To the Editor:

Each January, school districts around Ohio recognize boards of education for the time and energy they devote to public education. The month earns its status as "School Board Recognition Month" when the governor passes a proclamation designating it as such. While we appreciate such accolades, it is not the reason any of us hold these positions. In fact, we believe things should be the other way around: We should thank you.

We realize how important a quality education is to our community and are grateful that you have elected us to these posts.

You also provide critical resources to fund our classrooms and maintain our facilities. The renewal of an expiring operating levy last November allowed our district to enter an extended period of financial stability, strengthen the rigor of our academics and refocus our energies toward facility needs. Thank you for your support and confidence in our efforts to manage these resources wisely.

We also thank you for participating in our short- and long-term planning efforts. Our strategic plan echoes what the community values for its students. One remaining challenge is to strike a balance between meeting state requirements and providing the academic program our community desires. We can overcome such hurdles with your continued guidance.

We are fond of saying, "Westerville City Schools: Where You Belong." While these words express our desire to make schools a place where everyone is welcome and feels a sense of belonging, it also reflects the fact that we live in a community that embraces the mission and purpose of its public schools. For this, we thank you.

Rick Vilardo, Nancy Nestor-Baker, Richard Bird, Gerrie Cotter and Tracy Davidson