Note: The following “Letter to the Editor” expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Sun Times News management or staff.
Letter to the Editor
On Monday, May 18, at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Legislative Coffee, Superintendent Scott Menzel honored school board members for earning Michigan Association of School Board (MASB) Certification Awards.
I am pleased to share that I was recognized for the Award of Merit and the Award of Distinction. From MASB: “The Certified Board Member Awards Program offers school board leaders a way to develop new skills, stay up-to-date on educational issues and earn recognition for professional development as a school board member.”
Dexter Community Schools policies encourage board members “to inform themselves about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs.”
In total, I completed 15 CBA classes and 225 education credits. The courses covered policy, budgets, school law, curriculum, community relations, decision making, parliamentary procedure, ethical challenges, communicating effectively in difficult times, district planning, spokesperson training, and holding effective board meetings.
My education Credits came through participation in local meetings and seminars and by promoting public education in and around the community.
The most meaningful education credits I earned were probably at the Council of School Attorneys Fall Conference. The topics included open carry in schools; investigating allegations of sexual assault and harassment; gender identity, civil rights and public schools; conducting evaluations; contracted services; and enforcing cyberbullying policies. Then last year, I attended another school law workshop that covered “the legal obligations of school districts and their employees in regard to Title IX and sexual harassment.” The law workshops have been timely and useful.
Guests at the recent Legislative Coffee included Rep Debbie Dingell, State Sen Lana Theis, State Sen Jeff Irwin, State Rep Yousef Rabhi, and State Rep Donna Lasinski, and they fielded questions from board members and superintendents about school funding, opening school in the fall, and balancing personal freedom with health and safety.
I would like to express my gratitude to the community. Thank you, Dexter, for putting me on the school board and for sending me to these training opportunities over the past 7 1/2 years. Please know that I use what I learned all the time while serving on the Dexter Community Schools Board of Education. My current focus is attending virtual meetings on how to manage education during the Covid-19 disaster. I don’t know what school will look like in the fall, but every effort will be made to continue offering the best possible education to Dexter students.
I was elected in 2012 and have served as the chair of the Communications Committee and the Policy Committee. My husband David and I have five children. Amy (2012 DHS Grad) is in a Ph.D. program at Princeton, Charlotte (2015 Grad) competes on the BYU track team as a pole vaulter and majors in physics, in that order, Sarah (2018 Grad) recently returned from a nine-month mission trip to Vietnam and is heading to Anaheim, CA, for another six months of service before going back to BYU to study international relations and economics, Seth (2020 Grad) is heading to BYU on an academic scholarship where he will study applied physics, and Matt (DHS sophomore) has been busy taking AP tests and riding his bike. In our spare time, David and I enjoy the company of our “his and hers” rescue dogs Molly and Ruby.
Barbara Read, Board of Education Trustee, Dexter Community Schools