Valarie Wilson, Executive Director, Georgia School Boards Association


you know a lot of people ask me where my
passion for public education comes from everywhere do you care so much what is
it that drives your desire to impact public education and the answer is
always the same for me you see it in the community that nurtured me and love me
and believed in my dreams it is the community believe that public
education was my take it to be successful and to be better than my poor
community would have people would have thought that I could be you see it is
that passion and support that my community gain to the teachers and
educators who taught us to the administrators who lived in India’s bets
a community that believe that the public education system was one of the
cornerstones of our democracy and that it was my it was a right ahead in order
to be successful back support from my community
foundation within which drives my belief about public education over the past 25
years of so we have been hammered with and helmet with a message that support
for public education is doing well you see that foundation tells me that that’s
a bunch of our people in this state and pretty much in this country support
public education when you look in the state of Georgia over 95 percent of
children in this country and in the public schools but even if that’s not
enough to convince you let me tell you know some of you know that I spent much
of 2014 traveling this state talking to people about our public education system
I talked to talk to know I talk to students at active business leaders at a
community leaders who probably didn’t think they cared about public education
and knew enough about public education to even have an idea of what I will tell
you is the passion with which they spoke to me about public education want my
heart and on november fifth of 2014 a combined number of two point six million
people spoke on behalf of the 1.7 million children who attend a public
school system baseball cap when they went to the polls now I wasn’t
successful we all know but you know what makes me happy is I
understand and believe in divine or and I recognize that everything that happens
happens for a reason so you know what happened on July 1st I became the
director of the Georgia School Boards Association and some of the best days of
my life and the most important work outside of raising my child was serving
on my local school board members cheap advocate for their local school district
and the conversations bad I her travel will help guide me as the GSB a staff
and I work to help and school boards articulate for their communities the
rapid-fire changes that’s occurring within our public education system in
the state of Georgia you see I believe school board members have to be the
people are engaging their community members and speaking with them about
what’s going on they have to bring them to the table and talk with them about
what’s happening in public education yeah we have a job we’ve got to make
sure we hire strong education leaders like we’ve gotta make sure that we are
watching that budget in allocating towers but I dare say the most important
job that we have to make sure we’re connecting what is happening within that
district to the people who have children or who have communities in the
communities that support at work what I mean by everyone in your communities should understand what Commission in
state of Georgia Institute and who should be igniting those conversations
in your communities who should be helping you in your communities to
understand what the opportunity school district does in real and how it will
impact your community your local school board who should be helping you to
understand what the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act how it will impact the most fragile of children in your communities your
school board that is probably the most important job that they should be the
ones that help you understand why your district does what it does what the
strategic plan needs how it impacts your children from school board members and
Beth our job at the Georgia School Boards Association so you see I didn’t
really lose actually because to make sure that we are providing this resource
and support for school board members to get the job done nothing it’s not just
about school board members it’s also about making sure that we are engaging
our local elected officials and city councilman to county commissioners and
making sure that they are helping us to educate your children because their
community I talked about is real it takes a village to educate children
officials city commissioners counsel people built facilities that allow your
children the economy that is safe and efficient and they can
come in and work in do their work in environments that are conducive to
learning today’s children in the state of Georgia we have over 60 percent of
our children who live at or below the poverty level or attend our public
school system they come to us with external issues that have to be
addressed working on our communities whether it is
our faith communities government and nonprofit communities helps us to
provide for those children the wraparound services that are necessary
to help them to be successful support for public education is as
strong as it has ever been it is our job and school board members
to make sure that we keep our communities connected and understanding
what is happening within their children’s schools I we’ll tell you
every board member that I have engaged in talked to in this role recognizes
their job but I would be less than honest if I told you all understand that
we’ve got work to do but we are committed to the task for the task we
will make sure that that message that we that support for public education is
dwindling will make sure that people understand support for public education
in this state is that strong ever be




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