Excited to Serve: My Appointment as Trustee of the Haslett Board of Education
Deepening My Commitment to Community and Education Through Board Service. Another exciting "Opposite" challenge.
I'm thrilled to announce that I've been appointed as a Trustee of the Haslett Board of Education. The position opened up following the resignation of Monica Del Castillo, and after a thorough selection and interview process, I was honored to be chosen at the board meeting this past Monday night. My term will run through December 31, 2024. I'm both excited and humbled by the responsibility to serve the community that has given so much to me and my family.
Why School Boards Matter
If you’re like me and weren’t really familiar with what a School Board does, school boards play a critical role in shaping the future of our children’s education and our community. School Boards set the vision and goals for the district, collaborate with the superintendent to implement policies, and are responsible for financial oversight and advocacy. In essence, a strong school board lays the foundation for a successful educational system, ensuring that both students and staff have the resources and support they need to succeed.
My Commitment to Our Community
I can't express enough how excited and honored I am to serve in this capacity. Education is the cornerstone of any community, and I'm deeply committed to ensuring that our students, parents, and educators are supported. I'm looking forward to learning from my fellow board members, the educators, and the community as we collectively work to maintain and elevate the already sterling reputation of Haslett Public Schools.
Thank you for entrusting me with this important role. I'm eager to contribute and make a positive impact on our community's future.
Below is my application for the position of Trustee of the Haslett Public Schools Board of Education.
Dear Haslett School Board,
As a lifelong resident of the Greater Lansing area and a committed member of the Haslett community, I am writing to express my interest in serving on the Haslett School Board. My wife, Laken, and I are raising our 5-year-old son, Lane, who is currently enrolled at Wilkshire Elementary School.
With a diverse background as a seasoned entrepreneur, community advocate, and former board member on various local organizations, I bring a unique blend of skills in strategic planning, financial management, and community engagement. I am deeply committed to leveraging my experience to contribute to the educational excellence and overall well-being of our district's students. Below you will find the answers to the three questions and attached you will find my complete resume. I look forward to this opportunity to serve the community I love.
1. Why are you interested in serving on the school board?
I have a deep-rooted connection to the Haslett community and the Greater Lansing area, where I've spent my entire life. My family—my wife, Laken, and our 5-year-old son, Lane—is directly impacted by the quality of education in Haslett Public Schools, as Lane is currently a student at Wilkshire Elementary School. My interest in serving on the school board is not just a personal commitment to my family but a broader commitment to every family in our district. I firmly believe that a strong educational system is the cornerstone of a prosperous, vibrant community. I want to contribute to creating an environment where every child has the opportunity to succeed, where teachers feel supported, and where parents are confident in the education their children are receiving. I see serving on the school board as a way to give back to a community that has given me so much and to ensure that future generations have even more opportunities for success.
Moreover, my desire to serve on the school board is fueled by a profound sense of duty and unwavering commitment to enriching our community. As the co-owner of Saddleback BBQ, my business partner and I have consistently leveraged our resources to make a meaningful impact. For instance, we have twice cleared student lunch debts at Mason School District and similarly eliminated library debts, alleviating financial burdens for families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when school lunch programs were suspended, we stepped in to provide thousands of meals to children in need. Beyond education, our community involvement extends to aiding local businesses, contributing to disaster relief efforts in Midland and Gaylord, and distributing thousands of holiday meals to underserved families. This ethos of community service is not just a corporate responsibility for us; it's a deeply held value. I approach the prospect of serving on the school board with the same level of seriousness and commitment.
For a detailed account of our community involvement, please visit: https://www.saddlebackbbq.com/blogs/blog/saddlebacks-work-in-the-community-and-donation-requests
2. What qualities, skills, and experience would you bring to the board?
As a seasoned entrepreneur with a diverse background, I bring a unique set of skills to the table. I co-own Saddleback BBQ and Slice by Saddleback, businesses that have consistently been profitable and have expanded to four locations since their inception in 2015. This experience has honed my skills in financial management, strategic planning, and operations—all of which are directly applicable to the fiscal responsibilities of a school board member. My businesses have been recognized for their excellence, including being named a "Michigan 50 Companies to Watch" in 2023, which demonstrates my commitment to quality and excellence.
In addition to my business acumen, my extensive experience in marketing and communications would be invaluable in promoting the district's initiatives and engaging with the community. I understand the power of storytelling and advocacy, skills that can be leveraged to build stronger relationships between the school district, parents, and the community at large.
Furthermore, I have extensive experience serving on boards, including roles on the Ele's Place, East Lansing Zoning Board of Appeals, and East Lansing Info. These roles have given me a solid foundation in governance, policy-making, and community service and have equipped me with the skills to navigate the complexities of board dynamics and governance effectively.
3. What do you see as the roles and responsibilities of school board members?
Based on my understanding, the role of a school board member is multi-faceted and extends well beyond attending regular and committee meetings. First and foremost, board members are responsible for setting the vision and goals for the district, working in collaboration with the superintendent to implement policies aimed at improving student achievement. This involves a deep understanding of the educational landscape, including curriculum, teaching methods, and the social and emotional needs of students.
Financial oversight is another critical responsibility. Board members must scrutinize budgets, ensure responsible spending, and seek out additional funding opportunities, all while balancing the needs and wants of various stakeholders. Given my background in business and financial management, I am well-equipped to contribute effectively in this area.
Advocacy is another key aspect of the role. Board members must serve as vocal advocates for the district, engaging with local, state, and federal officials to secure necessary resources and policies that benefit our schools. They must also be effective communicators, capable of engaging with the community to build support for district initiatives and to keep stakeholders informed.
Professional development is crucial. Effective boards participate in team development and training to ensure that they are up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in education governance. This commitment to continuous learning is something I highly value and have consistently pursued in my professional life.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.