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What Makes A Good School Board?
 The Basics Of Good Governance

For any organization board members need certain skills sets. Whether it's communication skills, knowledge, experience in a certain field or anything else essential to meet the needs of the particular board, volunteer organizations and boards in the corporate business world strive to have balanced boards. Having a variety of perspectives on a board is valuable as awareness of the need for diversity on a board is growing.

Public school boards are similar yet different. In a political entity such as a school board, the reality of convincing people to serve is a challenge. School boards are publicly funded and the trustees are voted in by the electorate. I recognize the lack of diversity on the SJASD Board. As a white, middle-class, hetero-sexual, cis-gender male, I have definitely benefited from the structure of society. Still, nobody knows all the personal and private history of trustees. Nor do they need to know. I can say I am the product of the CFS system and a survivor of the Sixties Scoop mentality.

A good school board requires members with knowledge, experience and skill in one of public finance, law, education, public policy, social work, community building or communications.

I will bring decades of knowledge and experience from across age groups, subject matter and jurisdictions. Before I was a guidance counsellor, I was a social studies teacher. I look at the world with a social justice lens. I coached volleyball, basketball and track & field. I have worked with Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) student groups, Habitat For Humanity's High Schools for Habitat, the Rotary Club's Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA), helped organize UNESCO and mental health conferences and citizenship courts.

I can ask questions others may not have considered.

In discussions surrounding teacher collective bargaining, I will recuse myself. I will strive to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. I believe in building trust in our public institutions.

In a small organization or on a volunteer board, keeping recorded votes for transparency purposes isn't appropriate. People would be less willing to speak honestly if they knew their names are going to be public. However, a school board is a publicly elected body of representatives entrusted with handling millions of dollars of public funds.

Here is a link for further exploration of good governance

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