Recognizing the 1,477—January is School Board Appreciation Month

For almost 30 years, school districts nationwide have marked January as School Board Recognition Month. The purpose is to honor the people elected by communities to lead their school districts. With the arrival of 2022, a good way to start the year on a positive note is to acknowledge those neighbors for doing their best to secure a high-quality education for our children.

“School board members wear a lot of hats,” said WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow. “They might be parents, hold a full-time day job, and then they have their work on the board. Last year alone, I counted over 100 new things they tackled in service to their communities. It takes great dedication to shoulder all that, so I encourage folks to thank board members for their service.”

The way that school boards have been depicted in the news lately might lead to confusion about what they actually do. To be clear, WSSDA Director of Leadership Development Tricia Lubach explains that “they lead and govern their district through its strategic plan, adopt the district budgets and policies, and select and evaluate their superintendent. Those are their primary duties, and WSSDA is here to provide whatever support they request.”

Washington has 1,477 school board members, plus those who serve on the nine educational service district boards. Together, they form the core of Washington’s public education governance system. To assist our boards, WSSDA provides model policies, virtual and in-person professional development, and assistance in advocating for public education.

“While it’s been challenging to serve on a school board lately, I truly believe it’s a vitally important time be a leader in public education,” said Garchow. “If your goal is to make a difference for your community, now is the time to do it, and WSSDA is here to support you.”