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From the Hart Blog – School Appreciation Month

Posted Date: 01/27/2022

From the Hart Blog – School Appreciation Month

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  The great Maya Angelou speaks so much truth in this quote about appreciation. It feels like our society has gotten so busy and at times divided that we forget to tell one another thank you or tell someone how much we appreciate them. We don’t always have to agree or even like each other at times, but we should recognize people are willing to serve without thanks.  

January is the one time we set aside to recognize the service of school board members. Every school board member has heard the old joke your check is in the mail. Did you know that Kansas school board members do not receive any compensation for serving on their local board? Most board members serve in the community where they grew up and want to give something back. Others want to ensure that students receive the best education possible or make sure taxpayer dollars are used to maximize student success.  

I am married to an educator of over 20 years. She would tell you the past two years have been extremely difficult not just as a teacher but also as a mom. She would also say there is not enough money in the world to start these two years over and teach in this environment again. She would say that what has helped get her through this challenging time is the loving words, the positive support, and the little things people say or do that make her feel valued and remind her of why she wanted to be an educator. Just like teachers, support staff, and school and district leaders, board members also deserve that affirmation and gratitude from time to time.  

I have enjoyed working with so many school boards. As boards welcome new members just elected to their important roles, they continue to practice strategies to grow the board team while refocusing on goals. I worked with a local school board on a superintendent search recently. Their ability to come together as a team to refocus their strategic goals for the district around a pivotal choice showcases the resilience and the adaptability many of our fantastic board members exhibit every day in our districts. As mentioned above, covid has not done anyone any favors, but it does give us a lens to examine ways to improve our practices that support student success. It is critical for boards to develop professionally to become more cohesive and focus on what matters most.  

Many of our local districts have done an excellent job recognizing the efforts of their boards and the extreme amount of hard work they put in to make sure students are learning. I am inspired by the people I have met and what they are doing for Kansas schools. So please take time in the coming weeks to reach out to your school board members in your community and let them know how appreciative you are for their work. Regardless of what you might have said or what you have done in the past, they will always remember how you made them feel.