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Recruiting School Board Candidates

An important aspect of a school board’s collective responsibility is to maintain leadership, even as it experiences turnover in its membership.  

To create a culture of planning for succession, the board may want to ask and answer the following questions about district leadership:

  • Who will continue the good work of our school board after our service has been completed?
  • How can we ensure that our board’s good stewardship continues?
  • Will quality candidates come forth on their own or do they need to be persuaded to run?

Many school boards already take this responsibility very seriously. They use written board policies to guide board practices by providing thorough orientation and training for current and future members, and by nurturing a positive and inviting board culture.

For school boards interested in cultivating their next generation of local leaders, the Illinois Association of School Boards has developed a publication – Recruiting School Board Candidates – to help school and community leaders recruit prospective school board candidates.

This material – conveniently presented in a packet of seven separate brochures – is intended to support an ongoing process of identifying, recruiting and mentoring future school board candidates, whether at the next election or during an appointment process.

Information in the packet includes brochures on the following subjects:

  • School Board Member Job Description
  • Why School Board Members Serve
  • Characteristics of an Effective School Board Member
  • How to and Where to Find Qualified Candidates
  • Talking with Potential Candidates
  • School Board Election Timetable
  • Additional Resources

The brochures are not designed to be distributed to prospective candidates; rather, they are intended to facilitate discussion about the school board recruiting, and election and/or appointment process. Ideally, these brochures can be used by school and community leaders when they talk with candidates who may have questions about running or serving as a school board member.

Recruiting School Board Candidates packets are available free of charge to member districts and can be ordered by contacting IASB at 217/528-9688, ext. 1131.

In addition, IASB field services directors are available to present this information to local boards and/or communities upon request.

Questions about the information contained in this material should be directed to the IASB communications department at

Prepared leadership today will help to develop prepared leaders for tomorrow.

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