We’ve just had elections in some of the school districts in Texas, which means that new people are joining the school board. Congratulations to all of the board members who were chosen, whether they be new to the board or re-elected incumbents.
Thinking about school board members makes me think about offensive linemen. This is not intended as a physical comparison. My research indicates that as of 2015, the average NFL lineman was 6’5” and 312 pounds. That’s the AVERAGE! I have seen a few beefy board members in the buffet line at the Walsh Gallegos Client Receptions, but rare is the board member who can tip the scales at over 300.
But here are four ways in which board members are like offensive linemen.
First, the board needs to act as a team. This does not limit individuality or require everyone to agree on everything. But it means that once the decision is made, the board works as a team to implement the board’s decision effectively. That’s what the offensive line does. The left tackle may disagree with the play call, but when the QB takes the ball from the center, the tackle is going to do his part to make the play work. Boards may vote 4-3 on some tough issues. Once the decision is made, all seven need to support that decision. Some boards have adopted ethical guidelines for board members that include “I will respect the majority decision as the decision of the board.” See BBF Local.
Second, good board members make things happen, but rarely get proper credit for it. And they don’t feel the need for the credit. They are happy to see the play work.
Third, one misplay by a single board member can screw things up for everyone. Just like one missed block, or one holding penalty negates the good work of the other 10 players on the field.
Fourth, we don’t usually hear about individual board members unless they do something bad. The newspaper may report on what “the board” did, but individual trustees are not usually spotlighted unless there is a scandal of some sort—a conflict of interest, an inappropriate remark at the board meeting or on Twitter. It’s the same with offensive linemen. We never hear their name from the announcer at the stadium unless they are penalized for holding.
We’re a long way from football season, but still…I hope you find the comparisons useful.
DAWG BONE: A WISE MAN ONCE TOLD ME THERE IS NO BETTER SERVICE A PERSON CAN OFFER THE COMMUNITY THAN TO SERVE ON THE SCHOOL BOARD.
Tomorrow: Charter Schools and Title IX.