By Durward Narramore
What a difference a year makes.
Standing on the stage at the 2013 KSBA annual conference and taking over as the association’s president was a life highlight for me. Being able to serve at the local level, and on the association board, and now as president – representing the largest group of elected officials in Kentucky – is something I cherish.
My charge of “How are we doing?” is just as important today as it was then. I hope that you feel the association is doing great work for you and your district as we continue our very own “Race to the Top” to be one of the leading public education advocacy, training and service organizations in the nation.
The time frame of February 2013 to this past February was more of a challenging time for two reasons: our decision to renew the search for a new executive director and the long, slow process to the best possible resolution of the KSBIT insurance assessment troubles.
My greatest gratitude goes out to David Baird for his work as interim executive director over the past year. The value of his leadership and his counsel have proven themselves on a daily basis.
While I wish circumstances had not led to an extended search for a new executive director, the more I get to know Mike Armstrong, the more excited I am about him and the skills and experience he will bring to KSBA in July. Your board worked long and hard to make this decision. The process worked and we thank Mike for accepting the job. We believe that he will be able to work with all board members and superintendents, as well as with officials in Frankfort and in Washington, D.C., to make sure that our kids get the action and the resources they deserve for a high-quality education.
And I wish I could write that the final KSBIT resolution has been achieved, but, as you know, it is now between the Department of Insurance and the courts to finalize the process.
One thing that I do believe that has been achieved this past year is a greater understanding among our members about the true separation between KSBA and KSBIT. That’s not an attempt on my part to point fingers or to shy away from the very real relationship between our 78-year-old association and the insurance trust that existed for about 30 years.
But I believe today that our members have a greater comprehension of the separate legal and financial entities, the separate board of directors and insurance trustees, and even the fact that KSBA was assessed by KSBIT, just as member districts were to meet the trust’s long-term fiscal obligations.
At one point in the past year, I asked David Baird when the job of president would be fun. We will always have challenges. And we will always have opportunities.
And I believe it’s important that one thing remains a constant – asking “How are we doing?”
— Narramore also serves as chairman of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education