D86 board officer elections illustrate lack of collaboration

This past year it has been disheartening to see the District 86 BOE led by a board president who showed a lack of integrity to her campaign promises and abused her position to silence board member dialogue. What was even more disappointing was the silence from the other three board members that form the majority, when agenda items were voted off or voted on by a show of hands without full discussion. It seemed like they had reached consensus outside of open session. Ms. Walker clearly didn’t show respect for her position or fellow board members who took the time to prepare comments for open session. By supporting the board majority for the remaining officer positions, after Mr. Held was elected board president, he has already shown that he is not “collaborative.” Per IASB, “effective school board members” display:

• The ability to work as a member of a team with an open mind and an ability to engage in give-and-take to arrive at a group consensus.

• The willingness to spend the time required to become informed and to do the homework needed to take part in effective school board meetings.

• The recognition that the school district is a large operation and that the board is responsible for seeing that the district is run by highly skilled professionals.

Good superintendents and successful BOE’s encourage full board discussion and work collaboratively with the full community. Despite recent statements, we have seen the opposite of this. Actions speak louder than words. — Mridu Garg, Hinsdale