In team sports, having a deep bench is important to creating winning teams over the long haul. The same holds true for organizations and AESA is fortunate to have many good people who can take up roles on the board of directors when other members are not able to fill out their terms.
Two such new board members are Jeremy Meyers, who replaces Joe Silva and Scott Menzel, who took Kevin Konarska's seat.
Menzel is superintendent of Washtenaw Intermediate School District in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Washtenaw ISD serves nine districts and thirteen charter schools with approximately 47,000 students. It operates Head Start and administers a program for at-risk 4 year-old students. The ISD also provides special education services, professional development, business services/supports and other services and supports.
Before this position, he spent four years as superintendent at the Livingston Educational Service Agency and five years as superintendent of Whitmore Lake Public Schools.
Meyers is the superintendent of the El Dorado County Office of Education in Placerville, California. His organization helps educators in nearly 20 districts - elementary, secondary, unified and charter - meet the needs of their students. EDCOE is at the forefront of helping districts work with California's new education funding priorities. In exchange for state funding, lawmakers want not only information on how students are performing, but also how the districts are adjusting to difficult or in-need students.
Meyers writes that this accountability cuts both ways. While the information is difficult to gather, it offers teachers a brighter insight into the minds of the students. It also allows districts to work with the community on greater accountability, starting with a parent input that puts an officer in charge with resources to account for.
He comes to AESA with an advanced pedigree with previous stops as leader of the EDCOE Technology Academy, several leadership positions at NextEd Charter Community School and work as a principal and assistant principal in Black Oak Mine Unified School District.
Menzel is glad to be on the board. At a time when education funding continues to dwindle and the requirements at the state and nationals level increase, AESA supports its members in identifying ways to serve local districts and advance achievement initiatives in a cost-efficient and effective manner.
"I believe Educational Service Agencies are uniquely positioned to facilitate connections on the cradle-to-career continuum. Specifically, we are a logical bridge between the early childhood community (birth through kindergarten entry) and the traditional K-12 schools. Additionally, we are positioned to help broker relationships to expand early/middle college options, dual enrollment, and expanded CTE options in partnership with community colleges, four-year colleges and universities as well as technical trade schools," Menzel said.
"During my time on the board, I hope we can establish a process for connecting colleagues from across the country who are working in these areas, particularly the early childhood focus, so we can share best practices and also advocate with one voice for increased investments and appropriate policy to ensure every child has the opportunity and supports necessary to succeed in school and in life,"