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Superintendent’s Message: Thank a school board member this month

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District

The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District's Board of Trustees is comprised of (standing, left) Place 3 Trustee Suzanne Brown, Place 4 Trustee Ross Behrens, Place 7 Trustee Mark Kincaid, (sitting, left) Secretary Earl Foster (Place 1), President Andy Feild (Place 5), and Vice President Angela Moore (Place 2). Courtesy photo

On September 12, 1962, President Kennedy delivered his memorable “Moon Speech” in which he set forth his vision for putting a man on the moon. During the speech, he challenged to nation to “go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

There is no doubt that President Kennedy’s vision and goal for the space program was a driving force behind Neil Armstrong taking that first step on the moon on July 20, 1969. What is truly remarkable to me is that he established a vision for the future in 1962 in which technology did not exist at the time to make it a reality. His stated vision was the starting point for the creation of hundreds of new technologies. That’s how important vision can be.

The month of January is School Board Recognition Month and the theme this year is “Launching the Next Generation.” Kennedy’s vision was critical to the success of the Apollo Program, and the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees’ vision for the district is critical to its success. We are fortunate to have school board members who provide outstanding leadership and vision for BCISD. Our shared vision is that BCISD will craft an inspiring future for each student that embodies spirit, pride, and honor. The challenge for us is similar to what existed in 1962 in that each student’s future is unique to them, and we have to prepare students for that future without fully knowing what jobs will even be needed in the future.

While educating children is not rocket science, it is a complex, demanding responsibility: ensuring schools are available, qualified teachers are in place, buildings are safe, and resources are provided. It’s a responsibility that our board members generously accept. They commit to read reports, learn the laws, understand the community’s needs, set thoughtful goals, and wisely handle the district’s financial resources.

The task of educating more than 3,200 students can seem overwhelming. The idea of 3,200 young minds relying on us to provide what they will need to succeed in their ever-unfolding future can feel insurmountable. But when we were children, the adults in our world provided for us, and now it is our turn to provide for today’s students.

But it isn’t just a simple commitment. Serving as a board member means going through an election and making difficult decisions for the district, its employees, and its children. It means being available to hear from concerned parents in the grocery store, at the game, or over the backyard fence. It means committing to the time it takes to do the job right. And in Texas, there is no pay for school board members and there are required training requirements, creating further demands on their time. In short, why would anyone volunteer for this role?

Fortunately, in our community, caring adults have signed on for the responsibility and hard work of making our schools the best they can be. They immerse themselves in learning what they need to know to make good decisions that will provide for students, from the very youngest to the graduating senior. Trustees are public servants who generously work to benefit the most vulnerable members of each community.

So please join me in thanking the BCISD Board of Trustees comprised of President Andy Feild, Vice President Angela Moore, Secretary Earl Foster, and Trustees Robby Robertson, Suzanne Brown, Mark Kincaid and Ross Behrens. Take a moment to recognize these local trustees and say thank you for the work the BCISD School Board members are doing on your behalf.

Keith McBurnett is the superintendent of the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District.