How to Be a Better Board Member? Be at Annual Conference!

By Norm Wooten

AASB Executive Director

It’s an exciting time of the year for the AASB staff as we’re just days away from the Annual Conference. However the planning has been underway for months. In fact, the planning began immediately following the 2016 Annual Conference! So why do we get excited over an event that takes a full year of planning and I must admit, is totally exhausting! Let me tell you the things that excite us about annual conference:

  • We get to hear from nationally recognized speakers on relevant educational topics;
  • For three days we get to see school board members attending a variety of sectionals and watch them taking notes on things they want to take back to their districts;
  • Watching school board members debating resolutions that will likely affect how they educate students in their communities;
  • The opportunity to visit vendor displays to see the latest products for instruction, curriculum, and facilities;
  • Feeling good about students from all over Alaska bonding and creating friendships and taking new leadership skills back to their schools;
  • Seeing newly elected board members attending Boardroom Boot Camp and becoming comfortable in their new roles as school board members;
  • Making new friendships and renewing old friendships;
  • School board members excitedly talking with their colleagues about something just learned;
  • Bidding on incredible auction items with the money going for scholarships to make a difference in Alaskan students lives;
  • Watching our YLI students perform at the banquet with a newfound confidence in standing and speaking before a packed room;
  • Seeing so many school board members share their skills in front of other school board members;
  • The pride in seeing a board member recognized with the Carl Rose Governance award;
  • The awesome recognition for one of Alaska’s boards receiving the School Board of the Year;
  • Having board elections and a new AASB board of directors stepping to the plate and taking on new responsibilities as they guide our organization;
  • Board members volunteering to serve on committees that are important to the operation of AASB such as Budget, Constitution & Bylaws, Awards, Nominations, and Resolutions;
  • AASB Board of Directors stepping forward and taking responsibility for introducing sectional speakers and ensuring everything is in place for an effective session;
  • Watching our district superintendents interact with boards and attending training sessions;
  • Seeing student entertainment at our general sessions;
  • Waiting with anticipation to see who our board of directors select to lead AASB for the coming year.

These are just a few of the things that excite me about the Annual Conference. I invite each of you to also get excited for a great school board professional development experience and you apply yourself to learning how to be a better board member. See you soon at the Annual Conference!

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