Letter to editor: School board recognition month.

January 29, 2020

Letter to the Editor, by Jason Kennedy, superintendent of Ludington Area School District. 

Dear Oriole Family:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed January 2020 as School Board Recognition month. It is important that we take a moment to recognize and honor our Board members for their commitment and dedication to the students and families of our community. The Board is committed to leadership and accountability to ensure that all children have the opportunity to succeed.

In the Governor’s proclamation, she noted that Board members are “exceptional individuals who have committed themselves to this duty by governing school districts and advancing student achievement in the schools and communities in which they serve.” School board members contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each year leading Ludington Area Schools. Their decisions are made based upon the best interests of the children and families of our school community.

We often forget about the personal sacrifices that school board members make. They continually advocate for the children of our community. Through their dedication, collaboration with other school district staff, their governance and advocacy, they are building the future of public education in Michigan.

The following is a brief listing of the types of goals that school board members have:

  • To create a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority.
  • To set standards for what students must learn and be able to do.
  • To assess whether schools achieve their goals and whether students are learning.
  • To account for the outcomes of decisions by tracking progress and reporting results.
  • To align the use of the District’s human and financial resources.
  • To create a safe and orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach.
  • To collaborate to solve common problems and to support common successes.
  • To focus on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.

As January comes to a close, I encourage all members of our community to thank a school board member. Please take this opportunity to show your year-round appreciation for these servant leaders, while also taking the time to better understand how local trustees work together to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. I would like to publicly thank Steve Carlson, Dr. Bret Autrey, Michael Nagle, Joshua Snyder, Stephanie Reed, Leona Ashley, and Scott Foster for the countless hours and dedication that they have put forth to make Ludington Area Schools the best place that it can be. Please be sure to thank these people for the outstanding work that they do on behalf of the community’s children. I am honored to work with each of them!

 With Great Respect,

Jason J. Kennedy