Guest Blogger Dave Brazzell, Woodrow Wilson Academy Governing Board President
I feel honored to write a fill-in post while the blog host is out of town. We keep her in our prayers. I thought I’d write on the subject of why be on a charter school board? The obvious reason is to help direct our children’s education, but really my motives are selfish, I’m in it for the entertainment. The situations can be amusing. The people can be intense, but the results can be inspirational. It’s better than reality TV and it involves real life. I am continually surprised and amazed by the people in our school. We have our usual problems and discussions like other charters, but this stuff is fun. Sitting in meetings, answering parents' questions, dealing with budget shortfalls, and hearing about problems with kids can be grueling. This is real life. People amaze me at how they bring their own experiences and expertise to the table from every different walk of life. Trying to get parents, teachers, staff and the board to work together is hard work and yet our school runs surprisingly smooth. That’s what’s amusing; the charter school model actually works in spite of our differences.
I had the opportunity to have a discussion with one of my peers from a rural charter school. He was trying to bring more focus to his board and get ideas from other charter school board members from around the state. While our school has over 500 kids and a strong, focused board with seven members, his school has less than 75 kids and a board of 11 members. Talk about your entertainment. That might be more than I’d want to deal with.
If you are thinking about joining your kid’s school board, just a little advice: bring all your personal experiences, get a good mentor and enjoy, and like a good movie, the entertainment can be amusing, heart-breaking, and fulfilling.