What a school board member is — and isn’t

Libby Wilson

After serving on the Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees since 2006, I’ve decided not to seek re-election. My years on the board have been an amazing experience, but it’s time for me to step aside and allow a new community member the opportunity to offer his or her leadership to the school district.
As we head into the election season and what will certainly be a climate of overheated rhetoric about what’s right and what’s wrong with our school district and what ought to be done about it, I think it’s appropriate to lay out the duties of a school board member for the sake of voters and those who seek to serve on the board.
The California School Board Association spells out the role of a school board member very clearly: School board members are locally elected public officials entrusted with governing a community’s public schools.
Along with the superintendent, board members set the long-term vision for the district so students will reach their highest potential. Board members are responsible for maintaining an efficient structure of school district operations by employing the superintendent, setting policy for hiring other personnel, setting a direction for and adopting the curriculum, and establishing budget priorities. Board members ensure accountability by evaluating the superintendent and district policies as well as monitoring all aspect of the district’s operations. School board members must