January 30, 2013
 Our Vision: Ignite Passion. Inspire Excellence. Imagine Possibilities.

Message from Board President Erica Nelson on behalf of the Board of Education


A few weeks ago, the board candidate filing period closed with four candidates* for four open seats. Uncontested elections seldom draw much attention; nevertheless, these four volunteers will carry substantial responsibilities on behalf of the community. They'll spend hours studying documents and attending meetings that can go late into the night, they'll participate in professional development to build governance skills and they'll navigate a delicate transition as friends and neighbors also become constituents. 


The board's biggest job is hiring the superintendent and as you are aware, we are currently interviewing candidates to replace Dr. Riebock upon her retirement June 30. The board also provides policy direction, stewards district resources, safeguards district assets, and makes sure that district obligations are met. It's bound by the board Code of Conduct, including a promise to represent stakeholders from all five of the communities that form District 41, among them those who don't have any children in our schools and the children themselves. And board members are also ambassadors for the district in a variety of situations.


In May, the new board members will be sworn in and our newly-constituted board of continuing and new members will be seated. There will be some changed dynamics with an infusion of new personalities, work styles and skills. The work of the board continues throughout election cycles and many things link one board to another through the years. The system of staggered terms itself ensures that there is only the potential for a partial turnover every two years. District 41 has done a lot of foundational work to support this linkage as well: our Vision and Positive Core statements depict who we are and what we value; our Long-Range Plan provides a roadmap to the future; our Transformative Actions explain the concrete steps the district has taken or intends to take; and the District 41 Learner Characteristics underlie everything we do as a community of learners. All these things work together to keep the district and the board grounded and purposeful as we "own" our future.


On behalf of the Board of Education, best wishes to our four candidates! We look forward to joining together in the work ahead.


* The terms of BOE members Sam Black, John Kenwood and Erica Nelson continue through April, 2015.  The terms of Drew Ellis, Terra Costa Howard, Dan Smith Jr. and Steve Vondrak will expire in April, 2013. Four candidates have filed for the four-year seats up for election on April 9: Dean Elger, Drew Ellis (incumbent), Joseph Bochenski and Patrick Escalante.



Please direct your questions or comments to District 41 Director of Communications and Grants Julie Worthen at jworthen@d41.org. We ask that you do not reply directly to this email. Thank you!