…. I would look to secure our future by advocating for even greater member participation in PSBA and on Capitol Hill. As a recipient of the Timothy M Allwein Award, I have proven my ability at the legislative level. That is not why I write today.
Now that the polls are open, people are asking me what I stand for and why I am the better candidate. That is a fair question. I have been an active PSBA Leader for seven (7) years and like to feel I’ve made some valuable contributions. However, several people have been leaders for twice that span, and they have been the heart and soul of the organization. Collectively, we have been carrying the torch together with the help of Past Presidents like Roberta Marcus and Marianne Neel to guide us.
Three years ago, PSBA went through a governance review process, bringing about many positive changes that were long overdue. I supported their work. As an Officer of PSBA in 2012 and 2013, I carried part of the weight of seeing these changes through while there were others who could not foresee the potential benefits to our association.
As members, you are experiencing one of the many changes right now, as you contemplate your vote for PSBA 2016 Officers. In the past, voting either took place in person at our leadership conference or through a cumbersome absentee ballot. In effect, less than 10% of our membership determined who would lead PSBA. Today, every member entity has an equal say and full access to review the candidates for each open office. Well over half the membership participated in last year’s process.
Our governance structure is vastly different than when I first became active. PSBA’s Governing Board was reduced in size from 24 to 11 voting members, operating much more efficiently. Our new executive director has done the same with PSBA’s administrative side by streamlining the home office to provide more services with fewer people, saving us hundreds of thousands of dollars. As I mention in my campaign video, I am very enthusiastic about the structure Nathan Mains and his team have built, together with the prospects of growth under our 2016 President, Kathy Swope.
What I am concerned about is where we will be in 2017 and beyond without focusing now on our leadership needs. I want to see the Leadership Development Committee expand its scope to developing new leaders. The strongest leadership will always be those who come up from the ranks. Members who volunteer as PSBA Liaisons, who gain needed experience as Assistant Region Directors and sharing their ideas in committees. Ultimately, these members should be our next generation of Region Directors.
My reason for making this an issue is because several of our region directors will reach their term limit this year and next. We will need people like you to step up and carry the ball by gaining experience now. That is also the reason I am asking each of you to study all of the candidates in this year’s election. Depending on where you reside, you will be selecting two or three officers. Study their submission and video and pick those candidates you truly believe have the best qualifications for each respective office. Your choices will make a difference in the future of PSBA.
I also have some unfinished work I promise to complete if given the opportunity as your President. In January 2013, President Diaz-Myers appointed me to chair the Career and Technical Education Task Force. As work ensued, many ways to support this vital area for economic growth in our Commonwealth were identified. I will strive to pick up where the committee left off. After all, we can’t teach tomorrow’s skill with yesterday’s tools. We need to create new revenue streams to keep our programs current with the rapid advances in arts and technology.
Lastly, like so many organizations, PSBA must address how our vision of the future evolves to improve diversity among those who lead our association. The barriers are gone, but; since I plan to call for cultivating future leaders for PSBA, I will also endeavor to extend the invitation to participate in PSBA’s growth on a basis that is fair and equitable for all. Toward that end, I will establish a Diversity and Equity Taskforce to be led by PSBA’s Minority Delegate.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or ideas. I will always “Stand Up for Public Education”.
Mark B Miller
(267) 988- 4226