Tribute to school board members

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As a former school superintendent, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our dedicated members of the Idaho School Board. In my 23 years at the helm, I have had the privilege of working with over 30 school board members in two different districts.

From the start of my tenure, I was impressed that these selfless individuals would diligently serve without compensation and far too often without any thanks in their community.

Board service requires a lot of time away from family, hard work, lots of “onboarding,” learning new and varied responsibilities, and working with fellow board members and a superintendent .

Board members often have to wrestle with very difficult political and economic concerns. They face the daunting task of balancing the budget with meager state allocations, organizing “popular” bond or levy elections, settling contentious negotiations, dealing with contentious political issues, deal with difficult personnel issues and work sensitively on serious student behavior issues.

As Superintendent, I appreciated the diversity of professional backgrounds and perspectives that Board members brought to the table. I have had the privilege of working with housewives, farmers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, realtors, teachers, dental hygienists, nurses and small business owners.

Although we didn’t always agree on every issue, I felt that this wide range of viewpoints brought real strength to our collective decision-making.

I have a lot of respect for those who sit on the board. On behalf of my colleagues across Idaho, may I express my sincere gratitude for your dedicated service to our students and staff. We are all beneficiaries of your selfless dedication to public education.

About Geoff Thomas

Dr. Geoff Thomas is the former superintendent of the Madison School District and was a member of the Governor’s Task Force for Educational Improvement.

Read more stories by Geoff Thomas »

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