Advocate Staff Report
Nearly 100 newly elected school board members attended the first-ever boot camp at KSBA’s Winter Symposium. It consisted of five different sessions designed to help new board members learn the ropes as they get set to take their seats this month.
The sessions covered their role as policy makers, fiscal and ethical responsibilities and other basic information to give them a base of knowledge.
Larry Elliott, who is joining the Bell County Board of Education, said even after a 31-year career as an educator, the boot camp exposed him to things he hadn’t known.
“I’m glad they chose to do this, because everything they touched on was pretty much what I was concerned about going in as a new board member,” he said. “The ethics part. You worried about that as a principal, as I was. You get out in public and people come up to you and ask you about their child. But that’s a whole different role now as a board member.”
Ron Jones said he will feel more prepared when he participates in his first board meeting in Livingston County.
“It makes us more efficient, to start with this in January,” he said. “This was a good little package deal.”
Barry Gibson, also of Bell County, said the boot camp should make January a little easier.
That’s one of the first things that’s going to hit us in January, signing a budget,” he said. “For our first board meeting, here we go signing a budget for the whole year.”
Pam Salazar of the Livingston County school board said budget and finance issues had been one of her biggest concerns, approaching her first meeting. “I think this was good because it directed us to exactly what we needed to do and to hear,” she said.