Sign up for board position

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Austin residents who have ideas about how the local public schools should be run, and who are willing to back up those opinions with hard work and an ability to cooperate with others, should consider applying for the community’s open school board post.

Six current school board members will choose from among the field of applicants one who will fill former board member Curt Rude’s unexpired term.The process by which that seventh board seat will be filled is unusual and at odds with the normal elective process. But, then, the circumstances which left the seat vacant were also unusual. We’re sure the board will do a thorough and fair job of identifying Mr. Rude’s successor.

Serving on the school board does not require an initial expertise in education, although board members often develop quickly develop expertise. It does require good judgment, an understanding of the Austin community and a real concern for the needs of children and for the community’s future. As noted above, it also requires an ability to work well with others. There is no getting around the fact that serving on the school board can eat up a lot of time. Meetings are just the tip of the iceberg, because there’s an almost unlimited amount of reading and preparation that can go on in the background.

There are hundreds of people, at least, in the Austin community who meet the basic requirements. We hope there are a dozen or more who are interested in serving, so that the board will have a large and high-quality group from which to choose its seventh member. Our nation, state and schools operate on a platform of citizen involvement and, just as with elections, this is the time for citizens to get involved.