Community owes thanks to school board members

By Mike Anthony

Serving on a board of education can be a thankless job.

School board members are volunteers who receive no pay for the many hours they devote to their duties.

More often than not, school board members are given grief by parents, employees and the press.

The role school board members play in our community is an important one, as their decisions impact the education of our children. Like we said, not everyone is always going to agree with those decisions, but school board members deserve recognition for their dedicated service and vital contributions to the community.

Fittingly, Gov. Jay Nixon has declared Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 as School Board Recognition Week.

The goal of School Board Recognition Week, which is sponsored by the Missouri School Boards’ Association, “is to build awareness and understanding of the important function an elected board of education plays in communities and schools.”

At the Jan. 14 meeting of the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education, Superintendent Jim Simpson described school board members as “hard-working,” noting the amount of time they devote to their volunteer job is astonishing.

“… They have to study. They get a lot of materials. It’s like getting a master’s degree to be on the school board,” Simpson said. “It takes a year just to get the acronyms down. But once you get into your stride, it’s extremely helpful to have experienced school board members, and we have a very experienced board.

“And they do this just for the good of the children. They get no compensation at all for this … You’re on the board for one reason — what’s good for children. That’s been the Lindbergh board’s motto and we’re very proud of them,” the superintendent added.

For their service, we thank Lindbergh Schools Board of Education President Kathleen Kienstra, Vice President Don Bee, Secretary Karen Schuster, Treasurer Kara Gotsch and members Vicki Englund, Kate Holloway and Mark Rudoff.

For their contributions, we thank Mehlville Board of Education President Mark Stoner, Vice President Lori Trakas, Secretary Rich Franz and members Elaine Powers, Kathleen Eardley, Ron Fedorchak and Larry Felton.

We encourage the Lindbergh and Mehlville communities to thank their respective board members for their efforts to provide the best education possible for students.