COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Hiring new director key role of school trustees

Opinion Mar 17, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Wes Hicks, special to the News

Let me begin by thanking voters for re-electing me as Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB). As the new board of trustees gets to work, it’s a great time to reflect on the role of a school trustee.

At our core, trustees are advocates for public education who believe that education matters, that our community must be represented in education decisions and that we can bring informed positions to our decisions.

Unlike other levels of government, we don’t vote along party lines or work in a parliament. We work within the policies and bylaws of our boards, and balance our respect for the will of the board with our responsibility to advocate for the interests of our constituents.

We set vision and direction. After listening to our communities, we work with senior staff to develop strategic directions that will guide work during our terms.

HWDSB has many references to Achievement Matters, Engagement Matters and Equity Matters because these are the key pillars in the 2009-2014 strategic directions.

Another key role for trustees is the hiring of the director of education. A director is the only employee who directly reports to the board of trustees. Because a director implements the vision and mission of the board, we take great care to ensure that our final selection is the best fit for HWDSB.

Policy-making is another important duty for trustees. We develop policies to support the goals of the school board, then monitor their implementation through close contact with the director. For example, trustees at a school board would develop policies for staffing, transportation, accommodation reviews and more.

We do much of this work through the various HWDSB committees for policy, governance, human resources as well as finance and facilities. I sit on the latter two committees.

In what may be our most visible work, we allocate resources through the annual budget. Trustees ensure that our spending aligns with our directions and legislated obligations.

We have to approve a balanced budget each year. It is our duty to be stewards of limited tax dollars.

This gives you a sense of some key roles for a school trustees. I am happy to chat more any time about how trustees help all students achieve through our work around the board table.

Feel free to learn more about HWDSB trustees at hwdsb.on.ca/board/trustees.

Wes Hicks is the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustee for Ward 8. Columns from the Mountain’s trustees appear monthly on a rotating basis. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Hiring new director key role of school trustees

Opinion Mar 17, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Wes Hicks, special to the News

Let me begin by thanking voters for re-electing me as Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB). As the new board of trustees gets to work, it’s a great time to reflect on the role of a school trustee.

At our core, trustees are advocates for public education who believe that education matters, that our community must be represented in education decisions and that we can bring informed positions to our decisions.

Unlike other levels of government, we don’t vote along party lines or work in a parliament. We work within the policies and bylaws of our boards, and balance our respect for the will of the board with our responsibility to advocate for the interests of our constituents.

We set vision and direction. After listening to our communities, we work with senior staff to develop strategic directions that will guide work during our terms.

HWDSB has many references to Achievement Matters, Engagement Matters and Equity Matters because these are the key pillars in the 2009-2014 strategic directions.

Another key role for trustees is the hiring of the director of education. A director is the only employee who directly reports to the board of trustees. Because a director implements the vision and mission of the board, we take great care to ensure that our final selection is the best fit for HWDSB.

Policy-making is another important duty for trustees. We develop policies to support the goals of the school board, then monitor their implementation through close contact with the director. For example, trustees at a school board would develop policies for staffing, transportation, accommodation reviews and more.

We do much of this work through the various HWDSB committees for policy, governance, human resources as well as finance and facilities. I sit on the latter two committees.

In what may be our most visible work, we allocate resources through the annual budget. Trustees ensure that our spending aligns with our directions and legislated obligations.

We have to approve a balanced budget each year. It is our duty to be stewards of limited tax dollars.

This gives you a sense of some key roles for a school trustees. I am happy to chat more any time about how trustees help all students achieve through our work around the board table.

Feel free to learn more about HWDSB trustees at hwdsb.on.ca/board/trustees.

Wes Hicks is the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustee for Ward 8. Columns from the Mountain’s trustees appear monthly on a rotating basis. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Hiring new director key role of school trustees

Opinion Mar 17, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Wes Hicks, special to the News

Let me begin by thanking voters for re-electing me as Ward 8 trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB). As the new board of trustees gets to work, it’s a great time to reflect on the role of a school trustee.

At our core, trustees are advocates for public education who believe that education matters, that our community must be represented in education decisions and that we can bring informed positions to our decisions.

Unlike other levels of government, we don’t vote along party lines or work in a parliament. We work within the policies and bylaws of our boards, and balance our respect for the will of the board with our responsibility to advocate for the interests of our constituents.

We set vision and direction. After listening to our communities, we work with senior staff to develop strategic directions that will guide work during our terms.

HWDSB has many references to Achievement Matters, Engagement Matters and Equity Matters because these are the key pillars in the 2009-2014 strategic directions.

Another key role for trustees is the hiring of the director of education. A director is the only employee who directly reports to the board of trustees. Because a director implements the vision and mission of the board, we take great care to ensure that our final selection is the best fit for HWDSB.

Policy-making is another important duty for trustees. We develop policies to support the goals of the school board, then monitor their implementation through close contact with the director. For example, trustees at a school board would develop policies for staffing, transportation, accommodation reviews and more.

We do much of this work through the various HWDSB committees for policy, governance, human resources as well as finance and facilities. I sit on the latter two committees.

In what may be our most visible work, we allocate resources through the annual budget. Trustees ensure that our spending aligns with our directions and legislated obligations.

We have to approve a balanced budget each year. It is our duty to be stewards of limited tax dollars.

This gives you a sense of some key roles for a school trustees. I am happy to chat more any time about how trustees help all students achieve through our work around the board table.

Feel free to learn more about HWDSB trustees at hwdsb.on.ca/board/trustees.

Wes Hicks is the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustee for Ward 8. Columns from the Mountain’s trustees appear monthly on a rotating basis. If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.