For those who didn’t know, January is School Board Recognition Month, and in Southwest Michigan, the Bridgman Public Schools are joining 544 local and 57 intermediate school districts across the state in celebration.
Bridgman Superintendent Shane M. Peters says, “In a year full of challenges for public education not seen in recent history, our school board members persevered through the adversity of 2020 to provide the best possible education for our students,” and adds, “Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one of the very small ways to express appreciation for all they do.”
Peters notes that school board members represent the views and priorities of their community in the complex system of maintaining and running a district’s public schools. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Michigan.
Peters adds, “Too often, the efforts of school board members go unrecognized.”
Peters points out that the school board’s main goal is to support student achievement, and says that in order to achieve that goal, the board focuses on the following needs:
- Creating a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority.
- Setting standards for what students must learn and be able to do.
- Assessing whether schools achieve their goals and whether students are learning.
- Accounting for the outcomes of decisions and by tracking progress and reporting results.
- Aligning the use of the district’s human and financial resources.
- Creating a safe and orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach.
- Collaborating to solve common problems and to support common successes.
- Focusing on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.
Peters concludes, “Even though we are making a special effort during January to show appreciation for our school board members, we recognize their contributions reflect a year-round effort on their part. No matter what challenges lie ahead for our district in 2021, our school board members will continue to govern to improve student achievement and provide exceptional education for all our community’s children.”
The individuals serving Bridgman Public Schools include:
- Eric Ramso 16 years
- Brad Reitz 11 years
- Tishia Roberts 8 years
- Brad Owen 9 years
- Wayne Hall 11 months
- Newly elected member Nancy Hawley
The Bridgman Public School district is also thanking JoAnn DeMeulenaere and Lisa Kiewel for their dedication, service, and commitment to the Bridgman Public Schools students, staff and community. DeMeulenaere served for over 11 years and did not seek reelection and Kiewel served more than 17 years and recently resigned to pursue other options.