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Thanks to city, county school boards

As lifestyles columnist Susie Malone pointed out in her column in the 1-11 Franklin County Times, January is a month of many special observances. As it happens, most months of the year offer a multitude of opportunities to shine the spotlight on special groups or causes. There’s one in particular that comes around each January to which we’d like to give special attention this week.

January is School Board Member Recognition Month – a time to salute board members’ dedication and hard work. 

This January is Alabama’s 30th annual recognition, and according to the Alabama Association of School Boards, employers, community leaders and education supporters across Alabama will salute the state’s more than 800 school board members.

Count us among those offering their thanks and appreciation.

The theme of this year’s recognition month is “Powering the Next Generation,” which highlights “the impactful work school board members do to power up students to be their communities’ next leaders,” the AASB explains.

As noted by the AASB, school board members “exemplify local citizen control and decision-making in education.” They spend countless hours and immeasurable energy to help ensure our schools are providing the best education possible for our children.

School board members’ decisions affect our children, from what they learn and who will teach them to what kinds of facilities house their classrooms. These men and women, whether elected or appointed, commit themselves to establishing and maintaining the policies that provide the framework for our public schools.

They represent you, and they take this responsibility seriously by attending lengthy – sometimes challenging – meetings and conferences.

We are frequently in attendance for the local work sessions and business meetings, so we get to see it all firsthand. We can assure you – much effort and passion goes into serving in the capacity of a school board member.

Our two local school boards – for Russellville City Schools and Franklin County Schools – are among more than 130 such boards across the state, according to the AASB. These boards enable us to have local control of public schools – meaning that decisions on school programming are made by local folks who understand our communities unique needs and closely-held values.

With the advice and counsel of the educational professionals they hire, our school boards have an impact on virtually every aspect of our schools. It’s a huge responsibility – one that should not be taken lightly.

Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these folks. Let’s take a moment to tell a school board member, “Thanks for caring about our children’s education.”

Thank you – to Kim Clonts, Greg Batchelor, Jerry Grace, Greg Trapp and Radford Hester with Russellville BOE and to Terry Welborn, Kacey Johnston, Ralton Baker, Pat Cochran and Carol Murphree with Franklin County BOE.

We appreciate you.

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