The Mitchell School Board is the first-ever recipient of the ASBSD School Board Award of Excellence, Associated School Boards of South Dakota announced recently.
The ASBSD School Board Award of Excellence recognizes a South Dakota school board that consistently provides the leadership necessary to improve achievement for all students. An independent, four-person panel scores each nomination and selects the school board that best exemplifies the traits of an effective school board. The honoree receives a recognition plaque and a $1,000 cash award, which was generously provided by BankWest.
“The Mitchell School Board clearly understands its role as a leader both in the school system and in the community,” said ASBSD Executive Director Wayne Lueders. “They are a shining example of the hard work and commitment that South Dakota school boards display every day.”
Mitchell was one of four finalists for the competitive award. The application required school boards to provide data and evidence that board actions led to improved student achievement. Applicants were also asked to detail how the school board embodied five widely-recognized and research-based traits of an effective school board: setting clear expectations, creating the conditions for success, holding the system accountable, building public support and learning as a board team.
“The Mitchell School Board is a vision-driven group of leaders who are intently focused on providing the very best education to every student in district,” Lueders said. “Their success is further proof that deliberate actions of a focused school board leads to successful public schools.”
The ASBSD School Board Award of Excellence is the association’s first recognition program that honors collective success rather than individual accomplishment. ASBSD also recognizes the year’s outstanding school board member and honors non-educators who champion public education.
According to Lueders, the entire school system and Mitchell community should share in the celebration.
“School board leadership is an essential element of successful public schools, but it’s not the only factor,” Lueders said. “The Mitchell School Board has worked closely with dedicated educators and a supportive community while keeping a sharp focus on improving student learning.”
The four-person selection committee did a blind review of the applications, meaning any information that identified a school district was blacked-out prior to the committee’s review. ASBSD President Susan Humiston, a board member from Edgemont, was one of four education and business leaders who served on the selection panel. The committee also included: Dean Christensen, Superintendent of the Deuel School District and the current Superintendent of the Year; David Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Patricia Simmons, a former ASBSD director and current member of the State Board of Education.
The school board will be presented with the plaque and cash award in the Mitchell community at a date to be determined by ASBSD and school district officials.