School Board – Becoming a Member

School Board

Becoming a School Board Member

A Guide for Candidates

A member of a school board is entrusted with one of the most important responsibilities
that can be assigned to any citizen — that of helping to plan the education of young people.

Qualifications for being a school board member:

  • The candidate must be a registered voter residing in the school district.
    This is the only legal requirement.  However, the qualifications needed for
    effective service on a school board are many.
  • A board member should have a broad background of experience and knowledge — or be ready, willing and able to learn quickly.
  • The board member should be able to look beyond yesterday’s
    solutions and yesterday’s kind of education and be willing to provide
    today’s education to today’s children.
  • The board member should be visionary — able to understand the forces of change.
  • The board member should be tolerant and free of prejudice.
  • The board member should understand that education today is extremely
    complex, and that simplistic approaches will not meet today’s challenges.
  • The board member should be able to defend the board’s philosophy
    and goals and to withstand the barbs that will come from people with opposing views.
  • The board member should be willing to invest the many hours necessary to discharge his/her responsibility.
  • The board member should serve because of a sincere desire to serve the community and students
    of the district, rather than for personal glory or gratification of personal objectives.
  • The board member should bear in mind that he/she has a responsibility to all of the children in the district.

Duties of the School Board Member

  • Establish policies for the school system.
  • Set goals.
  • Make decisions on a wide range of topics — from approving routine matters like approval of minutes of meetings to more complex decisions — for example graduation requirements.
  • Selection of Superintendent — The Superintendent will carry out the administration of the school system.
  • The board should refrain from becoming involved in the day-to-day operation of the schools.
  • Negotiating agreements with the certified staff.
  • Build public support and understanding of public education.

School Board Member Compensation

School board members may receive compensation for attendance at school board meetings, committee meetings, and workshops. Compensation rates are set by the board at the annual re-organizational meeting held in July.

Conflict of Interest

A school board member cannot be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with or claim against the board. (Some exceptions do apply.)

School Board Elections

School Board elections may be held on any Tuesday between the third Tuesday in April and the third Tuesday in June.  The Dell Rapids School Board sets the election date at the first meeting in January.

If you would like information about the Dell Rapids School District’s School Board election process, please contact Barb Littel, Business Manager, at 428-5473 or

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