When it comes education, late spring is celebration time.

I immediately think of family gatherings for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day. 

There is also so much to celebrate in our districts: Drama and musical performances, awards assemblies, athletic team seasons, conference titles, passing AP scores, making the honor roll, earning scholarships, being accepted to the college of your first choice, celebrating a decision to serve by joining the military, field trips, proms and more.

That’s not even mentioning graduations of all sorts of varieties, including from pre-K, kindergarten, sixth grade, eighth grade, high school and beyond.

NJSBA also gets in on the action with county recognitions, Eighth Grade Dialogues, Unsung Heroes, board member certifications and a host of other events and programs. 

As board members, we attend, we applaud, we are proud and we congratulate each accomplishment — each student’s success! After all, promoting student success is why we are board members. 

If you stop to listen at these events, you’ll hear the appreciation. Our students, while accepting congratulations, are quick to thank their friends, teammates, teachers, coaches and parents.

It occurs to me that we as board members should also turn to celebrate and thank the family/friends who support us in so many ways, so that we can support district students, staff and public education.

So, I would like to say thank you to: 

  • The spouse who serves dinner, reads bedtime stories, and helps with homework in our homes while we attend meetings.
  • The friend who picks up/drops off our child because we are tied up at a New Jersey School Boards Association training session.
  • Our children, who say, “It’s okay … I can handle it” when there is an unfavorable reaction from the press or media to a board decision.
  • Family and neighbors who encourage us to “go for it” when it’s re-election time.
  • Fellow board members across the state who help us talk through difficult decisions, who join us at training sessions and at county meetings, re-energizing our sometimes-flagging spirits.

Thank you to NJSBA, to our amazing staff and to our leadership as well. You hold us up, you meet our need for training and for information, you answer our questions, you facilitate our collaboration, you hold us accountable and you recognize our accomplishments. 

We could not do this job of board member without you.