Welcome new School Board Members! Congratulations on your election and thank you for your willingness to serve the public school students of Florida.

FSBA’s experienced staff and deliberately planned association structure offers the support, resources, and training you need to best serve your community and advocate for public education.  We are excited to serve you in your journey as a School Board Member, and please remember that no question is too small to ask us.

Below you will find information about the New School Board Member Academy, Mentor Program, and professional development opportunities available to you. In addition to the training and services listed below, FSBA Leadership Services offers an array of trainings beyond year one. Be sure to explore the FSBA Events page, informational resources on our website, and social media pages.

For further information or more specific questions, please feel free to contact Tina Pinkoson, Director of Leadership Services at pinkoson@fsba.org. You can also view resources available to you on the New Member Page.

Q: How can the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) assist new board members?

A: FSBA is a vital resource for newly elected school board members. Once elected, newly elected school board members receive a welcome package from FSBA filled with important information and resources. Additionally, FSBA offers training opportunities, mentorship, and consultation services. FSBA also fills the void that arises when new board members do not know where to go to get answers to their questions.

Q: If a new school board member attends Part 1, should he or she attend Part 2?

A: Yes! The content for each of these trainings is different and BOTH are important to attend.

Q: What training is required for new school board members?

A: The ONLY required training for any school board member (new or veteran) is four (4) hours of ethics training annually. All other trainings offered by FSBA are voluntary, though most board members participate.

Q: What is a Certified Board Member?

A: You can learn about the Certified Board Member Program HERE.

New School Board Member Academy

The New School Board Member Academy program is designed to assist newly elected school board members in the transition from private citizen to public official. Though differences in political philosophy, education, experience, and backgrounds exist among members of a board, new board members are expected to participate with and contribute to the governance team rapidly and meaningfully.  With the increasing demand for educational excellence and fiscal accountability, the responsibilities of school boards are more complex than ever before. FSBA’s training sessions include critical information and resources to help new board members become effective board members quickly. 

Our New School Board Member Academy is offered as a two-part series. Newly elected school board members are strongly encouraged to attend BOTH trainings. Learn more here:

New School Board Member Academy, Part 1 – More Info

New School Board Member Academy, Part 2 – More Info

Mentor Program

Any newly elected or appointed school board member may request to have a veteran school board member from another Florida school district serve as a mentor.  This is a service that is provided by the FSBA Leadership Services team.  This is a completely voluntary program for both the mentors and the mentees.

Because mentors are from other school districts, no violation of Sunshine Law occurs when discussing issues and concerns.

If you are interested in requesting a mentor, submit your request here.

Mentors will assist newly elected school board members by:

  • Encouraging, supporting, and assisting in the transition from citizen to elected official.
  • Providing guidance in seeking and locating resources and information.
  • Furnishing information on training events and opportunities to develop boardsmanship skills and knowledge.
  • Discussing situations/issues/problems and offering suggestions/strategies for pursuing resolutions.
  • Sharing experiences of being a board member.
  • Acquainting the new board member with services, resources, and training opportunities (i.e., conferences, forums, and workshops) offered by the Florida School Boards Association.
  • Explaining the programs and distinctions available through the FSBA Board Development Program.
  • Accompanying the new school board member to functions such as receptions at FSBA Conferences.
  • Inviting the new school board member to attend/observe a school board meeting in their district.
  • Listening and being a “sounding board” and offering inspiration and encouragement.
Emerging Leader Distinction

Though all new board member training programs are voluntary, they are highly recommended to help you become the most effective board member you can be. FSBA honors several levels of professional development distinctions to encourage members to keep striving to learn and grow as elected officials. Distinctions are achieved by participating in professional development trainings and earning points in designated curriculum categories. The Emerging Leader is a new addition to our Certified Board Member Program. To become an Emerging Leader you must meet the following requirements within the first year in office:

  • Attending the New School Board Academy Parts 1 & 2
  • Attending Advocacy Training
  • Attending 2 of the required CBM Forums
  • Earning a total of 48 points (hours of training), all of which also count toward the next distinction level, Certified Board Member

For statutory training requirements of all school board members, please see Ethics Training.

Contact Tina Pinkoson, Director of Leadership Services at pinkoson@fsba.org for more information.