Community-Savvy Board Governance

By Doug Eadie

Dessert has just arrived when the president of the Pleasantville City Club, Hank Peters, introduces this month’s guest speaker, school board member Angie Pavlovich. The room quiets as Angie walks to the podium.

Angie thanks Hank for the introduction and tells the attendees that she has served on the board for six years. Originally, she says, she planned to discuss the No Child Left Behind Act, the impact that it has had on the district, and what can be expected with a new president in office.

“Instead,” she says, “I’d like to share some thoughts about the Pleasantville Board of Education itself as the district’s governing body -- some important steps we’ve taken over the past couple of years to strengthen the board’s governing capacity, and a profile of the ‘ideal’ board member, in terms of desirable attributes and qualifications.”

Angie explains that she has changed focus because three of the district’s seven board members are not running for re-election. “We’re going to go through some pretty significant turnover in the near future,” she says, noting that the board met with the superintendent and her cabinet to discuss “what the school board could do to stimulate interest in Pleasantville in running for the open seats next year.”

“We agreed that we -- all seven of us -- would reach out to the Pleasantville community, telling our fellow residents about the work of the school board and what experience has taught us about the characteristics of effective board members,” Angie says. “So here I am.”

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