December 6, 2006
Changes are on the way for Columbia County schools.
Last night's election was the first time voters chose the chairman of the school board, and Regina Buccafusco will soon take over.
The school board sets goals, the superintendent makes sure those goals happen, and the chairman of the board guides the entire process to make sure everything happens in the best interest of students.
Solid school board decision-making is a key issue for Columbia County voter Aaron Easter.
"Children are our future," he said. "If we don't get the right person as chairman, the schools won't bring them up right."
He says it's important for the school board to work together.
That's why chairman-elect Regina Buccafusco says she plans to give every board member a voice. She wants to group them together with other faculty on committees for projects like new schools, zoning, and student achievement.
"The more ideas you have, the more people you have input from, the better plans you have, I think," she said.
Then she meets with the superintendent to talk about which ideas should come to a vote and how each plan will affect the schools.
"He's the CEO. He leads the system. He's the expert--the instructional expert, the educational expert."
Based on the superintendent's feedback, she sets board meeting agendas, and that's when he presents his recommendations.
"By the time you get to that point of public vote, you've each talked about the best overall plan for the system," said Superintendent Tommy Price.
Then Buccafusco guides the meeting and makes sure everyone gets their say before the idea or plan becomes policy.
Once it does, it's up to the superintendent to make it happen.
Chairman Buccafusco's hope is to use her leadership role to get more parents involved in their policymaking.
A big decision coming up is picking the new superintendent. The first round of interviews happen this weekend, and the process will likely continue into next year, when Chairman Buccafusco takes office.