Most school boards across the state meet twice a month for public board meetings, but they put in many more hours behind the scenes to fulfill all of their duties. To honor their service to public schools, the Minnesota School Boards Association has set aside the week of Feb. 20-24 to build awareness and understanding of the vital function elected boards of education play in our society.
In STMA, those school board members include Drew Scherber, Gayle Weber, Kari Dwinnell, Jennifer Peyerl, Hollee Saville and Jeff Lindquist. Dwinnell and Saville just joined the school board last month, while vice chair Weber has been on the board since about 1995; she’s not sure of the exact year she began serving since she attended meetings as the board’s recording secretary before that. Scherber, Lindquist and Peyerl have served on the board for 13, 6 and 2 years, respectively.
“It takes strong schools to build a strong community, and these men and women devote countless hours to making sure our schools are helping all students learn at a higher level,” Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault said. “They make tough decisions every month and spend many hours studying education issues and policies in order to provide the kind of accountability our community members and parents expect.”
Foucault said the school board’s key work is to help raise student achievement, and they do this by creating a vision for what the community wants the school district to be and then tracking and reporting results. She said they form partnerships in the community to solve common problems and continually revisit and refine ideas related to student achievement.
“School board members give the STMA community a voice in education decision-making,” she added. “Even though we make a special effort to show our appreciation in February, their contribution is a year-round commitment.”