If you have been considering a run for an open position as a school trustee, like Katharine Hamilton, and have been nominated, you may have a sincere feeling of commitment to the school you work with. However, there are some qualities you’ll need in order to do a good job and to retain the respect of everyone on campus. Ask these questions of yourself to get a better idea of whether you should seek a trustee position.
Am I Well-Liked By Board Members?
To win any election, people have to know that you can do the job. However, it will also help if you are well-liked by those whose votes you’ll have to earn. You likely already have a good idea of whether members of the board think you’re a good fit or not, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about whether they like you enough to vote for you. If you don’t feel well-liked right now, don’t despair; you may still be a good trustee. You’ll just have to sway voters with your ideas and by presenting yourself as well-informed, passionate and dedicated. Even if you feel well-liked, however, don’t think you’re a shoo-in; you’ve still got to show that you bring something new to the table.
Do I Have the Time?
While it’s flattering to be nominated to a trustee position, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it fits in well with the rest of your life at this time. You’ve got to decide whether you’ll be able to set aside enough time for the financial, academic, and other issues that will arise over the period you’ll be serving. If you can carve out sufficient time in your schedule for preparing for meetings, talking with different departments, and managing other responsibilities, you may decide to move forward with the election and be able to serve with distinction.
Who Do You Know On Campus?
To make yourself an attractive candidate for the trustee position, you’ve got to show that you have a solid understanding of the issues and concerns of people at every level on campus. Do you know a lot of the teachers? Have you spent any time with students? Have you had a conversation with anyone on the janitorial staff? If so, your ability to communicate with and understand many people can be valuable in a trustee position, and you could be an important voice for everyone.
After asking the questions here and talking to others about your chances, you may decide to run for trustee at your school. Make sure that you honestly outline your strengths and give specific examples of how you would best serve the school so that you have a shot at winning.