Visit us on Google+

Incoming Directors Attend School Themselves

POTTSTOWN PA – Those to be elected within only weeks as the newest members of the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors should, among their first orders of business, expect to attend school themselves.

The board unanimously agreed Tuesday (Oct. 13, 2015) to spend $600 with the Mechanicsburg PA-based Pennsylvania School Boards Association to ensure its incoming colleagues know as much as possible about their volunteer and ocassionally contentious jobs. It approved Superintendent Shellie Feola’s suggestion to pay the fee and secure an upcoming date for new directors’ training.

The 2015 general municipal election is scheduled for Nov. 3 (Tuesday). Six board seats are up for election, and the names of six candidates (their competition was eliminated in the May primary elections) appear on the ballot to fill them. Of those, Ashley Custer, Al Leach, Bill Parker and Jim Lapic will be first-timers; John Rossi and Patricia Grimm are returning.

The association is a non-profit advocacy and lobbying organization, of which Pottsgrove is a member, founded in 1895 to promote school boards’ interests. Its customized training sessions are said to cover the basics of school board work: laws regarding education and directors’ responsibilities under them; dealing with constituents including taxpayers, families, employees and politicians; and working as a team and in committees.

All sound like topics that might be intuitive for many adults, particularly those just chosen for public office, board President Justin Valentine said. However, many newcomers – and years ago he counted himself among them – enter the job not knowing what to expect and can be quickly overwhelmed, he added.

After he was seated on the board without the benefit of some level of training, “I promised I wouldn’t let that happen to other directors,” Valentine said.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Oct. 13 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

Like what you read? Get even more of it, free. Subscribe to The Post.