Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Choate recognized for 50 years of board service

Don Choate
At the close of the Delegate Assembly at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference, delegate Don Choate, of Jonesboro CCSD 43, was honored with an ovation for 50 years of service as a school board member.

“It has been my honor and privilege to make a contribution to our schools for so long,” Choate, who is 82, said in recalling the recognition. He noted this was the first time he had ever served as his district’s representative at an IASB Delegate Assembly.

Choate was previously on hand for a similar ovation back in 2009, at the 77th Joint Annual Conference. At that time the longest-serving board member was John Vancil, of DuQuoin, who was likewise recognized for 50 years of school board service.
Choate was recognized at the close of the Delegate Assembly. 
Choate said he is proudest of having formerly served “as board president for 24 years without ever missing a meeting, either regular or special.” He adds that he also previously held the posts of vice president and board secretary.

He has served IASB, as well, representing the Shawnee Division as Resolutions Chair, and serving on the governing panel of the Workers’ Compensation Self Insurance Trust, a pooled insurance program for school districts that is sponsored by the Association.

Choate, who attended college at Southern Illinois University, grew up in Jonesboro, graduating from Anna Jonesboro Community High School with the class of 1952. His career has been focused on marketing and management, utilizing his post-secondary classwork in those areas, and he is currently the manager of store operations and sales for an auto parts company located in Anna.

Choate says IASB has helped him develop as a school board member, and he tries not to miss any IASB division meeting or annual conference, nor does he miss many conferences of the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

His advice for new or prospective board members? “Attend every meeting provided, local, state, and national; and surround yourself with good people, board, staff, and administrators; and stay within the chain of command.”