Expectations of a School Board Electee


The Chelsea School District Board of Education is immensely impactful to Chelsea students, staff, and members of the community. The School Board decides which areas in the school district receive funding and which new projects should be carried out. For example, If the high school’s language department wants to go on a field trip to Canada to see Hamlet, the Board must approve it while considering the district’s budget. If the athletic office wants to add an extension to the school gym, the Board is responsible for deciding whether or not the project should be carried out. The School Board can influence policy in the district, from School of Choice to extended leave for staff, or new classroom furniture. The Chelsea Board of Education is of the utmost importance to everyone who is involved in the school district.

The current president of the School Board, Jason Eyster, provided a basic understanding of what the board’s purpose is.

“One [of the board’s responsibilities] is to be ultimately responsible for the budget of the school and to oversee all of the rules they’ve created,” Eyster said. “Secondly, they are the employer of the superintendent. The superintendent is the one who will hire and fire everyone else. The school board has a joint responsibility to further the education of young people, and also to take into account the community wishes, and those are sometimes conflicting.”

In regards to the upcoming election, Eyster believes that each individual candidate has a different set of talents that could be useful to the Board of Education. Oftentimes, he says, the people running for the positions on the board are simply parents who are frustrated with the way the schools are being run and want to make changes. 

Others, like Eyster himself, have backgrounds in education. Eyster has taught at grade schools, high schools, law schools, and even Iran. He also helped found the Peking University School of Transnational Law. Eyster believes that these experiences helped to show him a wide variety of educational styles and philosophies that he can apply to Chelsea schools. 

Similarly, the Chelsea School Board candidates all have unique backgrounds that have given them equally unique perspectives on how the district should be run. Eyster believes the most important qualities for a school board member to possess is a belief in that people will generally try to do the right thing and the ability to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions.

“Sometimes an individual will make a decision because it is the easiest to make, and in fact, they need to be held to a higher standard,” Eyster said, before adding that this should hopefully be done “with a belief that teachers don’t lie in bed at night thinking ‘what bad things can [I] do to the students?’”