So, what do I do as Trustee?
When speaking of Catholic education, St. Pope John Paul II often quoted John 10:10, where Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” As a Catholic Trustee I have many responsibilities, my primary one being to help ensure that our schools provide our students with the knowledge, tools and opportunities they need to live life ‘to the full’ as discerning Catholics by nourishing their mind, body and soul.
The critical role of Catholic trustee includes –
- Advocate. Advocating for students, parents, and school communities. Advocating for Catholic education – its promotion and protection – with our partners and the community at large. How? Attending parent council and school community meetings. Talking with media. Organizing workshops with the school communities, pastors and our education partners. Representing the ward at Board and in the community.
- Facilitator. Talking with parents, students and local communities – helping to ensure fair and due process in resolving student, parent and school issues. How? Working with senior staff to identify and bring together those who can best resolve the identified issue. Improve policy or process through board motions where a gap has been shown to exist.
- Governance. Developing and continuing to improve the framework in place for effective and transparent decision-making for our students. How? Working with trustee colleagues and our Director, and through membership on the Governance & Policy committee.
- Lobbyist. Meeting regularly with local representatives at all levels of government, local agencies and community partners to ensure those who influence or control resources for our students and families, hear the voice of our communities and understand the needs of our students.
- Strategic Planner. The board of trustees has responsibility for developing the Board’s strategic multi-year plan, approving our annual budget, in support of our board’s mission and vision.
- Policy Maker. The board of trustees has responsibility for creating policies which enable student and system success. As well as regularly evaluating the impact and effectiveness of these policies and making adjustments where necessary.
FACT: In my 1st term as trustee (2010 – 2014), I attended or organized about 600 board, community and education partner meetings.