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Trustee Blog – What Makes an Exceptional Trustee?

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What makes an exceptional trustee? Do I have what it takes? I find that I ask myself this question each time I attend a board meeting, committee meeting, engage with community or represent the board to other levels of government. It is also a question I ask more frequently as this term comes to an end and the question of running to be elected to the Board of Education for another term is being asked.

Submitted by Chair Amanda Amaral

May 17, 2022

What makes an exceptional trustee? Do I have what it takes? I find that I ask myself this question each time I attend a board meeting, committee meeting, engage with community or represent the board to other levels of government. It is also a question I ask more frequently as this term comes to an end and the question of running to be elected to the Board of Education for another term is being asked.

A School Board is a co-governance model with the provincial government’s Ministry of Education and Child Care. The Ministry of Education and Child Care is responsible for: the curriculum for our learners, funding levels to deliver the programs and the legal framework for Boards to operate. Boards are responsible for: setting local policy, ensuring we are meeting the Ministry’s requirements and establishing the tone of our work with a strategic plan. At the heart of our responsibility as a board is student achievement. How do Trustees achieve this? Do I have what it takes?

Over my term I have found that there are some core qualities that make an excellent Trustee. Trustees need to be focused on student achievement and keep our communities in the centre of our work as they make decisions. Trustees need to be accountable; Board meetings are held in public and Trustees need to be able to explain their decision makers to students, staff and community. Trustees need to be community leaders and coordinate efforts with their local community and other levels of government. And finally Trustees need to be collaborative and work as part of a team; for trustees to excel at their role they need to work together.

Over this last term I have put considerable effort into finding ways to demonstrate those core qualities and contribute to the success of our board. I have found when I am able to focus on student achievement, our Sunshine Coast Community, and working in collaboration with the other Trustees on the board that realizing our collective responsibility to the students, staff and community becomes light work.

In this past term our Board has used our Mission, Vision, Affirmation and Values to action many items to create a learning environment where excellence in student achievement is reality. I believe each of the Trustees on our Board has done an excellent job this term of demonstrating the core qualities required of Trustees and it is evident in our achievement. In the fall I will be seeking to be elected for a second term as a trustee.  I believe I have more to offer and contribute in my work as a Trustee and ensuring the Sunshine Coast can deliver the best learning experience to our students. Take some time to think about what you want from your Trustees and if you think you have something to offer your community!

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