Craig Hockenberry

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Craig Hockenberry: Launching Board Development

Craig Hockenberry: Launching Board DevelopmentCraig Hockenberry: Launching Board Development

Convincing your bosses that they need professional development is never an easy task, but as a superintendent it is clearly part of your job. It is easy when a newly elected board member joins the team to let them know that they need to attend an OSBA sponsored new board member orientation, but letting them know that we need a yearlong professional development structure in the evenings off campus is a challenge.

It was not a difficult decision to start the board development as two board members were spending their time focusing on things that were outside of their role as a board members. The trainings occurred off campus at places such as Cincinnati State, Western Hills Country Club, the Three Rivers Campus, Forward Edge, and other places around Cincinnati. I understood that regardless of the training the two board members had the right to act however they wanted, but might does not make right so the plan was to give them another perspective through a yearlong training session.

Everyone did great and the training was done by one of the most professional leaders in Board Development in the entire region. I personally learned a lot and was thankful to go through the experience. Each session was built around setting goals and supporting the leadership of the district to accomplish the goals. This idea was to make Three Rivers a better district. After each session, I saw several board members get better and I saw a much different board.

I did similar development at Manchester Local, but most of the training was done in the form of retreats that last several hours and we always focused on a single topic we wanted to improve on such as; school law, community engagement, dealing with complaints, and other pressing issues.

In 2018-2019 school year we spent almost $600,000 in professional development for our staff to improve practices and develop our workforce, but I found it interesting that leading up to 2018-2019 we spent $0.00 (not a single cent) on developing board members.

The money we spent on board development was worth it as board members are critical in the success of local school districts. Like teachers and other staff board members should also get top quality training and professional development.

By Craig Hockenberry
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