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Running for local school board?

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mitch8017

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Realistically, how good would running for my local school board look on my application? I have a strong tie to my home community and the lack of doctors we have is part of what drove me to pursue medicine. Ultimately I just want to give back to the community that helped raise me, and running for the school board I think plays into this desire. However, it would take a fair amount of time out of my week as I would have to drive 3 hours to meetings and 3 hours back biweekly during the time I should be studying for my MCAT. I want to do this, but I also want to know if it is worth it and how beneficial it could be to my application?
 
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Realistically, how good would running for my local school board look on my application? I have a strong tie to my home community and the lack of doctors we have is part of what drove me to pursue medicine. Ultimately I just want to give back to the community that helped raise me, and running for the school board I think plays into this desire. However, it would take a fair amount of time out of my week as I would have to drive 3 hours to meetings and 3 hours back biweekly during the time I should be studying for my MCAT. I want to do this, but I also want to know if it is worth it and how beneficial it could be to my application?
Have you already checked on residency requirements for the position?

"Running" for school board gains you nothing. Winning the election and serving for a year (at least) before applying would be fairly unique. If you actually come up with, organize support for, and eventually implement ideas for improvement, it would make for an excellent leadership activity.

But if elected, would you be available to serve out your term? A plan to leave midway wouldn't look so good if you get accepted to a med school far away.

Is it worth 12+ hours per week when you are otherwise so busy? Doubtful. Would the activity compensate for low stats and otherwise weak ECs? No.

JMO.
 
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<L>

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Realistically, how good would running for my local school board look on my application?

The fact that you're asking this question causes me to question how much you actually care about your local schools.
 
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mitch8017

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The fact that you're asking this question causes me to question how much you actually care about your local schools.
I care to try and make a difference for several reasons. First off, I think I could have gotten a better education and my younger brother is set to start high school soon. We have cut a few programs and I would like to see some of them come back. We cut home ec ( a functional class) but bought an $85,000 laser engraver for a class that has only enrolled 12 total students in 3 years. I also think it would be beneficial to offer some type of "intro to life" style course where older students can at least get an idea of how taxes work, how to get a loan, how credit cards work, and things of that nature. I went to school with plenty of kids who had absent or virtually absent parents and otherwise wouldn't have much of a network to learn about these kinds of things. I also come from a small town of around 5,000 people and a small high school where the high school enrollment is around 160ish. But I also view myself as easier to approach for any students with concerns than some 40 or 50 year old board member than none of the students know to any extent. I was heavily involved at my old high school and knew virtually everyone with 5 or 6 grades of me (part of what comes from going to a smaller school and having a younger brother in a lower grade). My big concern is that I am supposed to buckle down on studying for the MCAT the same time as I would begin serving my term.
 
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mitch8017

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Have you already checked on residency requirements for the position?

"Running" for school board gains you nothing. Winning the election and serving for a year (at least) before applying would be fairly unique. If you actually come up with, organize support for, and eventually implement ideas for improvement, it would make for an excellent leadership activity.

But if elected, would you be available to serve out your term? A plan to leave midway wouldn't look so good if you get accepted to a med school far away.

Is it worth 12+ hours per week when you are otherwise so busy? Doubtful. Would the activity compensate for low stats and otherwise weak ECs? No.

JMO.
Also to hit on one of your points, it mostly depends where I get into medical school. I have a few schools within driving distance of home I wish to attend, but if I was to go somewhere further I would likely have to end my term after 2 years (they are 4 year terms) because I would not be able to attend any meetings. Some people also do a conference call in for meetings they can't be at, but I would much prefer to make every meeting possible if fortunate enough to be elected. If I were at a point where I reasonable couldn't attend meetings, I would end my term after 2 years and there would be 4 spots on the board available rather than 3 during that election (6 seats on the board, staggering terms).
 

<L>

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I care to try and make a difference for several reasons. First off, I think I could have gotten a better education and my younger brother is set to start high school soon. We have cut a few programs and I would like to see some of them come back. We cut home ec ( a functional class) but bought an $85,000 laser engraver for a class that has only enrolled 12 total students in 3 years. I also think it would be beneficial to offer some type of "intro to life" style course where older students can at least get an idea of how taxes work, how to get a loan, how credit cards work, and things of that nature. I went to school with plenty of kids who had absent or virtually absent parents and otherwise wouldn't have much of a network to learn about these kinds of things. I also come from a small town of around 5,000 people and a small high school where the high school enrollment is around 160ish. But I also view myself as easier to approach for any students with concerns than some 40 or 50 year old board member than none of the students know to any extent. I was heavily involved at my old high school and knew virtually everyone with 5 or 6 grades of me (part of what comes from going to a smaller school and having a younger brother in a lower grade). My big concern is that I am supposed to buckle down on studying for the MCAT the same time as I would begin serving my term.

That's all well and good but when your first question is "how will this look on an application" I start to get concerned.
 
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binko

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That's all well and good but when your first question is "how will this look on an application" I start to get concerned.

Well to be fair, "what are my unique ties to this community" and "will I enjoy this endeavor" aren't the types of questions SDN is really set up to answer.
 

thatwouldbeanarchy

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"Running" for school board gains you nothing. Winning the election and serving for a year (at least) before applying would be fairly unique. If you actually come up with, organize support for, and eventually implement ideas for improvement, it would make for an excellent leadership activity.
Totally agree. ^

Also, it doesn't seem realistic to imagine that you'd be able to serve as a school board member while in medical school. Even if you do end up going to a school nearby. Odds are you'll be way too busy to meet this commitment. If your goal is to improve the school system in your town, it's probably best not to get elected to the school board and then bail on it.
 
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mitch8017

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Thank you for the advice everyone, I appreciate your input
 

candbgirl

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    Do you know anything about being a seated School Board member? Have you ever attended a meeting? How are your budget skills? Can you negotiate and look at both sides of an issue? You stated that you have specific ideas. How would you present them and more importantly how would you fund them? Do you know how schools are funded? Are you considering this for resume padding/uniqueness or because you have the time and energy to do this very important job? How would you campaign and assure people of your commitment? There are so many questions you need to ask and answer. We really can't help you decide this one. Good luck.


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    binko

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    In my experience all the old farts on elected school boards are doing it for resumé padding too so even if OP was doing it for this reason it would hardly be unique.

    But I went to school in what was basically a preserved farm town so IDK about other places.
     
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