UNION COUNTY — What are the ethical principles of a school board member?
During its January meeting this past Monday, the Union County Board of School Trustees answered that question when they signed a large graphic poster bearing the “South Carolina School Board Member Ethical Principles” provided by the South Carolina School Boards Association.
In a letter to the board, Becky Bean, Communications Manager for the SCSBA, stated that January is School Board Recognition Month and that the posters are to be used at January school board meetings. Bean said the SCSBA is asking school boards “to hold an official signing of the Ethical Principles as part of their board meeting like many of you did last year. Please include the signing on your January school board meeting agenda and ask that your board chair read these principles aloud, then have the entire board sign the poster. This will serve as a symbolic gesture by your board, publicly saying that they will uphold these effective governance principles.”
The South Carolina School Board Member Ethical Principles signed by the Union County Board of School Trustees Monday night states the following:
As a member of my district’s school board, I pledge my efforts to improve public education in my community and will solemnly try to:
represent the interests of the entire district when making decisions and to rely on available facts and on our judgment rather than on individuals or special interest groups;
understand the proper role of the board to set policies governing the district and to hire the chief administrative officer to carry out these policies;
encourage an open exchange of ideas by all board members during the decision-making process;
seek regular communications between the board and students, staff and all segments of the community;
attend all board meetings, to study issues facing the board and to enact policies and official actions only after full discussion at such meetings;
work with other board members in a conscientious and courteous manner befitting the public trust placed in the position of school board trustee;
communicate concerns and public reaction to board policies and school programs to the superintendent and other board members in a professional manner;
support employment of the persons best qualified for staff positions and to ensure a regular and impartial evaluation of all staff;
avoid conflicts of interest and to refrain from using my board position for personal or partisan gain;
encourage recognition of the achievements of students and staff and of the involvement of community residents;
support legislation and funding which will improve the educational opportunities and environment for students and staff;
take no individual action which would compromise the integrity of the board or administration and to respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under the Freedom of Information Act;
study current educational issues and to participate in training programs such as those offered through the South Carolina School Boards Association and the National School Boards Association; and
make our district’s educational setting the best possible to encourage all students to achieve and to love learning.
School Board Recognition Month
The SCSBA website (scsba.org) states that School Board Recognition Month salutes South Carolina’s “more than 600 school board members.”
It states that the theme of this year’s School Board Recognition Month is “Superheroes for Public Education” which “highlights the unique role school boards play in championing and advocating for quality education and the ownership they take for governing their local public schools. As the elected/appointed representatives of the people in their local communities, they represent their local communities’ voice and vision for their public schools.”
In other business, the board voted unanimously to approve the following field trip requests:
• The Union County High School JROTC Rifle Team’s trip to the Army Service National Championship in Anniston, Alabama Feb. 7-10
• The Union County High School Softball Team’s trip to the Softball Tournament at North Myrtle Beach High School April 1-4.
• The Union County High School Wrestling Team’s trip to Upperstate Wrestling Competition at East Side High School Feb. 16-17.
• The Union County High School Wrestling Team’s trip to State Wrestling Championship at the Anderson Civic Center Feb. 23-24.
The board also voted unanimously to approve the personnel report which included the appointment of the following individuals to the following positions:
• Kelly Ivey as Health Occupations Teacher at the CATE Center.
• Rakeia Johnson as Early Steps to School Success Coordinator at Foster Park Elementary School.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.