Ferndale Schools Seeking New Board Member
(C. Proxmire, Dec. 6, 2015)
Ferndale, MI – With Raylon Leaks-May being elected to City Council, a vacancy on the Ferndale School Board will be coming open at the beginning of the year.
Residents who live in the Ferndale School District (which includes part of Ferndale, part of Oak Park, part of Royal Oak Township and all of Pleasant Ridge) are eligible to apply. Having children in the district is not a requirement. It is a voluntary position with no pay.
Applications can be made electronically up until 4pm on Friday, Dec. 19, and can be done through the Ferndale Schools Website.
When asked what advice she might have for someone going on the board, Leaks-May said “My advice would be: Be true to yourself; the decisions made will sometimes be difficult ones but as long as you keep doing what is best for these kids and make their educational experience a priority, you can hold your head up high and know that you did your job to the best of your ability!”
Ferndale Schools has set up a page with information about the vacancy. Included is the following “job description”:
“Serving on American school boards is a vital and important aspect of our democracy. The governance of our local school boards by democratically elected men and women remains at the heart of our democracy and public education system. Every two years board members are elected by voters to serve 6-year terms on local school boards. These elected members are charged to sit in trust for all of their local communities. Our public schools are the ties that bind this diverse and pluralistic society into a nation. Only our public schools are prepared to serve, without reservation, all students in America and continue to enable Americans to be active participants in one of the world’s oldest existing democracy.
“So what is the “job description” of a school board member? What does he or she actually do? To understand what a school board member does also requires knowledge of what a school board members does not do: no single board member has any power outside of a legally called school board meeting. When a legally called school board meeting occurs, the school board sits in trust for its entire local community. Subject to some exceptions, a school board has all powers granted by the Michigan School Code, along with those that are necessary for the maintenance and development of the schools that the board controls.
“The board must also adopt and enforce all necessary rules for the management and governance of its school district. The board, however, can and does delegate many of its powers and duties to the superintendent through its board policies. With limited exceptions, each board must employ a superintendent who shall have charge of the school district’s administration. Michigan School Code directs that a school board shall make all decisions pertaining to the employment of the superintendent and direct through policy the superintendent in his or her charge of the administration of the school district. When a school board delegates its powers and duties in this way, it should ensure that the superintendent understands the board’s policy directives and must be prepared to support the superintendent’s recommendations. The school board will monitor this process as it evaluates the superintendent’s performance.
“In addition to duties enumerated in the Michigan School Code, good governance imposes the following responsibilities on the board:
- The board clarifies the district’s purpose
- The board connects with the community
- The board employs a superintendent
- The board delegates authority
- The board monitors performance
- The board takes responsibility for itself
“For more information on these responsibilities, please refer to the Revised School Code, which is available at www.masb.org.”
More information, and the application process, is available at http://www.ferndaleschools.org/district/board/join/.