One of the many common discussion topics from the new board member workshops the past couple of weeks has been “don’t be Andy” That statement refers to a video series we are using to teacher boardsmanship with sample case studies. Andy is the star of the video series. The case studies are used to allow small group discussions which allow board members to gain experiences and learn from others. One of the important lessons that we learn from “Andy” is that he is not a “bad” person with evil intentions. Andy often has good ideas but he just doesn’t understand how to be a productive board member or a team player.
Some of Andy’s actions demonstrate inappropriate behaviors related to chain of command, communication, executive sessions, and open sessions. These videos created some wonderful teachable moments. The new board members spent time at their tables sharing insights, comparing ideas and learning from each other. Mentor board members and superintendents often were involved in the dialogue and shared the experiences they have had with their current board. KASB staff took the behaviors displayed by Andy and provided the participants insight into “why” the behaviors are damaging to board culture and potentially illegal.
I think almost all new board members in attendance have come to realize that being a quality board member and understanding how to better serve their students will be challenging. Developing a culture of service within a district requires a clear vision, high expectations, on-going professional learning, and resources aligned to each of these respective areas.
It has been exciting to meet the new board members at the workshops. We have been impressed by their willingness to learn about becoming successful board members. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon to hear board members remind each other as the meeting ends “don’t be Andy”.