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Lakewood School Board seeks applicants for open director position

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District Board of Directors is seeking qualified applicants for the Director District 2 School Board Member position that will be open Dec. 1, and Lakewood School District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Haddock explained what candidates should expect if they're selected.

"The Washington State School Directors' Association states that serving on a local school board has often been called 'the toughest volunteer job in America.'" Haddock said. "While it can be challenging at times, most school directors will tell you there are great rewards in helping students and in giving back to your community. The contributions of each school director are critical to the board's overall effectiveness."

The Lakewood School District conducts regular meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, except during the months of January, April and July, when meetings take place on the third Wednesdays of the month only. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and generally run about two hours. Prior to each meeting, directors are given packets of information to review, so they can be prepared to discuss and vote on action items at the board meetings. Haddock estimated that, on average, school board directors probably spend between 6-8 hours per month performing their duties, although he noted that this might increase in the months that special board meetings or study sessions are held.

As the "governors" of the school district, school board directors work in partnership with the administrative team to set the district's direction. Haddock defined the school board's governance responsibilities as falling into four major areas of "vision, structure, accountability and advocacy." School board members work with administrators to make decisions and set policy regarding a number of matters, including bond and levy elections, budget adoption, facilities, curriculum adoption, fiscal planning and oversight, employee relations and transportation.

"Cooperation is the key to successful school board governance," Haddock said. "Board members must work with one another and in partnership with the superintendent, who carries out the board's vision and direction. Decision-making authority is vested in the school board as whole. Individual proposals are adopted only when a majority of the board approves them. Individual board members are sought out by members of the community at times, and are provided feedback on certain issues from time to time. This is welcomed, as it keeps board members apprised of questions and concerns."

The candidate selected and appointed by the board to fill this position will serve until the next regularly scheduled board election, in the fall of 2011, at which time the board member may run for re-election for the balance of the four-year term, which runs until the fall of 2013. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, Washington state residents, and residents of Director District 2. Applications can be downloaded online, at http://www.lwsd.wednet.edu/district/pdffiles/Director2Annoucement.pdf, and sent to Robin Barker at the Lakewood School District, by mail at P.O. Box 220, N. Lakewood, WA 98259, or delivered to 17110 16th Dr. NE in Marysville. The board plans to conduct interviews for interested applicants in late September or early October.

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