Special to Discover Communities by Barbara Read
Eleven community members along with members of the Dexter Board of Education attended the Dexter Community Schools Open Appointment Q & A session at Creekside Intermediate School Wednesday evening. The session was to give community members the opportunity to ask questions about what it’s like to be a school board member and what the application process entails.
With the departure of former BOE President Michael Wendorf, there is a vacant seat available which must be filled by the end of February. The term of this seat will run through December 2020. The Board will select an appointee immediately following the interviews on Feb. 25-26.
Questions covered topics from “what is the ideal candidate” to “what ethical concerns apply when interacting with your children’s teachers” to “how do I know what time my interview is.” In between answering questions, board members shared their individual experiences with and challenges regarding board service.
Attendees also asked about what support would be available to the new appointee. The supports include training, meeting with department heads, meeting with board members, and visiting with the superintendent.
It also was pointed out that a particularly valuable opportunity would be visiting with the chief financial officer and learning about the budget.
Because it is often specific concerns with and/or hopes for the school district which spark an interest in school board service, some time was spent on how board members raise issues that are important to them. Certainly the superintendent goals drive the direction of the district. But board member comment time and the ability to request agenda items also create potential opportunities to be heard and have an influence.
But decisions and actions always require majority support and focus on what’s best for kids.
The specifics of the interview process also became a focus. Once all the applications have been received, the interview time will be divided up. The interviews will last 10-15 minutes each. Each candidate will be asked the same questions which may or may not be distributed ahead of time. Although the interviews are public and anyone may attend, it is requested that interviewees not watch each other’s interviews out of courtesy.
The calendar leading up to the appointment is as follows.
- Thursday, Feb. 13, 1 p.m.: Drop-in chat with Barbara Read at the Dexter District Library
- Wednesday, Feb. 19, 4 p.m.: Deadline to apply for the open seat
- Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the evening: Interviews with the Board of Education
- Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the evening: Interviews with the Board of Education
The new board member will be selected at the end of the interviews.
The entire meeting is available on video.
Barbara Read is a member of the Dexter Board of Education and submitted this story for informational purposes only. Only the school board president speaks on behalf of the district. WeLoveDexter thank her for contributing to the site.