Sunday, January 31, 2010

Board Representation: A "Parish" Model

In my last post, I noted one particular concern with the proposed amendments to the GRCS bylaws--the procedure for composing the Board of Trustees. As I noted, the amended procedure has no checks and balances in place to guarantee "representation" from across the "regions" where GRCS families live (and the reason why this is important is because locale and values are intertwined). The danger, then, is that there are no procedural guardrails in place to prevent the gradual homogenization of the BOT and an over-representation of a particular "sector."

Now, it seems to me that we could have a relatively simple procedure to avoid this homogenization, without invoking the memories or phantoms of the "old schools." If those GRCS families who live in Eastown embody one expression of a Christian ethos, and those families who live in Ada embody another expression of a Christian ethos, wouldn't the valuative work of strategic planning benefit from a BOT that has representation from across these locales? And couldn't we do that without trying to retain the former school "districts?"

My proposal would be something like a "parish" system: that the BOT be composed of members drawn from across the "parishes" that make up the GRCS "region," as it were. The "parishes" could be determined by zip code (we all know how much marketers can tell from our zip code). For example, we could require that three BOT members be from the "parish" constituted by the zip codes 49503, 49505 and 49506; three more members would come from the parish represented by 49507, 49508, and 49548; and three from the area covered by 49525, 49546, and 49512.

Such "parsishes" would be wider than "old" school districts, but would also recognize difference in ethos in each of these regions (none of these differences are absolute). And I'm confident that we could find people in each of these parishes with the relevant "gifts and expertise" needed to carry out the BOT's mission and task.

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