Most school board elections and voting on school budgets are less than a month away. Critical decisions are about to be made and the results of these decisions will impact the lives of many. The public is encouraged to get informed, the voice of the public needs to be heard and the vote of those eligible and able to cast a ballot, needs to be registered. That is the American way.

The youths of today are a most precious treasure. Much of the hope and certainty of this great Country of ours resides in the hope and pride within the Classrooms across America. Therein we find the potential for a bright and hopeful future. Schools can and should be centers for learning par excellence. And these centers call for wise and prudent leadership with a dedicated visionary mission: "let each become all for which one is capable."

Most school board elections are to be held this year on May 18. This is a time when the voters can and should take an active role in the selection of leadership policy makers for their local school district. Leadership in education requires the highest level of dedication guided by compelling noble principles.

Excellence in education begins with noble leadership... by the school board, the administration and staff to the school classroom. Today in many of our schools, we find some of the finest students, creative teachers and caring staff, dedicated administrators, and responsive school board members. These individuals are "gifts" to humanity, contributing to an enduring and enterprising society.

School boards are an important part of our republic. The corporate body of trustees of a school district has major public responsibility doing the business of the people as pubic trustees. And trustees occupy positions of trust in the performance of their pubic duties. Clearly, the performance of members of public boards call for the highest level of prudent policy making based upon the highest of ethical values. And this same level of excellence in leadership must be found at all levels of the school system organization. As a public, we should expect no less.

The best schools we have found, consist of high- level learning centers comprised of "hopeful" learning spaces for hopeful learning students. And motivated hope-filled learning begins in the classroom, guided by truly skilled teachers with skilled administrators in charge, spearheaded by highly dedicated ethically driven policy makers.

The productivity and ingenuity of Americans everywhere is the envy of the world. And much of this ingenuity began and begins in the classrooms across America. A substantial part of the genius of American education is found in our educational institutions. American innovation and productivity are leading the way in this information age. Few nations in history have been granted such a singular opportunity to help shape the future of so many people around the world. And principled leadership is desperately needed in all aspects of American life. And much of it begins right where we are... in the homes and in the classrooms across America.

Today, we see evidence of an American public in a quandary over what in style and substance represent best those underpinnings of authentic leadership. Most Americans cherish an inner desire for competent leaders who display moral authority based upon moral rectitude. And this too is the hope of most Americans for our schools today. Creative desires and expectations of excellence on the part of prudent educators and principled school board members serve as the essential building blocks for quality schools.

As we see it, principled leadership is influenced and guided by core beliefs and virtues that mobilize people to accomplish a mission based upon a vision. A principled leader does NOT shirk from responsibility. In the words of Winston Churchill: "Someone has to take responsibility, I will." This leadership requires solid character, sound competence, and genuine commitment that is coherent with one's core beliefs and virtues. It is this alignment which gives rise to one's trustworthiness. And core beliefs define what is fundamentally true, important, and right.... for virtues are the standards against which ethical behavior is measured. In short, successful leaders concentrate on doing the right thing. It often requires an abundance of courage. To be sure, inspired leadership and courage go hand–in-hand.

We want to express a word of "appreciation" and "encouragement" to those singular individuals who are notably our finest of school leaders from the students in the classroom, their parents, their teachers and school staff, the administration and to the members of boards of education. Those individuals, who are noteworthy, are role models of excellence and are so much a part of the underpinnings of what makes America great! And that is how I see it FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE.