Voices from the Idaho EdNews Community

Boise School Board Trustee Andy Hawes Reflects on His Dedicated Service to Students and Issues a Challenge to District Patrons

Andy Hawes

When I was appointed to the Boise School Board in 2021, I passionately took on my service with the intent and plan of being a Trustee for the long haul. Then, as is usually the case, life throws you different plans.  In my case — a transfer out-of-state for a dream job.  During the May Board meeting I announced my intention to submit a formal resignation as Trustee in the forthcoming June Board Meeting. In parting, I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts about the Boise School District and some insight on how we can build on its successes.

As a Trustee, I had the unique opportunity to peek behind the scenes and see the inner workings of the Boise School District.  What I learned from this experience is that decades of citizen and community investment in Boise Schools has yielded tremendous dividends.  For example,

  • Four high schools named ‘Most Challenging’ by Washington Post for 10+ years
  • 89% graduation rate (four traditional high schools), 67% go on to college within 2 years (top in the state)
  • More National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists than any other district in Idaho
  • More U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidates than any other district in Idaho
  • More than 80% of the bond projects approved by voters in 2017 have now been completed. Thanks to Boise voters, our teachers, students and families will reap the rewards of this investment for years to come.

As a community, we have a responsibility and opportunity to continue this aim for new and greater heights for our public schools.  But how?

Investment by the Individual Citizen.  The Boise School system relies heavily on patron support and engagement. For this reason, I encourage all citizens to seek opportunities to be involved in your Boise Schools.

If you are a parent, sign-up to be a classroom volunteer. Get to know your teachers and school principal. Help your student with homework. Attend school open houses. Help on class field trips. Participate in parent-teacher meetings. Serve on the PTO.  Take a Parent Engagement class. Be generous in showing your support and appreciation to teachers.

Successful schools also rely on citizen involvement. For this reason, I encourage ALL patrons to look for opportunities to be engaged in Boise Schools.  Sign-up for school tours. Follow school board meetings and weigh-in on policies important to you. Volunteer for a textbook adoption committee. Enroll in a Community Education class. Support your neighborhood schools by attending and sponsoring school events.  If you are an alum, look for ways to give back to your old school. Vote in elections.  Voice support for school funding and donate to the Boise School Foundation. Follow legislative developments and let your representatives know whether you support or oppose legislation that will impact Boise Schools.

 Investment by the Community. Collective patron engagement and broad community support are required to build on the success of the Boise School District and ensure a bright future for the students and families we serve. Continued community support in our neighborhood school model is critical.  Neighborhood schools provide our kids numerous advantages that come with small classrooms while improving the quality and connectedness of the neighborhood by serving as the community gathering place. However, preserving this neighborhood school model will take continued community investment. As such, community members should continue their tradition of being proactive in supporting future bonds to improve, remodel or build new schools.

Whether you are a long-standing resident of Boise or a relative newcomer, I urge you to connect with your Boise Schools. By doing so, you will be supporting a comprehensive public school system that is committed to the long-term success of our students and the community we serve.


Andy Hawes

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday