January is School Board Recognition Month, which provides our community the opportunity to thank our Dublin City Schools Board of Education members for everything they do for our district.

School board members are locally elected residents who play a very important role in public education.

Our five board members are responsible for setting district policy, overseeing district direction and representing community priorities.

We have been fortunate to have an active, engaged and experienced board.

The Board of Education consists of Stu Harris, Lynn May, Scott Melody, Chris Valentine and Rick Weininger.

Several years ago, in response to feedback from our Business Advisory Council and other groups, the board began to discuss alternative high school space to expand the district's career exploration programs.

It had become clear providing students more access to potential careers in the K-12 setting was a priority for our community. As a result of our board's proactive thinking, the Emerald Campus opened last fall and the first semester has been successful.

More than 1,000 students from all three of our high schools attend specialized programming in the building each day, and expansion is on the horizon.

Beginning next year, our International Baccalaureate program and three additional academies will be available to our students.

The board's foresight to obtain the former Verizon Building and transform it into the Emerald Campus has allowed the district to avoid building a fourth high school, which would have cost anywhere from $70 million to $100 million in construction costs alone.

The number of students moving in and out of Emerald Campus continues to free up space at our high schools during the day.

Our Board of Education provides proof that high-quality board members do not simply attend meetings, but engage in shaping the present and future of our district.

Being a school board member is truly a service oriented position. Our board members all have busy professional and personal lives with careers and families, but they sacrifice time and energy to serve the students of this community.

Our board is very active in helping our district solve problems and work toward solutions.

The board was instrumental in planning for Issue 5 and ultimately had the final say in placing the issue on the ballot last November. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters and has set our district's direction for the next decade, as we will be building two new elementary schools, a fifth middle school, and constructing additions at Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto high schools.

In addition to working on finding solutions for our rapid enrollment growth, board member duties include approving policies, contracts with employees, curriculum, budgets and more.

Board members are often on the front lines of communication with the public about these and other issues, serving as key communicators on a wide variety of topics.

If you happen to have contact with any of our board members during the coming weeks, please take the time to thank them for their service.

Their dedication is key to the Dublin Difference, something we appreciate all year-round.

Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph. D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.