What makes a good board member?

Many of the qualities that make board members great are acquired over time, through training and experience, so don’t discredit your potential worth as a board member, even though you may never have served in such a capacity.

As you consider running for the ESD , community college or school board, think about whether these characteristics of effective board members describe you:

  • You hold a conviction that public education is important.
  • You are committed to public involvement.
  • You have the ability to make decisions.
  • You believe in the democratic process.
  • You’re willing to devote time and energy to your new position.
  • You can accept the will of the majority.
  • You have the courage to stand up for your convictions.
  • You have respect for district employees.
  • You communicate well with others.

These are some characteristics of ineffective board members:

  • They become involved in school, ESD or community college administration.
  • They allow personal feelings toward others to affect their judgment.
  • They allow personal interests to transcend the best interests of the district.
  • They neglect board duties.
  • They can’t make decisions or take a stand.
  • They represent special interests or a particular geographic area rather than the interests of the entire district.
  • They adopt an arrogant or paternalistic attitude toward district employees or the public.

We encourage you to become actively involved with OSBA if you are elected to a school, ESD or community college board.

What does a school board do?