BOE members advance in AASB Academy

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (December 2022) Local school board members from southwest Alabama were among the honorees at the Alabama Association of School Boards’ awards luncheon held Dec. 2 at the Hyatt-Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel.  
In all, 22 local school board members – included in 270 school board members statewide –were recognized for advancing in the AASB School Board Member Academy, a school for school board members. The education leaders were honored for their commitment to ongoing training to hone their boardmanship skills, increase their understanding of education issues and strengthen their leadership skills.
Escambia County board members and the levels they have achieved during the 2021-2022 training year in AASB’s School Board Member Academy are as follows: 
Level II (Requires 50 training hours) – Loumeek White
Master (Requires Level IV plus 15 hours, including one additional core course) – Sherry Digmon (third time)
“AASB applauds these members who have gone above and beyond to better serve students in Alabama by engaging in learning opportunities offered as part of AASB’s School Board Member Academy,” said AASB President Mary Hooks (Macon County board member). “We are extremely proud of the dedication our members have to advance public education.”
AASB has nine geographic districts. District 1 includes the school boards of Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties and the city school boards of Brewton, Chickasaw, Gulf Shores, Saraland, Satsuma and Thomasville, as well as the board of the Alabama School of Math and Science. 
The awards luncheon was held as part of AASB’s Annual Convention, which opened Thursday, Dec. 1, with Delegate Assembly, the association’s annual business meeting. An inspirational lineup of keynote speakers engaged attendees Friday, Dec. 2, with messages expanding upon this year’s Convention theme, Be the Change, encouraging members to actively be the change they want to see in their school systems.  
2021 Time Kid of the Year, author and motivational speaker Orion Jean shared the impact of kindness during his session, The Life-Changing Power of Kindness. Stedman Graham, educator and author, shared an in-depth dive into Identity Leadership. Saturday, Dec. 3, former State Superintendents Dr. Tommy Bice, Dr. Joe Morton and Dr. Ed Richardson participated in an informative panel discussion on Alabama Education: How We Got Here and Where We Go
About the AASB School Board Member Academy 
Founded in 1986, AASB’s School Board Member Academy includes four achievement levels based on the number of credit hours board members earn through conferences, workshops and other training events. There are eight core courses: Roles & Responsibilities, Leadership for Policy & Planning, Leadership for Financial Accountability, Leadership for Positive Climate & Culture; Leadership for Academic Achievement, Leadership for Developing a Highly Effective Staff; Effective Boards & Relationships and Leadership for Community Engagement. Board members who complete the core courses and the Academy’s four levels can continue their training to earn the Master School Board Member distinction and ultimately an opportunity to attain Master Honor Roll recognition.  
AASB’s Academy year runs July 1 to June 30. The Academy helps board members comply with the School Board Governance Improvement Act of 2012, which requires new board members take orientation and all board members earn at least 6 hours of annual training. Two of those 6 hours must be earned from training completed as a whole school board (with at least the majority of the school board in attendance).  
About the Alabama Association of School Boards 
The Alabama Association of School Boards represents all of the state’s public local school boards. Since 1949, AASB has served education leaders and the interests of local decision making in public education. The association’s mission is to develop excellent school board leaders through quality training, advocacy and services.