Celebrating School Board Recognition Month

Jan. 13, 2022

January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to shine a spotlight on the volunteers working to ensure Washington children have access to a quality public education.

“The school board is critical,” said Battle Ground Public Schools Superintendent Denny Waters. “They provide the vision and the guidance, understanding what the community wants and needs. It is a tough job. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who choose to do it.”

The Battle Ground Public Schools Board comprises five members who each represent one of five geographic areas in the district. They are volunteers who do not receive any compensation beyond a small stipend for expenses. School board directors typically spend 10 hours per week on district business, more if they serve on a committee or in a leadership capacity.

“School board members wear a lot of hats,” said Tim Garchow, Executive Director of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA). “They might be parents, hold a full-time day job, and then they have their work on the board. Last year alone, I counted over 100 new things they tackled in service to their communities. It takes great dedication to shoulder all that, so I encourage folks to thank board members for their service.”

Beyond just attending board meetings, district directors serve on numerous committees, attend school and community events and spend time engaging with community members in a variety of ways.

“I also try to do a lot of reading and staying up to date on the information that’s coming out, whether it’s in the media or other resources,” said Jackie Maddux, director of district 5 and board vice president. “I think you get back out of it what you put into it.”

Board President Mark Watrin, director of district 4, agreed with Maddux’s assessment. “We ask our kids and our staff to give their best effort every day, I don’t see why it should be any different for board members.”

Last year, the Battle Ground school board was recognized with a Board of Distinction Award from WSSDA, the third such honor in the past five years.

“To me, that award was really a statement that we, as a board team, are going to endeavor to be the very best that we can,” Watrin said. “It’s evidence that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Superintendent Denny Waters said he is grateful for the work that the board does. “We’re fortunate because we have a fantastic board that really cares about this community, the kids, the staff and the schools,” Waters said. “It means the world to me. I’m really thankful.”

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