As you may already know, January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to salute the work of our Board members and to celebrate public education. It gives me great personal and professional pleasure to recognize the Imlay City School Board on behalf of our students and school community.

Our Board of Education members include Mrs. Sharon Muir, President; Mr. Greg Dennis, Vice-President; Mr. Doug Van Dyk, Treasurer and trustees Mrs. Ashley Whiting, Dr. Laura Zelenak, Mr. Alex Lengemann and Mrs. Kaylee Kaeding.

Few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of School Board members’ responsibilities and the commitment they must possess to execute them. Board members establish a vision for our education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, support our schools in their efforts to accomplish it, and remain ever focused on our continuous improvement and on student learning. They serve as the voice for our community in directing the work of the schools.

In the best of times, School Board members face complex and increasingly demanding challenges. On behalf of the community, they bear the weight of difficult decisions and their outcomes. Our Board of Education displays thoughtfulness, compassion, caring, professional will and humility as they address the challenges of providing our children the highest possible quality education. They are charged with being both the toughest critics and biggest proponents of the district and the work that happens here.

But 2020, clearly, has not been the “best of times.” The past year of Board service required an unusual combination of skills and talents from our district leaders. Unexpected circumstances and rapid changes in laws and regulations resulted in new and unique needs emerging, calling for decisive action, and unique, creative solutions. Schooling in 2020 took on a different look; one not seen before. Obstacles presented themselves at every turn.
Yet, in every instance, our ICS Board members exemplified adaptability, quick problem solving ability, focus, decisiveness, teamwork, strong character and true leadership for the district – making tough decisions when times presented our most difficult challenges. More so than ever, 2020 showed us that the individuals at our Board table—through their thoughtfulness and commitment— have a significant impact on our ability to be a true district of excellence.

The tone set by a School Board is the tenor by which the district operates. A highly functional, effective, collaborative and supportive School Board is what sets an excellent district apart from the others. And that is what sets Imlay City Schools apart from other districts. For that, the ICS Board of Education has our deepest respect and admiration.

So, on behalf of the school community, thank you for your leadership and your commitment to our schools. Thank you for the countless personal hours and personal sacrifices you make to ensure the needs of our community are met by our schools. Most importantly, thank you for making a profound difference in the lives of the children, staff, and families in our district.

—Dr. Stu Cameron,
Imlay City Schools superintendent