Michelle Dover: School board member enjoyed her ‘paying-it-back’ position | SteamboatToday.com

Michelle Dover: School board member enjoyed her ‘paying-it-back’ position

The Steamboat Springs School District is a unique local organization of the community and for the community. I am grateful to have served as a member of the board of education since 2015, contributing what I could as a community member. 

Education and giving back to our community is something that we value in our family. As my youngest enters middle school and prepares to go off to science school, we recently sat around the dinner table reflecting on my older kids’ experience doing the same thing. Joe remembered how much fun he and his friends had learning at science school, but even better was when they volunteered their time back to this unique experience when they were seniors in high school. 

I want for my children what so many of us want. I want my kids to take their education seriously. I want them to care about their grades in a way that drives them to challenge themselves. I appreciate that my kids are in a school district where they have the opportunity to do their very best, knowing that the community supports them.

I am grateful to Steamboat Springs because it takes educating all children seriously. The half-cent sales tax to support the schools is just one example of this. My time as a school board member is not only to pay back the community for my children’s education but to pay back those who paid taxes for my education, too. As adults, it is our responsibility to continue making certain that a healthy society works together to educate and make opportunities available to all its youth, so they might strive for excellence, no matter who they are.

My “paying it forward” position has given me the opportunity to see the school district from another angle. I have not only gotten more intimate with its budgets and policies, but I’ve gotten to know the people behind the scenes who sincerely care about all children, the community at large and its employees. It’s a very special local entity of the community and for the people. 

My nearly four years spent as a school board member have been enlightening and fulfilling. Paying it forward might be the wrong phrase because my position has simply paid me right back. In Winston Churchill’s words, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Michelle Dover

Steamboat Springs Board of Education director

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