In recent years, there’s been an increase in parent engagement around school boards, often centered around divisive cultural issues. While many parents have chosen to run for their local school boards to engage in this work, not all have been driven by these hot button issues.
Melissa Stuart, a parent in the Northville Public Schools district in Northville, Mich., had thought about running for the school board for years. In the spring of 2022, the district brought on a new superintendent and a fellow parent, Carin Meyer, decided to run for the board herself, inspiring Stuart to join her.
Though they were endorsed by the organization Moms Demand Action, which advocates for stricter guns laws, they were primarily driven by a desire to get involved, and to support their local district and the positive work they’d seen in their schools.
Meyer had previously done advocacy work with the local Parent Teacher Student Association, and both moms were part of their children’s PTAs, so serving on the board as trustees felt like another way they could support their district.
After months of campaigning together, Stuart and Meyer were both elected to the board. Their terms started in January. Here, they share what they hope to accomplish through this work, and what their first months as school board trustees have been like.
Coverage of strategies for advancing the opportunities for students most in need, including those from low-income families and communities, is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, atwww.waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.