Friday, November 13, 2015

School Board Members Day honors “Everyday Heroes”

As political rhetoric dominates headlines and morning coffee conversations, this might be the perfect time to look to a group of public servants who diligently perform their duties in the face of difficult times.

November 15 is “School Board Members Day” in the state of Illinois. This day of recognition was set by legislative action in 2007. That proclamation stated that “school board members…sit in trust for their diverse communities, meeting their communities’ expectations and aspirations for the public education of their children. School board members selflessly donate countless hours to public service with no compensation…providing leadership that sets high standards for the education of all students.”

Roger Eddy, IASB
The end of the proclamation also refers to school board members as “the front line of American democracy.” Local school boards are the citizen’s direct voice in local public education policy, chosen to represent what the community wants and is willing to support.

Quality public education is vital to the well-being of the community, regardless of size or location. Jobs, public safety, housing, health care, and much more are impacted and influenced by the local education system. Whether or not you have a child in school, school board members need your support. The decisions made on behalf of the school district, its staff, and students are most effective when citizens can agree on what is best for all children.

Today, nearly 6,000 men and women serve on 859 local school boards. Together, these individuals guide the education of more than 2 million students in 3,764 Illinois schools. Your district – whether it teaches a few hundred or several thousand school children – relies on your school board to set the mission, vision, and goals so that every student has the best chance possible to succeed.

School board members are your neighbors, friends, and colleagues, i.e., everyday people who truly are “Everyday Heroes” for taking on this extraordinary duty – not for a paycheck or notoriety – but for the satisfaction of seeing all children excel through education.

On November 15, I ask that you honor and thank these selfless individuals for their public service to your community, your schools, and your children.

Roger Eddy, Executive Director,
Illinois Association of School Boards

This letter was sent to editorial departments of media outlets across Illinois. For more information, visit