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Board Appreciation Month



Beal City Public Schools is joining 529 local and 56 intermediate school districts across Michigan and the Nation to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.

The key to a brighter future for Michigan’s children is a strong public education system. Every day, students count on public schools to help prepare them for a successful future. Whether they understand it or not, they count on adults across the state ensuring they have access to resources to help them learn, keep their buildings safe and have qualified teachers to guide them. It takes a pure, unwavering commitment to a community to make this all possible.

Yet, at the end of the day, the true heroes contributing to the success of our students are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to public schools: our school board members. These individuals approach their volunteer work like it is a full-time job and, for some, they value their work on the board as more important than their chosen profession. School board members come from all walks of life. They are farmers, secretaries, doctors, lawyers, homemakers, architects, truck drivers, professors, business owners and real estate agents, to name a few. Although they wear many hats in the workday world, school board members put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve. Though they may individually disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal. Working together, school board members can LeadStrong!

Board members contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. Whether it be crafting policies, hiring top-notch administrators, listening to staff and student concerns or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading in their districts. They also work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend many hours in the schools and at extracurricular events. Their love for learning, and concern and caring for students, staff and community, drives board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve.

“Our school board members spend countless hours of unpaid time working to provide the best possible education for our students,” said William C. Chilman IV, Superintendent of Beal City Public Schools. “They also serve as the corporate board of directors for one of our community’s largest employers. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one way to say ‘thanks’ for all they do.”

“Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized. School board members represent their fellow citizens’ views and priorities in the complex enterprise of maintaining and running the community’s public schools”, Chilman said. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Michigan.

The month of January marks the observance of School Board Recognition Month. This is an opportunity to show our year-round appreciation for these servant leaders and begin to better understand how local trustees work together to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. We encourage you to join with others throughout our community, state and nation to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools.

“Even though we are making a special effort during January to show appreciation for our school board members, we recognize their contributions reflect a year-round effort on their part,” Superintendent Chilman said. “They are dedicated individuals who are committed to improving student achievement and to fighting for the best for all of our students.”

As citizen and community leaders, individual school board members face complex and demanding challenges. Yet few people fully understand the scope and far reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. All Michigan citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and focus attention on the crucial role these elected public officials play in the education of our children.

Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. That job entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend; reams of reports, agendas, proposals and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make.

“The school board’s main goal is to support student achievement”, Chilman added. To achieve that goal, the board focuses on the following needs:

  • Creating a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority.
  • Setting standards for what students must learn and be able to do.
  • Assessing whether schools achieve their goals and whether students are learning.
  • Accounting for the outcomes of decisions and by tracking progress and reporting results.
  • Aligning the use of the district’s human and financial resources.
  • Creating a safe and orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach.
  • Collaborating to solve common problems and to support common successes.
  • Focusing on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.

We are planning to have a short ceremony honoring and recognizing the members of the Beal City Public Schools Board of Education at halftime of the Varsity Girls Basketball game on January 23, 2020. Please join us as each Board member will receive a certificate recognizing them for their years of service to the school and the community.

The men and women serving the Beal City Public Schools Board of Education and their years of service areas follows:   

Robert Pasch                          15 years

Rod Cole                                  12 years

Denise McBride                      11 years

Ron Neyer                               7 years

Curt Gottschalk                       6 years

Heather Curtiss                       2 years

Tom Gross                               2 years