It was about eight years ago that the question of whether or not to run for the Ouray School Board of Education (BOE) was on my mind. There was a definite tension to putting myself out there to see how many votes I might garner. The allure of being a part of such a meaningful civic board was palpable.
Again, there is now a call for candidates for two board positions. Information for interested parties is available from the school or the county clerk’s office and is due back by Friday, Aug. 31.
At the end of my two-term limit, I can look back with perspective. I have been most impressed with how a school district is democracy in action. A public school serves ALL children and strives to give them as much individual opportunity as possible. The people who choose to work with children are a very special and dedicated group. They serve our country well!
We BOE members are elected by the will of the voters. We are primed to listen to and understand many perspectives. We strive toward optimum outcomes within the constraints of our resources. We work to manage well the business of a multi-million dollar endeavor. Unfortunately, it is sometimes impossible for everyone to understand the reasons for a particular board decision.
It is both a gift and a challenge to work with the staff, parents, children, and concerned citizens of our community. The diversity of a community can bring a level of angst to the minds of those affected by a governing board’s decisions. On the other hand, the degree of responsibility that has typically been accepted by BOE members is reassuring. I am genuinely proud that our current board was able to forge disparate opinions into commonly unanimous agreements. I believe this speaks very well of the individuals and the process.
For citizen leaders who become BOE members, there is a necessary educational component. The view from the inside gives one a greater respect for the complex functioning of our school. I have jokingly said I have my full-time paid job and then I have my full-time volunteer job! I thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our future citizens. Please feel free to phone me if you have any questions.
Jane Ross is President of the