Eufaula City Schools will join school systems throughout the state to salute their local education leaders during Alabama’s annual School Board Member Recognition Month in January.

The commemorative month is designed to recognize the contributions made by Alabama’s more than 800 local school board members, including the board members of the Eufaula City Schools, who are charged with governing public education under state law.

Alabama school board members are chosen by their communities to manage local schools. They oversee multimillion-dollar budgets which fund education programs for more than 739,716 Alabama schoolchildren. Your local school board members are part of a statewide team that supervises 91,876 employees, including 46,766 teachers, 36,058 support workers and others in 1,463 schools.

These volunteer leaders also are responsible for formulating school system policy, approving curricula, maintaining school facilities, and adhering to state and federal education law. Legal concerns and the complexities of school finance, including budgeting and taxation, require them to spend many hours in board training programs and personal study to enhance their understanding of these issues.

The key work of school boards is to raise student achievement by:

» Creating a vision for what the community wants the school system to be and for making student achievement the top priority;

» Establishing standards for what students will be expected to learn and be able to do;

» Ensuring progress is measured to be sure the system’s goals are achieved and students are learning at expected levels;

» Being accountable for their decisions and actions by continually tracking and reporting results;

» Aligning the system’s resources — human and financial — around its improvement goals;

» Creating a safe, orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach;

» Forming partnerships with others in the community to solve common problems; and

» Focusing attention on the need for continuous improvement by questioning, refining and revising issues related to student achievement.

Our deepest appreciation is extended to the dedicated men and women who make it possible for local citizens to participate in education in our community. We salute the public servants of Eufaula City Schools whose commitment and civic responsibility make local control of public schools in our community possible: Mr. Richard W. Wingate, president; Mr. Otis Hill, vice president; Mrs. Yadira Chavez; Dr. James A. Lockwood; and Mrs. Caty H. Richardson.

Please join us by saying “thanks” to our school board members during Alabama’s 27th School Board Member Recognition Month.

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