A totally new school board

Tonight’s short meeting resulted in four new board officers, and personally, I am glad that the President and VP votes were unanimous:

  • Chris Kloeppel (President)
  • Amy Armstrong (Vice President)
  • Kathy Shannon (Secretary)
  • Jonathan Westfield (Parliamentarian)

There were a number of tweets, and Nicole followed up with an NG article. It is exciting to witness and hear about the synergy that has already been building between various board members (new and old), not to mention some of the things they want to tackle. For instance, how to take advantage of social media? How to engage the community and make board meetings more “friendly”? How to work together as a board but still have individual passions? And with Mr. Kloeppel being the youngest board president in a very very long time (ever?), their path as a team will be both challenging and exciting.

My number one priority for the board is that they continue to more fully embrace the model espoused by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), called “The Foundational Principles of Governance.” The IASB model does several things that I like, taking a lot of cues from John Carver’s Policy Governance; one of the most exciting things, in my opinion, is “Effective Community Engagement”. The model also establishes clear relationships between the board and the Superintendent, the administration and the community. And finally, it guides the school board in focusing on policy and school-wide direction, not falling into the trap of micromanagement, which I think has been a sand trap for quite a while now. All these facets will be even more critical as this school board contemplates the process to select a new superintendent in two years time.

The new board will have a Board Retreat later this month, where I believe they will meet with IASB representative Patrick Rice, Dr. Wiegand and other members of the administration to lay the ground work for their collective goals and ambitions for the coming year. In the meantime, I am going to go out on a limb and put forth the idea that board members (all of them) really want to hear from the public, so I encourage you to contact them at:

u4boe@champaignschools.org

Board interviews 6 school board candidates tomorrow, July 15th

The Unit 4 school board will be interviewing 5-6 folks in open session tomorrow:

·         Azark Cobbs

·         Sujata Dey-Koontz

·         Chuck Jackson*

·         Michael L. Jeffries

·         Kerris Lee

·         Jeffrey C. McGill

“Champaign Unit #4 School District Board of Education will hold interviews during the July 15 special meeting for its vacant seat. The interviews will take place in open session starting at 6 p.m. at the Mellon Administrative Center, located at 703 S. New Street.

Community members are encouraged to attend and will have the opportunity to make a public comment prior to the start of interviews.”

Unit 4 press release

NG article with Q&A from candidates (and pictures!)

 

UPDATE: the video with audio is now available:

http://vimeo.com/71266985