The Asheville City Schools district is seeking interested individuals to fill three seats on the Board of Education. Two of these seats are being vacated by Board Chairman Gene Bell and Vice Chairman Al Whitesides, who have completed two 4-year terms and one is held by Peggy Dalman, who is eligible for reappointment.
What is a board of education and why is it important?
A local board of education serves a vital role in our community by helping steer the educational journeys of our children. Its decisions influence the lives of students and their parents, teachers, school staff, and district leadership, and impact the overall well-being of the community. The Asheville City Board of Education serves as the governing body of The Asheville City Schools. This board establishes the vision for education in the district. It sets the goals, standards, and tone for what we want our public schools to be and ensures that these schools are responsive to the needs of our local community. The school board serves the larger purposes of representing the needs of the community in our schools, building bridges among parents, school leadership, and other sectors of the community, and ensuring that our schools are the best they can be. During these challenging times, the school board will also need to advocate for our schools, communicating their needs and challenges to the community.
The school board also performs these specific functions:
• Develops, implements, and monitors district policies
• Selects, retains, and evaluates the superintendent
• Allocates resources and oversees use of funds
• Establishes student performance standards
• Serves on various hearing panels
What are the essential attributes of a good board member?
Successful board members recognize the value of public education, possess a passion for supporting teachers and students in our community, and are committed to continuously improving our local school district.
Good board members:
• Understand the unique challenges that Asheville City Schools face, particularly as they relate to students living in poverty.
• Can think creatively in dealing with limited resources, changing demographics, and increasing expectations.
• Know or be are willing to learn the legal requirements of operating a public school system.
• Are capable of providing oversight for a multi-million dollar budget.
• Can provide meaningful evaluation of the performance of the superintendent and other senior district-level staff.
• Attend relevant community meetings and events.
• Communicate clearly and regularly to the Asheville community.
Members should exhibit a strong commitment to working with others on the board toward the shared vision of providing the best possible education for the children in our community. They should have the capacity to learn and grow as they recognize the scope of the responsibilities of serving on the board. Members must be willing and prepared to serve as a representative, a leader, and an advocate.
What are the benefits?
As a board member, you are given the unique opportunity to be a steward of the Asheville City Schools district’s resources, a representative of our community, and an advocate for public education. Serving on the Board of Education provides you with an opportunity to give back to this community, influence the lives of children, and carry out an essential democratic responsibility.
Members of the board of education impact the experience of more than 4,000 children each year.
The board chair receives a monthly stipend of $350 from Asheville City Schools and board members receive a monthly stipend of $250.
What are the requirements?
Members must be Asheville City residents. Additionally, they must be registered voters and not be employed by the Asheville City Schools district.
Serving as a board member demands time, energy, and a willingness to listen. Members of the board of education agree to serve for four years, up to two times. The Board meets the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. The normal length of the meeting is two hours. One week prior to the regularly scheduled Board meetings, the Board holds one 2-3 hour work session beginning at 4:00pm.
How do I apply to become a board member?
Those who are interested in serving on the board of education are encouraged to submit an application. Selected candidates will be interviewed and appointed by Asheville City Council.
The process is as follows:
• Applications will be received beginning in January 2013.
• Applications are due on February 25, 2013.
• Candidates will receive a slate of questions to answer and return by March 6, 2013. • City Council will interview candidate finalists on March 26, 2013 and make appointments at their formal Council meeting that evening.
For an application, stop by City Hall, Room 202 or visit www.ashevillenc.gov. Under Departments, select City Clerk, then Boards & Commissions, and download an application form. Additionally, you may contact Maggie Burleson at email@example.com or 259-5601.
How can I learn more?
Visit the following websites:
Great Schools: www.greatschools.org and search "How to Choose a School Board Candidate"
National School Boards Association: www.nsba.org
Contact the ACSF:
Contact Kate Pett, Executive Director of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, if you would like to know more about our perspective on the needs of our students and pressing issues facing our schools. Kate can be reached at Kate@acsf.org or (828)350-6134.
Ask a current school board member:
For questions about school board service in Asheville, we encourage you to contact the following school board members who have indicated a willingness to share their experiences and insights:
Board Chairman Gene Bell