This week three members left the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education and three newly elected board members took their places. One individual left the Barton Community College Board of Trustees, and the search began to fill a vacancy.
Virtually no pay, long hours, and constant public exposure. Those who serve on school boards and city councils deserve our thanks. And let’s not forget other public board members – on committees and sub-committees, township boards, rural water district boards, and every other board formed to assist with public business.
We may also applaud those who help with private groups, clubs, churches and political parties.
According to TMI Consulting Inc., civic engagement is a core principle of democracy and actually leads to more efficient and effective decisions than the alternative, which would be leaving the decisions entirely in the hands of the experts – the managers, administrators, kings and dictators. They do need to have good information and open minds, but members of a group can bring diversity, experience and wisdom to decision making.
Civic engagement also brings empowerment, so it is a right as well as a responsibility.
Some time back, USD 428 created something called the ROSE award, Recognizing Outstanding Service to Education. The awards were from school board members to individuals who were often unsung heroes in the community. Today, if we may borrow the school board’s ROSE, we extend a rose to those who have finished their terms of office, those who continue to serve, and those who are about to join their ranks.