By David Webster
That statement may sound a little redundant, but it has such an impact on our lives. Each of us can see the result of failing to do this in many different ways. We hear more and more about car accidents that happen because people were not paying attention – looking at their cellphone, texting, lighting a cigarette, putting on makeup, eating, even talking to their passenger. Many things that distract them from what they are supposed to be doing can produce devastating results, not just to them but to many others, changing lives physically and mentally, even costing lives, such as a child taken away too soon, a parent taken from their spouse and children. Just because they took their eyes off of what they were doing. They were distracted.
We as school board members can run into the same types of situations where we become distracted or lose our focus, maybe not with the devastating consequences noted in the preceding paragraph, but possibly still result in disturbing or unplanned outcomes.
To avoid these mishaps, we have to focus on each task before us. Yes, that will be more difficult with some issues, but that is part of our duties. We as school board members have to keep our eyes on what we were elected to do and that is to represent the students of our district to the best of our ability. No agendas, no personal objectives such as how this position is going to help us and our future goals. It has to be about what is best for each of our students. It is not about us! It is about our students, and we must not get distracted.
Often times we are in the midst of a controversy with a school issue, a tax vote, an employee problem, a bid issue, a position change, a policy change, a decision that upset a few people. These things will and do take our eyes off of what we are here for. Our focus becomes these issues and we neglect the real reason we are in the meetings. One, two or even five community members can voice their concerns and we must listen, but there are many more who are understanding of why we do what we do. Our eyes have to be looking at each item we vote on and the value it adds to the students’ education and not on what our neighbor will say when we get home.
We will never satisfy everyone; that is inevitable. But we can leave each meeting with a satisfaction and a feeling of peace, knowing that we looked for that value in our vote and that we kept our eyes on the students of our school district and the best possible education that we can provide for them. We cannot get distracted!
“Aspire to inspire before you expire.”