BOE approves archery trip request, holds training webinar

Published 6:35 pm Friday, May 2, 2014

The Chilton County Board of Education convened at the Central Office for a called meeting and a training webinar for board members Thursday.

During the meeting, the board approved a recommendation to allow Jemison High School and Chilton County High School students to attend the National Archery Tournament in Louisville, Ky., from May 8–10.

Board member Jim Shannon made a motion to approve the recommendation, and board member Curtis Smith seconded the motion.

Board members Keith Moore and Linda Hand and president Lori Patterson also voted in favor of the recommendation.

Board members Pam Price and Joe Mims were absent from the meeting.

Price arrived later for the training webinar.

The webinar, titled “Creating a High-Performing Team,” counted toward board members’ training hours they must accrue each year.

Susan Salter, director of leadership development with the Alabama Association of School Boards, led the webinar and talked about behaviors that could improve a board’s ability to lead and operate efficiently as a team.

“As a society, we have become a very me-focused group of people,” Salter said. “We have more choices in this society than we’ve ever had in human history. Our social connections are deteriorating.”

Salter used bowling leagues in the 1950s as an example of the type of teamwork needed today.

“We have lost that focus on doing things as a group and working toward a common goal,” Salter said. “Teams often fall apart because coming together in productive ways is very hard. Teamwork is a choice and strategic decision.”

Salter urged boards to consider the following questions:

•Do team members 1) openly disclose their opinions, 2) confront each other about their shortcomings and 3) sacrifice their own interests for the good of the team?

•Does the team 1) have productive meetings and 2) come to decisions quickly and avoid getting bogged down?

“No team is perfect, but the teams that function most effectively can answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions,” Salter said.

Salter listed the foundations of a cohesive team, starting with trust, then conflict, commitment, accountability and results.

Tips for building trust include showing respect for each person at the table, working to build relationships among team members, committing to listening to each other and considering the Team Effectiveness Exercise.

“Trust is truly the foundation of this entire work,” Salter said. “With trust, nobody feels marginalized.”