either a declaration of candidacy or non-candidacy, depending on their desire to seek another term.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) annually publishes a guide for school board candidates. The guide can be found at the link: http://wasb.org/websites/legal/File/P-GuideforCandidates.pdf In this column I will summarize the information provided by WASB in the guide.
Qualities of a School Board Member include a commitment to the belief that all children are entitled to a beneficial education program, a readiness to learn, a willingness to attend seminars and workshops to assist with making intelligent decision on school business, the ability to work with other school board members, articulate the goals of the school while listening to differing points of view, a willingness to invest hours to accomplish duties, and freedom from conflict of other interests.
What Does the School Board Do? Major responsibilities include adopting academic standards for student achievement, policy making, maintain strong board-administrator relations, evaluation of the superintendent and programs, supervises the execution of the budget, communicates with the public, and is an advocate for legislative action.
Questions and Answers
What are the legal qualifications for being a school board member? A US Citizen age 18 or older and a resident of the district for at least 28 consecutive days at the time of filing.
What are the election procedures? Nomination papers filing a declaration of candidacy must be submitted to the district office on or before 5 pm on the first Tuesday in January.
Do school board members get paid for their service? Annually the board votes on school board salaries. Currently board members receive $50 per month or $600 annually.
An informational meeting for prospective board members is being scheduled for Thursday, December 17th from 6 pm to 7 pm in the board room located at MPHS, 705 Ross Street. At this meeting an overview of the role and responsibilities of a school board member will be given along with an opportunity for questions and answers.
Please call Angie Schubert, District Administrative Assistant, at 987-0740 for additional information or to express an interest in candidacy.
In last month’s column, it was promised this month I would write about community engagement as the second focus area of the Strategic Plan. However, these pressing deadlines for school board candidacy seemed like a more timely matter to discuss. Stay tuned for more on community engagement in January.