The Advanced Boardsmanship Certification (ABC) recognizes school board members who demonstrate exemplary leadership traits through proactive work at the local and regional, state, or national levels and who have completed the leadership and governance curriculums of the Certified Board Member (CBM) and the Master Board (MB) Programs.
It is incumbent upon an ABC candidate to develop a portfolio which documents his/her distinguishing attributes and illustrates activities, involvement, and commitment far exceeding the ordinary expectations of a board member. Examples of activities characterizing “exemplary leadership” include:
- Assumes leadership positions (e.g., officer, chairman, board of director, etc.) on the local school board, FSBA, NSBA, advisory councils, and non-educational organizations in the community, state, or national levels.
- Receives appointments to serve on local, state, and/or national commissions or task forces relating to the safety, health, and welfare of children.
- Participates in learning experiences to further knowledge, skills, and perspective for performing the governance role of board members and for enhancing the ability to work effectively in the educational community.
- Engages in collaborative relationships with local, state, and/or national officials.
- Serves as a highly visible and a critical link between schools and the community.
- Shares knowledge on educational issues through work with other school boards, board members, FSBA, NSBA, and other community, state, and national organizations.
- Contributes to the community by leading and being involved in a variety of projects of both an educational and public nature.
- Presents and facilitates on educational issues at public forums, organizations, workshops, conferences, academies, institutes, symposiums, and/or other training formats.
PROGRAM INITIATED: December 1993
AUDIENCE: Individual School Board Members
The purpose of the ABC Distinction is to recognize school board members who demonstrate exemplary leadership–board service that is “above and beyond,” and to encourage board members to extend their leadership reach further than the local level.
The ABC Distinction is designed to recognize proactive school board members — those who create, lead, influence, and affect changes on a local AND regional, state, or national level. Further, this distinction was established to acknowledge board members who foster a vision of the future.
Core Content – Completion of the CBM Program (minimum of 96 points in 12 curricular areas)
Leadership Skills – Completion of the Master Board Program or prescribed alternate
- Complete the curriculum requirements for the Certified Board Member (CBM) Program AND satisfy the CBM annual renewal requirement for three (3) consecutive recognition years prior to the application date for the Advanced Boardsmanship Certification (ABC) distinction. Provided, however, candidates holding the CBM distinction for less than three (3) years must establish completion of the annual CBM renewal requirement for each recognition year after earning the CBM distinction.
- Complete the curriculum requirements for the Master Board Program by one of the following methods: 1) participating in and completing the Master Board Program; 2) participating in the Master Board Program as a FSBA facilitator; or, 3) completing the curriculum requirements of the Master Board Program through independent study. Contact the FSBA Office for information on option #3.
- Present on three (3) different topics related to education at six (6) local, state-wide or national functions during the four (4) year period immediately preceding the application deadline date for the Advanced Boardsmanship Certification (ABC) distinction. The type of roles which are considered presentations include facilitator, presenting panelist, and presenter.
- Exhibit leadership at the local AND the regional, state, or national levels during the time serving as a school board member. A minimun of four (4) leadership activities must be documented at the local level. A minimum of three (3) leadership activities must be presented at the regional, state, and/or national levels to include two (2) different FSBA leadership activities.
All school board members who currently maintain the CBM Distinction are sent an email describing the application process that has been developed. Any board member wishing to apply assumes the responsibility to complete the required Portfolio Application which includes forms and supporting documentation. A Portfolio Review Committee is convened to review the Portfolio Applications and determine if the applicant fully meets the ABC Distinction criteria.
A Portfolio Review Committee will be convened to review and evaluate each portfolio which meets the established deadline. Each of the criteria is scored by the Portfolio Review Committee to determine if satisfactory completion has been documented. All points are totaled for a final Portfolio Score. Twenty-one (21) points or more must be awarded by the Portfolio Review Committee to award the ABC Distinction.
This peer-review committee is composed of 4 – 6 members of the FSBA Professional Development and Executive Committees and the FSBA Coordinator of Professional Development, who serves in an ex-officio manner.
Plaque, lapel pin, and peer recognition at either the FSBA Annual Summer Conference or the FSBA Annual Joint Conference
A board member who seeks this distinction must submit a portfolio to document: 1) completion of the Certified Board Member and Master Board Programs; 2) educational presentations; and, 3) performance in local and regional / state / national leadership roles including at least two (2) leadership roles in Florida School Boards Association. The next recognition ceremony for the ABC distinction is scheduled during the FSBA Annual Summer Conference (June 8-10, 2016). The entire portfolio must be physically in the FSBA Office by May 6, 2016, to allow sufficient time for convening of the Advanced Boardsmanship Certification Portfolio Review Committee to make a determination prior to the FSBA Annual Summer Conference.
ADVANCED BOARDSMANSHIP CERTIFICATION RECIPIENTS
Patricia “Patty” Hightower
St. Johns County
Susan L. Valdes
NOTE: Andrea Messina, FSBA Executive Director,
former Charlotte County School Board Member
earned the ABC Distinction in June 2008.
Q: What is the purpose of awarding the Advanced Boardsmanship Certification (ABC)?
A: The certification recognizes school board members who demonstrate exemplary leadership–service that is “above and beyond.” In addition to having completed the Certified Board Member and Master Board Programs, the body of work that is evident in a candidate for the ABC Distinction reaches regional, state, or national levels.
Q: For whom is the ABC Distinction designed?
A: The distinction is designed for individual school board members who wish to pursue this certification on a voluntary basis.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for the ABC Distinction?
A: Five (5) eligibility criteria have been established by the FSBA Professional Development Committee for certification:
- Criterion 1: Complete the curriculum requirements and earn the distinction of Certified Board Member (CBM) and satisfy the annual CBM renewal requirement for three (3) consecutive recognition years prior to the application date for the ABC Distinction. Provided, however, candidates holding the CBM Distinction for less than three (3) years must establish completion of the annual CBM renewal requirement for each recognition year after earning the CBM Distinction.
- Criterion 2: Satisfy the curriculum requirements for the Master Board Program by one (1) of three (3) methods.
- Criterion 3: Deliver six (6) presentations to different audiences or organizations at local, statewide, or national functions while serving as a school board member. The presentations must cover three (3) different topics related to education over a four-year period immediately preceding the date of application for the ABC Distinction.
- Criterion 4: Document a minimum of four (4) leadership activities at the local level during tenure as a school board member. Each leadership activity must represent a different local organization.
- Criterion 5: Substantiate a minimum of three (3) leadership activities at the regional, state, and/or national level from different organizations during tenure as a school board member to include two (2) different FSBA leadership activities.
Q: What are the three (3) methods for satisfying the curriculum requirements of the Master Board (MB) Program?
A: The three (3) methods are:
- Participate in and complete the Initial MB Program, the MB Reinstatement Program, or the Master Board Program;
- Participate in the MB Program as a FSBA facilitator; or,
- Complete the curricular requirements of the MB Program through independent study. The independent study must consist of twenty (20) hours of observation in these MB training activities:
- MB Forum for the Master Board Program; and,
- ten (10) hours in elective modules developed for the MB Program.
Q: How is a board member considered for the ABC Distinction?
A: All school board members who currently maintain the CBM Distinction are sent an email describing the application process that has been developed. Any board member wishing to apply assumes the responsibility to complete the required Portfolio Application which includes forms and supporting documentation. A Portfolio Review Committee is convened to review each Portfolio Application and determine if the applicant fully meets the ABC Distinction criteria.
Q: How are the eligibility criteria for the ABC Distinction documented?
A: An applicant for the ABC Distinction must assemble and submit prior to the announced deadline a portfolio of materials. Typical documentation includes copies of agendas, presentations, speeches, authored articles, etc.
Q: When is the application process available to a school board member?
A: The ABC process is available two (2) times each year, in March and August. The invitation for applications is sent to those board members who have completed the CBM Program and are in active status. Active status means the CBM recipient has accrued at least 18 training points during the Recognition Year which runs from May 1 to April 30 each year. The application packet may also be obtained on the FSBA website or by contacting the FSBA Office.
Q: What is meant by “topics related to education” in criterion 3?
A: Topics related to education in the presentations required in criterion 3 should cover topics aligned with Florida’s education goals and advocacy issues for children.
Q: What constitutes “leadership activities?”
A: Acceptable experiences are those in which the board member served as an officer or committee chairman OR as a member of a prestigious advisory council, commission, etc. Membership in an organization is not designated as a leadership activity for purposes of the ABC.
Q: Can leadership activities be educational and non-educational?
A: YES! Submission of a variety of activities in diverse organizations is desirable; community involvement is important to document. These activities must be in addition to the normal responsibilities of a board member.
Q: For what period of time should leadership activities be described?
A: All leadership activities that occurred during tenure as a school board member should be listed.
Q: How are portfolios of ABC applicants evaluated?
A: A “peer review” process has been established by the Professional Development Committee to determine ABC recipients. Fellow board members are appointed to serve on the ABC Portfolio Review Committee.
Q: Who composes the ABC Portfolio Review Committee?
A: Four (4) to six (6) members of the Professional Development Committee and an Executive Officer serve as members of the ABC Portfolio Review Committee. The FSBA Coordinator of Professional Development functions as an ex-officio committee member.
Q: What type of presentations are not acceptable for criterion 3?
A: The Board Development Committee has determined presentations delivered at the following events are not acceptable:
- activities or functions which are the routine responsibilities of a school board chairman or board member, for example, a speech welcoming new teachers to the district;
- any activity or function relating to a school board meeting or workshop;
- political campaing activities; and,
- any presentation for which a salary or remuneration has been received.
Q: What are some examples of FSBA leadership positions?
A: FSBA leadership positions to satisfy criterion 5 include:
- Executive Officer
- Member of the Board of Directors
- Committee Chairman
- Committee Co-Chairman
- Committee Vice-Chairman
- Legislative Subcommittee Chairman
- Nominating Committee
- Trustee for Florida School Boards Insurance Trust (FSBIT)
- Member of the Board of Directors for Florida School Labor Relations Service (FSLRS)
- FSBA Representative on the Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA)
- Representation on commissions sponsored by FSBA.
Q: What FSBA positions are not considered leadership positions?
A: Any committee membership, while encouraged, is not considered a leadership position, including membership on the Legislative, Federal Relations Network (FRN), standing, or ad hoc committees. For purposes of the ABC Distinction, leadership is defined as assuming responsibilities by accepting a position beyond membership of a committee.
Q: Can serving on the FSBA Board of Directors for two (2) consecutive or non-consecutive terms be counted as two (2) FSBA leadership positions?
A: NO! Regardless of the number of times a board member is elected to the FSBA Board of Directors, it counts as only one (1) FSBA leadership activity.
Q: Must all leadership positions be elected?
A: NO! The position may be elected, appointed, or voluntary. However, receiving an honorary membership in an organization or on a committee does not represent a leadership activity. The key factor in the ABC Distinction are those leadership positions which require additional time, energy, expertise, and responsibilitiy of the board member.
Q: For criterion 2, what are acceptable roles for the presentations?
A: Acceptable roles include presenter, facilitative leader, or presenting panelist.
Q: How are ABC recipients recognized?
A: Recipients of the ABC Distinction receive a plaque and lapel pin. These awards are presented at the FSBA Annual Summer Conference in June and the FSBA Annual Joint Conference in November/December.
Q: Does the FSBA Office advise the community when a board member earns the ABC Distinction?
A: YES! Press releases are sent to daily and weekly newspapers that are in circulation within the award recipient’s community.
Q: Is information about the ABC Distinction on FSBA’s website?
A: YES! The application packet is on the website in a MSWord rich text format. To receive the ABC forms in a WORD document, contact the FSBA Office.