Amid Financial Challenges, A Pause to Celebrate School Board Service

FOR RELEASE: January 24, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

State Leaders Salute School Board Service

As school board members across the state begin to piece together their spending plans for the 2014-15 school year, the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) is launching an eight-week campaign to celebrate school board service, beginning on Monday, January 27.

The campaign – entitled “Do You Know Who I Am?” – will tell the story of individual school board members and the contributions they make in their communities.

“There is no better time to highlight school board members and the work they do than during the budget process when board members are listening closely to the community and making difficult but necessary choices,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer.

Using social media, NYSSBA will share videos, photos and graphics highlighting school board members from across the state, as well as offer best practices to those serving on a school board.

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, “Throughout New York, school board members play essential roles in putting our children on the path to academic success. It is important to recognize their service and the many contributions they make to help our schools and students thrive.”

“The dedication school board members provide to schools so every youngster in their community can receive a quality education is critical to the success of our state’s education system,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “Board members face a range of difficulties and challenges that they routinely find solutions for in order to ensure every child has the opportunity to realize their full potential. For this admirable public service, it is with much appreciation and gratitude that my Assembly colleagues and I salute the state’s school board members for their leadership and commitment to the education of our children.”

“With the educational and fiscal challenges facing our school districts mounting, I believe the role of school board members has never been more vital,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “We are fortunate that these dedicated volunteers take their time day in and day out to make the right choices for our children and advocate for our schools. As a former school board member, I know first-hand the commitment and sacrifice it takes to help ensure the well-being of our school districts. Their leadership and dedication should be applauded.”

“These are difficult times to lead a school district. There is pressure from all sides to do more, and the financial challenges are significant. Yet, every day, school board members take on this daunting task. There are any number of reasons why individuals choose to serve -- but in the end, it comes down to a desire to improve their communities by ensuring that all children have the chance to graduate high school ready for college and careers,” said State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr.

Highlights of the Campaign

The campaign will kick off with a video highlighting four school board members – an airline pilot, a pediatrician, a CEO and a parent, then unfold with a new “School Board Member of the Week” throughout January, February and March. Each week, the Association will post a photo of a new school board member on its Facebook page and website and then ask the question, “Do You Know Who I Am?”

Among the other items included in the campaign are information related to famous board members and characteristics of high-achieving school boards.

“What’s unique about this campaign is that we will not be focusing on school boards as an institution, but on the individuals who serve on school boards,” said NYSSBA President Lynne Lenhardt, a member of the Bethlehem, Capital Region BOCES and Tech Valley High School Boards of Education.

“School board members come from all walks of life,” said Kremer. “But the one thing that binds them together is their desire to serve their community and help prepare children for college and the workplace. We urge people to check back on our Facebook page regularly for updates and new discussion items.”

To preview the video, visit

To follow the campaign, go to or enter the hashtag #DoYouKnowWhoIAm or follow @nyschoolboards on Twitter.


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