Dexter Community Schools honor School Board Members for annual recognition month


L-R: Superintendent Chris Timmis; Melanie Szawara, Dick Lundy, Elise Bruderly, Brian Arnold, Mara Greatorex, Jennifer Kangas, Student Representatives Griffin Patel and Will O'Haver, Daniel Alabré. photo courtesy of DCS

Dexter Community Schools issued the following on Jan. 30:

The Dexter Community Schools District is joining hundreds of local and intermediate school districts across Michigan to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.

“The students of Dexter and the Dexter Community are blessed to have such committed school board members. These seven community members volunteer their time, personal expertise, and insight to serve ALL Dexter students and meet their individual needs,” said Superintendent Dr. Christopher Timmis. “Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one small way to express appreciation for all they do.”

Each year, Dexter students and staff present the Board with tokens of appreciation during a January meeting. This year, the Board’s only January meeting will be on the 30th, which is when those tokens will be shared. In past years, gifts have included student art, posters, videos, and even treats baked by students.

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.

A school board’s main goal is to support student achievement. To achieve that goal, the Dexter Board focuses on:

● Providing a safe and orderly school environment where students can learn and teachers can teach.

● Supporting students in their development of the skills, characteristics, and knowledge outlined in the DCS Learner Profile.

● Creating a supportive school environment and support structure that focuses on students’ social-emotional well-being and engagement in all grades.

● Scaling individualized learning opportunities for students in all grades.

● Ensuring that all students annually achieve at least one year of academic growth in reading and mathematics.

Dexter families and staff feel the impact of the school board’s efforts year-round. Board members are directly involved in and touch a wide variety of District endeavors – everything from distributing food to families during the pandemic, to shepherding building improvements and construction supported by the 2017 bond, to facilitating personalized learning initiatives and pursuing the development of an inclusive, equitable educational environment. Beyond countless business and committee meetings, board members connect with constituents in person and via phone or email, volunteer their time and professional expertise to programs, and attend regular training to stay up-to-date on school law, finance, and other educational issues. “Because of their excellent financial stewardship and their collaborative, responsive governance, the Dexter Board of Education has positioned our district to be one of the more secure and stable districts in the state.”

On a personal level, Dexter’s Board of Education trustees bring a wide range of professional experience to the table. Current trustees include a fitness instructor and exercise program supervisor at the Dexter, Chelsea, and Stockbridge Wellness Centers; two practicing attorneys, one corporate and one family law; a business founder and CEO; a social worker; a non-profit finance and operations director; and finally, a career military officer and security specialist. Several trustees serve on local non-profit boards. All have children or grandchildren currently enrolled in Dexter Community Schools and are actively involved in a variety of school booster groups.

The individuals serving Dexter Community Schools and their years of service are:

Mara Greatorex, President, elected 2018; term ends 2024

Elise Bruderly, Vice President, elected 2020; term ends 2026

Dick Lundy, Treasurer, elected 1979, term ends 2024

Jennifer Kangas, Secretary, elected 2020; term ends 2026

Daniel Alabré, Trustee, elected 2022; term ends 2028

Brian Arnold, Trustee, elected 2020; term ends 2026

Melanie Szawara, Trustee, elected 2022; term ends 2028

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