Siuslaw Community celebrates ‘School Board Recognition Month’

District honors board in January

Jan. 16, 2021 — The Siuslaw School District will join the other 196 school districts throughout Oregon to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month, Superintendent Andrew Grzeskowiak announced on Jan. 13.

“Our school board members spend countless hours of unpaid time working to provide the best possible education for our students,” Grzeskowiak said. “They also serve as the corporate board of directors for one of our community’s largest employers. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one way to say thanks for all they do.”

In Florence, the school board consists of Board Chair Bob Sneddon, Board Vice-Chair Paul Burns and Director John Barnett, Director Dennis King, Director Suzanne Mann-Heintz, Director Diana Pimlott and Director Guy Rosinbaum.

Each year, staff and students try to present something special or unique to the directors to show their appreciation for what they do to keep the schools and programs running, day in and day out. Some of the students present notes of appreciation, while other present personally crafted items from their classroom learning experiences. This year, staff and students expressed their gratitude virtually. Each school in the district also posted a note of appreciation on their websites.

In more physical methods, Siuslaw High School gave the school board facemasks featuring the SHS Viking logo. The ninth grade Future Success class and the eighth grade Woodshop class, under the direction of teacher TJ Wilson, made customized cutting boards for each board member.

In addition, the local PTA released a “breaking news” alert with an eight-second video stating, “The Florence Community PTA wants to thank you for supporting us. Thank you!”

According to Grzeskowiak, school board members represent their fellow citizens’ views and priorities in the complex enterprise of maintaining and running the community’s public schools. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Oregon.

“Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized,” Grzeskowiak said.

The school board’s main goal is to support student achievement. To achieve that goal, the board focuses on the following needs:

  •  Creating a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority
  •  Making career technical education a priority with dedicated funding and programs to expand

opportunities for all students

  •  Assessing whether schools achieve their goals, and whether students are learning
  •  Accounting for the outcomes of decisions and by tracking progress and reporting results
  •  Aligning the use of the district’s human and financial resources
  •  Collaborating to solve common problems and to support common successes
  •  Focusing on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.

Considering the complexities of this past year, assisting students and families during the pandemic with a commitment to regular meal services out in the community and internet fee assistance to address equity issues have been additional community service priorities for the board.

“Even though we are making a special effort during January to show appreciation for our school board members, we recognize their contributions reflect a year-round effort on their part. They are dedicated individuals who are committed to improving student achievement and to fighting for the best for all of our students,” Grzeskowiak said.