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February is School Board Appreciation Month

Prince William CountySchools Superintendent Steven L. Walts kicked off recognition of School Board Appreciation Month at the Board’s meeting on February 7. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Advancing Opportunities for All,” reflects the top priority of local school board members as they advocate for public education with local, state, and federal leaders.

“Our School Board members deserve credit for the high quality of education that is provided to the students attending Prince William County Public Schools,” said Walts. “We could not do our jobs without the help, leadership, and the commitment of our dedicated School Board.”

Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam, in a resolution recognizing February as School Board Appreciation Month, paid tribute to the efforts of locally elected school boards. “The leadership of our school boards affects the development and future of our children and ensures that students are prepared to compete in local, state, national, and global economies,” Northam said.

As citizens who serve children and represent their communities, individual School Board members face complex and demanding challenges. Yet, few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. They make a difference for students.

The job of School Board members is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, assure schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. That job entails attending an endless string of meetings and school functions; reading and studying reams of reports, agendas, proposals, and other information; and making a host of difficult decisions.

The hours spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the time School Board members devote to leading 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 of learning, and concern and caring for students, staff, and the community, drive Board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve.

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