Article provided by Braham Area Schools
The Minnesota School Boards Association has set Feb. 20-24 as School Board Recognition Week in Minnesota as a time to build awareness and understanding of the vital function an elected board of education plays in our society.
Braham Area Schools is joining all public school districts across the state to celebrate School Board Recognition Week to honor local board members for their commitment to Braham and its children.
“It takes strong schools to build a strong community, and these men and women devote countless hours to making sure our schools are helping every child learn at a higher level,” said Superintendent Ken Gagner. “They make the tough decisions every month and spend many hours studying education issues and regulations in order to provide the kind of accountability our citizens expect.
“School board members give the Braham citizens a voice in education decision making. Even though we make a special effort to show our appreciation in February, their contribution is a year-round commitment and I know they welcome your feedback,” he added.
The district asked each member of the board to share something they’ve learned since being elected (year’s of service are also shown):
• John Paitl (one year): “One thing I have learned is how much work it takes preparing for each public board meeting. We read through numerous emails, reports, take phone calls and really put a lot of thought into each and every decision.”
• Mike Thompson (three years): “I have learned that school district finances are incredibly complex. Unpredictable results from the state legislature make district budgeting difficult, at best. Because of limited resources, the school board is often faced with difficult choices.”
• Allison Londgren (three years): “One of the many things that I learned, or became aware of, was how schools are funded and how important it is to speak to and encourage our elected officials to continue to revise and review how schools are being funded. Children that attend school in rural areas should have access to the same education that a child in a large city would have.”
• Steven Eklund (27 years): “I’ve learned to listen … and learn … and put kids first.”
• Tony Cuda (eight years): “I learned how important each individual employee, community member, student, and child are to this district.”
• Robert Wyganowski (one year): “ I have learned there are a lot of strong personalities on the board and it is not always easy to find common ground on issues that we have to discuss.”
• Angie Flowers: (five years) “I have learned there are many many things that happen behind the scenes. As a parent, I didn’t realize the extent of work and passion that comes with working with the school. However it has been an eye-opener, and I’m glad I have had the opportunity to learn what I have so far. I have learned that when our board comes together as a whole, we can achieve great things! I have also learned sadly that often times the community is involved in a school board meeting only if something is going on that affects their child. I hope that in the future, more parents will be willing to come to a school board meeting and see what happens. And I hope that they bring their children with. Who knows? You could be the next school board member.