Opinion: Celebrating Local Leaders

By Jamie Devine,
South Carolina School Board Association President and Richland School District One Board Member
This year’s theme “Celebrating Local Leaders,” reminds us to celebrate the unique role school boards play in championing and advocating for quality education and the ownership they take for governing their local public schools.
Each year during January the South Carolina School Boards Association joins with districts across the state to honor the work of local school boards by celebrating School Board Recognition Month.
This year, maybe more than ever, it’s especially fitting to celebrate the selfless work of school boards as they have been instrumental in leading their districts through the unprecedented COVID-19 territory. They have made many difficult and challenging choices, and while opinions were diverse, guidance was fluid and emotions were high, they kept their focus on the safety and success of students and staff.
These community members selflessly give their time and energy to represent your communities’ voice for public schools. Each year board members contribute hundreds of hours leading their districts.
The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading in their districts. They provide the local governance and oversight that makes it possible for your local school district to serve students, including establishing strategic plans, adopting policies, approving budgets and selecting superintendents.
Their love for learning, and concern and caring for students, staff and community, drives board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve.
Please join me as I thank my fellow 600-plus school board members whose dedication and civic service help shape a better tomorrow for South Carolina children.

Jamie Devine is the 2022 South Carolina School Boards Association president and a member of the Richland One School Board. The South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA), a non-profit organization, serves as a source of information and as a statewide voice for boards governing the state’s 77 public school districts. Find detailed S.C. School Board information at scsba.org.

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