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Board of Education members have extraordinary dedication

Dear Editor,

 January is School Board Recognition Month — a time to salute the work of our volunteer school board members and celebrate public education.  School board members are alternately described as having the most important volunteer job in the country and facing some of the toughest challenges in elected American government.  Yet, the truth is, school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our public schools.  This is especially true of the seven individuals currently serving on the Northville Board of Education.

 Public education is the backbone of American society, and our local school boards are deeply rooted in U.S. tradition.  It is the foundation on which our democracy was built.  Today, our school boards continue to do the most important work in our communities — that of educating our young people.  Their job is to establish our district’s vision, mission and goals and develop policies to achieve them; to strongly encourage continuous improvement in student learning; and to advocate at the local, state and national levels in support of public education.  Most importantly, our school boards make decisions which effect our children — what they learn; who teaches them; who supports their learning; and the safety and function of the buildings that house their classrooms.

 These are challenging and exciting times in public education.  Working together with our district’s leadership team, the members of the Northville Board of Education develop policies, and make tough decisions that help shape the future of our educational system.  They bear the responsibility and oversight for an annual budget of $64 million, 7,321 students, 800 employees and 12 buildings.

 We often forget about the personal sacrifices our Board of Education members make day in and day out.  They dedicate countless hours to attending meetings, as well as school and community functions, and hours of preparation and study for the important decisions they make.  On top of this, many of our Board members pursue professional development opportunities to stay abreast of the ever-changing education landscape.

This January, I invite you to join me in thanking the members of the Northville Board of Education for their dedicated service to Northville’s schoolchildren.  It only takes a moment to express gratitude — write a note, send an e-mail, make a phone call, or simply say thank you when you see them out in the community.

 The men and women serving Northville Public Schools and their years of service are:

Mr. Kenneth A. Roth, President, 11.5 years

Mr. James Mazurek, Vice President, 3 years

Mr. Joseph T. Hige, Jr., Treasurer, 4 years (retiring effective 12/31/13)

Ms. Cynthia Jankowski, Secretary, 2 years

Mr. Scott Craig, Trustee, 2 years

Mr. Adam Phelps, Trustee, 1 year

Mr. Matthew Wilk, Trustee, 1.5 years

Ms. Ann Kalass, Trustee-Elect, Effective January 2014

 Sincerely,

Mary K. Gallagher, Superintendent, Northville Public Schools

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