By Patricia Montague, CAE 2015-06-11 12:02:25
Sustaining Our Volunteer Corps Iregularly marvel at the leadership and commitment of SNA’s presidents, admiring their ability to juggle home, family, work and all their Association responsibilities, including a hectic travel schedule. They make it look so easy! While I have volunteered for different organizations over the years, I’ve never been expected to invest the sheer number of hours that SNA asks of its Board of Directors. I have thought often about their commitment, particularly as I worked with the Board and SNA staff to complete a multi-year project to ensure that the Association has both a nimble governance structure and a headquarters staff organization that are aligned with the strategic plan. (The details of this project are highlighted in “For the People, By the People,” on page 30.) SNA has a long and fortunate history of incredible leaders who step up, with the support of their school districts and families, to take very demanding volunteer positions. It’s not just the Board members and Association officers, either. SNA relies on the dedication of a tremendous corps of volunteers willing to head up a taskforce, chair a national meeting, draft questions for the SNS exam, travel to allied organization events and much more. Unfortunately, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans are not volunteering as much as they have in the past, and this includes SNA members. Organizations like ours must address the underlying reasons for this volunteer regression in determining how to move forward within the constrictions of the new reality. The proposed governance structure was developed with a goal of making volunteering more manageable. You can ask any past national or state SNA leader, and she or he will tell you how truly rewarding it is to serve the professional organization; it’s our hope that proposed changes will make it easier for many of you to enjoy these volunteer rewards in the coming years. I think SNA President Julia Bauscher will be among the first to tell you that volunteer service is a privilege, and it has been a privilege for me to work closely with Julia over the years. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm are exhilarating, and her commitment to the profession, this association and its members knows no bounds. SNA has accomplished a tremendous amount of work in implementing its new strategic plan under Julia’s stewardship. I am sure her family back in Louisville—and her staff at Jefferson County Public Schools—will be glad to have Julia home. And, it is surely not goodbye, as Julia prepares for her new challenge on the Nominating Committee (soon to be known as the Leadership Development Committee). I know she will bring the same energy and enthusiasm to her efforts to recruit future SNA leaders as she has to her Board service!
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