This January, communities nationwide are celebrating School Board Recognition Month. 2020 will be the 25th year of this annual observance, which was initiated by the National School Boards Association.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation to mark the occasion, and the Washington State School Directors’ Association, the Association of Educational Service Districts, and the broader education community will use this time to honor board members from Washington’s 295 school districts and nine elected educational service district boards. (See the school board recognition toolkit for districts.)
Accountable to the communities they represent, these board members are locally elected citizens who have stepped forward to serve for the betterment of their community. Volunteering their time after work or in lieu of family or personal time, these dedicated individuals must navigate a social and economic landscape that is constantly evolving.
“I travel the state and meet hundreds of school board members every year. Without fail, each person I meet is singularly focused on making a positive impact for our state’s youth,” said WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow. “The hard work and sometimes even sacrifice of these elected officials is a model of service that I hope we all appreciate.”
In total, Washington’s school directors govern districts serving 1.1 million students, with a combined annual budget of over $15 billion, employing about 120,000 people. WSSDA exists to support school board members, but it is their efforts that are crucial to building a thriving, equitable system of public education for all students.