Have you ever thought of serving your community by becoming a school board member?
Morton Grove School District 70 has school board seats that need to be filled at the April 4, 2017 Consolidated Election. Candidates who are elected will fill four-year terms expiring in April 2021. A candidate must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter, and a resident of the district for at least one year. Candidates do not have to declare a political party affiliation.
Candidates for the office of school board can begin to circulate nominating petitions for signatures beginning September 20, 2016. The period for filing nominating petitions with the Cook County Clerk’s Office runs from December 12 through December 19, 2016.
Nominating petitions may be obtained in person from the local Cook County Clerk’s office at 5600 W. Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077, (847) 470-7233 or electronically from the Cook County Clerk’s Office or Illinois State Board of Elections websites.
Interested parties may also want to consult the “2017 Candidate’s Guide,” which can be downloaded from the Illinois Association of School Board website or contact the county clerk or board of election commissioners regarding the requirements of filing. Candidates and voters can get information about the district from the Morton Grove School District 70 website, and learn about being a school board member at the Illinois Association of School Boards website.
What do school boards do?
An effective school board plays an important leadership role in creating and maintaining the quality of education in your school district. The school board sets the vision and goals for the school district, then allocates the resources needed to achieve them, and finally monitors the district’s progress towards achieving them. One school board member cannot do the job alone. Effective school board members contribute their unique talents while collaborating and working as a team with other board members and the superintendent.
A typical school board meeting will include many business items, such as approving the school calendar, adopting curriculum, overseeing construction, and approving contracts with outside vendors. A successful school board will balance discussion of the mundane business of running the district while paying close attention to the district’s priorities for student learning.
Being a school board member requires a commitment of time and energy. It is also an excellent and rewarding way to give back to your community.
Qualities of Effective School Board Members
The best school board member may be you. Board members come from all walks of life. The ability to function as one member of a seven-member governing board is not determined by sex, occupation, race, income, or social standing. Effective school board members are characterized by the following:
- The ability to work as a member of a team, including an open mind and an ability to engage in give-and-take and to arrive at a group consensus.
- The willingness to spend the time required to become informed and to do the homework needed to take part in effective school board meetings.
- The desire to serve children and the community and a strong belief in the values of public schools.
- The respect for the needs and feelings of other people and a well-developed sense of fair play.
- The recognition that the school district is probably one of the largest “businesses” in town and that the board is responsible for seeing that the business is run by highly skilled professionals.
Effective school board members are often those who have proved successful in their particular vocations or avocations and who have demonstrated a genuine concern for community improvement.