We were not sad to wrap up the 2020 year. The challenges were overwhelming and came out of nowhere. I don’t recall ever making plans for a global pandemic. The next formidable test we face may also be unanticipated. We must ensure that school board directors are empowered and ready to face whatever obstacles they encounter by providing the best training, resources, communication, and advocacy imaginable.
As school board directors persevered in meeting the numerous needs of their students, communities, and their own families, our WSSDA staff worked nonstop to support our membership. Members logged into weekly networking calls to keep current on the rapidly changing proclamations from national and state agencies. We interacted with legislators, agency heads, superintendents, healthcare directors and, wonderfully, some completely amazing students. We shared our successes, concerns, hopes, and plans with one another. If we couldn’t log into the networking call, we were provided multiple ways to access the knowledge WSSDA was amassing for us minute by minute.
We passed emergency policies in our districts with the help of WSSDA model policies. We learned we could look into a Zoom camera for hours at a time and that we could conduct our business and maintain our focus on strategic plans and goals, and when necessary, assist new board members in acquiring the knowledge they needed. We realized the crisis had brought issues of equity front and center.
And we remembered that from every challenge comes an opportunity to learn. So we began to incorporate what we had learned about our students’ needs into our plans for their future.
No reflection on 2020 would be complete without thanking you for your passion, leadership, and commitment. Your communities need you in good years, but especially in years like 2020.
2020 WSSDA Board President