DAVID HEIN : COMMUNITY-FOCUSED LEADERSHIP
The seven Principles for Governance and Leadership , designed by school directors to provide a framework for highly effective board service .
more mandates coming , we try to help with the wording and phrase things that make it better for school districts and easier for districts to implement without too much of a financial or manpower impact .”
Because of the breadth of school board responsibilities and the impact on students , it ’ s all the more important that boards have a strong foundation , Hein says . That ’ s why during his year as president , he plans to emphasize the seven Principles for Governance and Leadership , designed by school directors to provide a framework for highly effective board service . “ Especially for the new board members that are coming on , it will help them to understand the difference between governance and management – it ’ s truly important ,” he says .
For new school directors
For new school directors acclimating to the role , Hein also recommends reading – everything that comes across the board table . “ You don ’ t have to memorize the policies verbatim , but read through them . If you ’ re on a committee , if your board has a committee structure or a committee of the whole , read everything that comes before all of the committees even though you ’ re not on them because you ’ re going to be voting on those items ,” he elaborates .
After reading , ask questions of the superintendent and fellow board members and complete professional development offered through PSBA and other avenues . Hein says he has benefited most from attending the annual School Leadership Conference and Advocacy Day as well as completing online courses and webinars through PSBA . He also suggests it ’ s a good idea to meet with the superintendent and his or her team to understand what staff and administrators at the district do and how the board interacts with them .
Also , talk with individuals in the community , the parents who have a child in your child ’ s class , for example , and listen to their comments and questions . “ If you don ’ t know the answer to their question , take it back to someone who does know or point them in the right direction to the person in their building , or if you need to take it to the next level , to the superintendent or the assistant superintendent . Again , if you don ’ t know the answer , tell them you ’ ll get back to them .”
Lehigh Career and Technical Institute dedicates the institute ’ s new welding lab .
Parkland High School students are recognized for academic achievement at a school board meeting .
He cautions newly elected school directors to avoid “ surprises ” at board meetings . “ That should not be the first place that you bring up a toxic topic or any new idea ,” he says . Instead , it ’ s better to have a conversation before the meeting with the superintendent and then have the discussion if it gets to an item for a committee or board meeting , or if an item comes up for approval .
Overall , Hein encourages school board directors – newly elected and experienced – to find those moments that make it worthwhile and remember their motivation for serving . “ Stay the course . We ’ re all in this for the children . We can disagree but let ’ s do it civilly and come to a working agreement where everybody can move forward . It will get better ; we just need to all get in it and work together .”
Hein is pictured with retired Parkland school director and past PSBA President Roberta Marcus .
January / February 2022 PSBA Bulletin 13