On September 16, 2013, Seattle high school students accepted a remarkable challenge: They managed a debate between candidates for the Seattle School Board. Their advisor? SPU’s own Tom
Alsbury, professor of educational leadership.
Alsbury prepared the students with training in school board governance, the characteristics of effective board members, and school board election cycles. He also equipped them with a tool of
his own making: a checklist describing 10 characteristics of effective school board members. (For example, understanding of the difference between oversight and micromanaging.)
The debate was only one of several influential opportunities Alsbury has enjoyed since the Alliance for Education appointed him in May 2013 to the Seattle School Board Task Force, a nonprofit
organization focused on the improvement of Seattle Public Schools.
Alsbury’s expertise comes from his work with school boards in 15 American states and 15 countries. Read Alsbury’s checklist of 10 characteristics of effective school boards (PDF).