We are looking for you
Lots of emails get overlooked as they arrive in your inbox. An important email from Wairakei Primary School has been sent to every parent at the school to encourage them to nominate to be a board member. The board has held some ‘open mike’ sessions offering to talk about being on the Board of Trustees and get this vital conversation started.
The current board was elected three years ago. In this time they have seen the development of Tokarewa and the refurbishment of 6 classes—and got me my school entrance sign!. They assisted and added ideas when building the new classrooms and installing an older room onto the school site. The role is to oversee the development of the school making sure that the staff are focussed on every child and that we spend the funding in the right places at the right time. During this election cycle the Board has purchased one-to-one devices for all students in Years 3 to 6.
Regular meetings are held at school or via Zoom. There is a board pack that comes out a week before the meeting. This helps the board to ask those important questions that need to be asked. Trends within the school achievement data are looked at and sometimes board members find out things about the school before the information hits the newsletter.
It is hard to take my word for it. So I asked our current board members to answer some questions that gave insight into why they put their hand up to become a board member.
Why did you nominate yourself to be a board member?
I have been the staff representative on the Board for five years. I joined in order to represent my colleagues and to learn how the school functions from a different perspective.
I nominated myself because I felt I had some skills to be able to contribute to the community. I also have a good employer who enables me to have the time to put into the role.
I love Wairakei Primary School and wanted to be involved to help make a positive difference. I believe in the African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child".
I nominated myself because I believe I have the skills and aroha for Wairakei Primary School to help the Principal and Senior Management develop the students to be lifelong learners.
Why would others become a board member?
Trustees bring different skill sets. Everyone is working towards a common goal. You meet like-minded people and also people who can broaden your views. You learn a lot about how a school functions, how money is spent and what the school's priorities are.
The school needs a good cross section of parents on the board, so I would encourage anyone to give it a go. You do not need to be a rocket scientist.
If they want to help make a difference at the school. They would have a lot of fun doing so. You become part of a team working together with a common vision. To educate students with POWER ( an acronym for our school values ) to be confident learners so they can rise to success.
It means you’re taking an active role in school leadership, through ensuring effective teaching for all the children through informed governance.
What sort of skills do board members need to have?
The key is to have the passion to want to improve the achievement and well-being of our children. To have an inquiring mind and a drive to maximise the school's resources.There are a lot of the skills that can be learnt while you are on the board as you have access to great learning resources. It’s an advantage to have skills in one or more of the following: the education sector, property, finances, human resources, Te Reo, policy and governance. It helps if you like working as part of a team and have a good sense of humour.
To give back, use a skill base because they were a former successful pupil and want the village school community to contribute.
What does it mean to be a board member?
Being a board member is about putting students at the centre of what we do and the decisions we make. It is about making choices and setting the direction of the school for the benefit of all our learners.
The students are at the heart of everything the board does, so keeping that front and centre is vital to being a board member. It is also important to remember that it is a governance role, therefore, the need to separate that from the day to day management of the school.
What sort of skills do board members need to have?
Board members need to be willing to share ideas and speak up. It is the different life experiences and skills of the members that really create a dynamic and eclectic mix.
The main skill to being a board member is to be able to ask questions. No question is a bad one. It does not matter who you are or where you are from as you will have a different perspective from others which will be valid.
What is the role of the board?
I see the role of the Board as the backbone of the school. Systems, buildings and finances are put in place to support school leaders and allow teaching staff to do their best for the learners at our school.
The role of the board is to provide governance of the school and that is looking after policy, finance and support to the principal. This will then enable the school to be the best it can be and have our students learning to the best of their ability.
I will say it again, it does not matter who you are or where you are from or how much education you have had as the school needs a broad spectrum of our community. So put your name forward as you can learn a lot about how our school works and the amazing people that our teachers and senior management are.
To ensure every student can reach their highest standard of achievement. The board does this by creating its charter, and strategic planning in consultation with the community. By creating rules and policies and guidelines about how the school runs by managing the schools property and finances.
Any message you would like to give to a member of the community looking to become a board member.
Just do it, you definitely won't regret it! Being on a school board is a very rewarding experience.
For me it’s immense pride in that I am able to contribute to the greater good that is Wairakei Primary School
We'd be delighted that you join us.
Nominations are now OPEN for the election of 5 parent representatives to the Board of Trustees.
Hit the button above for information regarding the election on our school website.