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Charter Board Partners

Nadia Ramey: Board Member and Parent

December 10, 2018 | by David Connerty-Marin

Nadia Ramey is a board member at DC Bilingual Public Charter School.  She is also a parent at the school; her son is in fourth grade and her daughter in PK3. Being a parent helps Nadia bring a different, important, and valued perspective to the board.

“I feel like I have insider information that other board members don’t because I’m at the school every day during the week and I participate in a lot of events,” she says. “I’m also aware of what other parents think, so I’m able to bring that perspective, too.”

Nadia is enjoying her board service, and feels valued that the board values her perspective. “I feel like everyone listens to what I have to say,” she says. “I can ask the same tough questions that everybody else gets to ask and they get answered. I don’t feel that (the other board member who is also a parent at the school and I) have been marginalized.”

Nadia says she was a little shy when she first joined the board, but has found her voice and feels comfortable—and that it is her responsibility— to speak up and express her opinions.

“Asking the tough questions—that’s our job,” she says. “They may not like this and this may be a little bit uncomfortable, but this is what I’m supposed to do. Because our goal is not to make everyone happy and comfortable—our goal is to make sure the students have everything they need to be successful.”

She suggests stepping up to do your own research at times. School leadership provides a lot of really good information, she says. Sometimes a board member can help leadership by doing a little extra research—for example, she recently did some research on how much it costs and how long it takes to do a survey of land, as her board is exploring building options.

Nadia found the CBP Governance Academy she recently attended to be very helpful in affirming some of her board’s practices. For example, she said her board chair and fellow board members are clear that in a school with a staff of many, they are only responsible for one—the head of school. And, she said, DC Bilingual’s board has the right committees in place, including the one she serves on: the Governance Committee.

Nadia says the experience has been rewarding and more fun than she thought it would be “It’s really exciting,” she says. “I love what we do on the board. I really wanted to contribute--and it is very rewarding."

 

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