AMA ESD recognizes school boards

ALPENA – The Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District is joining 545 local and 56 intermediate school districts across the state to recognize January as School Board Recognition Month. The AMA ESD wanted to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education.

“Serving on a school board has been described as the ‘toughest volunteer job in America.’ Yet Michigan’s public school board members dedicate countless personal hours to attending meetings, school functions, and hours of preparation for the decisions they make,” Superintendent Brian Wilmot said. “On top of that, many puruse their own professional development to stay on top of the ever-changing education landscape. Collectively, school board members in Michigan have spent about 7,000 hours attending training and professional development. They’re dedicated individuals who are committed to the continuing success of our schools and students.”

With the numerous volunteer hours during meetings and studying current issues and policies at home, the board comes together to discuss and decide what would be best for the school in the future.

“We appreciate the time and effort they put forward,” Wilmot said. “They establish a vision for the program and provide guidance for our schools. The board sets policies and makes the big decisions to help us structure what we will do for the future.”

Board members take responsibility for, and oversee the annual budget, students and employees, among many other aspects of the district.

“We proudly join educators and community members in saluting these education advocates as they provide vision and leadership for student achievement, academic programs, district funding and school facilities,” Wilmot said. “They preserve the core of our democracy – public education.”

The men and women serving Alpena, Montmorency and Alcona counties in the AMA ESD are: John Pines, president; Naomi Deo, vice-president; Norm Sommerfeld, treasurer; Ralph Stepaniak, secretary; Tom Sharpe, trustee; Richard Matteson, trustee; and Donna Baranyai, trustee.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.