Monday, November 18, 2019

Becoming a Premier Board

How can the Richland 2 School Board become the "premier" board that the superintendent and some of the members talk about from time to time?

Some that come to my mind are:

* Require that Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes take the oath of office, now that they are eligible to do so, and become legitimate members of the school board. The Board has operated with only five legal members since November 6, 2018.

* Control the duration of semi-monthly meetings better, so that they do not exceed 90 minutes. Set time limits for the Moment of Inspiration, Recognition, for school focus and for staff presentations.

* Educate board members to speak clearly, loudly enough, and with purpose to their remarks. Eliminate slow, rambling remarks.

* Coach board members to eliminate grand-standing. Students in elementary school might be called "children"; middle and high schools have "students".

* Coach board members to cease usurping the authority of the Chair with lengthy expressions of appreciation to staff and others. Brief thanks to specific personnel are fine, but it's not necessary to name everyone in the room. The Board Chair should be the one to express appreciation to teachers and staff as a group, unless he designates it. Most staff members attending are required or expected to be there as part of their jobs, and their pay includes their attendance.

* The audience or staff doesn't need to be blessed for attending. Save that for church or personal conversation.

* Board members should speak only for themselves when expressing positions or opinions. For one to say that she speaks for all Board members is a statement easily suspected as not true. By keeping remarks brief and specific, there will be less chance for embarrassing mistakes.

Do you have suggestionsfor the Board? Post them in comments and email them to the Board Chair, James Manning, at

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