Why Trustees Need (to) ACT

ACT – Advocacy – Communication – Teamwork

ACT is more than just an acronym, a slogan, or platform. ACT is central to everything trustees do. Everything about ACT is linked.

Advocacy cannot happen without Communication and Teamwork. Communication itself cannot happen without Teamwork.

The role of a trustee is one of stewardship as well as political.

Stewardship in that trustees, as a group, are responsible for overseeing the policies of the Board, overseeing the financial health of the Board, and overseeing the Director of Education – ensuring that the Director of Education has what they need to manage the Board and its staff.

The political comes in when dealing with the public. Trustees are elected by the voters to give the public a say in our education system and in how it’s run. To make sure that the public voice is represented at the table – that’s part of Advocacy.

We can’t represent the public effectively without talking to them. My personal experience is part of what would make me an effective steward and advocate. But I can’t rely solely on my own experiences. Part of being a trustee is seeking out others for their experience, views and opinions and bringing them to the table – that’s part of Communication.

Teamwork–in the context of trustees–is about taking what experience we have and taking what we’ve learned from communicating with parents, students, teachers, the community and joining with colleagues around the table (who are hopefully doing the same) to set policies that work for everyone.

I don’t believe setting policies that work for everyone is a beyond our ability.

The public’s needs continuously change over time; Board needs will change over time – that’s a reality. Trustees have to keep this in mind as they consider the welfare of students, parents and staff as well as that of the Board.

In my opinion ACT is central to the role of a trustee because it allows them to fulfil every part of their job. Everything is connected. When one thing is ignored it impacts the others.