Better Boardsmanship Awards

Given in Honor of Carolyn M. Jons
Learning and leadership makes a difference, at the board table and for students.

IASB has developed an awards program to recognize board members who put forth extra time and energy to strengthen their boardsmanship abilities through participation in IASB learning experiences, a desire to take on leadership roles, and engagement in service opportunities.

The Better Boardsmanship Awards program highlights commitment to professional growth.Through this program, individual board members, board teams, and superintendents can receive recognition for a wide range of activities including attending IASB learning events in person and through the Digital Campus available on IASB’s website as well as fulfilling leadership services such as sitting on board-appointed committees and advocating at the Iowa legislature for Iowa education.


Individual Achievement Award

Board members are eligible to receive an Award of Achievement certificate for earning a minimum of 125 credits in one year. 85 of those credits must be earned in the Formal Learning category. To apply for the Individual Award click the link to the Individual application below.

Team Learners Award

An Award of Achievement plaque is presented to a whole board when a majority of its board members receive Individual Award of Achievement certificates for the year and the board has a policy that supports board development. To apply for the Team Award click the link to the Team application below.

Superintendent's Award of Honor

An Award of Honor certificate is given to each superintendent, AEA administrator or community college president who completes the eligibility requirements and at least two board members in the district, AEA or community college who have earned Individual Award of Achievement certificates.

Our 2016-17 Better Boardsmanship Award Credits List is a collection of the events, leadership roles, and service opportunities for which IASB offers credit towards earning the Individual Award and the Award of Honor.


Apply for the Individual Achievement Award.
Apply for the Superintendent's Award of Honor.
Apply for the Team Award plaque.

Basics of Boardsmanship Certificate

The Basics of Boardsmanship is a carefully designed selection of learning experiences that provide the essential concepts and a solid foundation for school board governance. This foundational curriculum is designed especially for new board members but anyone can complete the program to build their understanding.

New members are encouraged to complete the Basics of Boardsmanship within their first year of service.

1. IASB Board Member Orientation Workshop This series of workshops are valuable for new board members as they "hit the ground running" and for experienced board members as a refresher of their governance role. This workshop is offered at regional locations during election years and is also offered every year as a pre-convention session. This orientation workshop is structured around IASB's Six Standards for Effective School Boards.

2. School Finance 101 Workshop
This offering is an introduction and overview of basic school finance concepts and terminology. The session will introduce budgeting and funding components in relation to your role on the board. It is offered yearly during pre-convention activities in November.

3. Elective
Select an additional IASB learning option that fits your needs and models your commitment to continuing education. For more opportunities, visit the School Board U webpage.

4. State of the District for Board Members
In addition to formal learning, a smooth transition for a new board member requires self-study of your local district. Learning about your board's operating procedures, policies, student achievement goals, your district's financial condition, and advocacy practices is important work. IASB offers a guide to help you think about this. How you conduct your learning is up to you. We offer a general guide for these discussions if your district does not already have a process for these discussions.

Once you have completed the four requirements, please fill out the Basics of Boardsmanship application.

Board members who complete the Basics of Boardsmanship are recognized with a pin and certificate at the IASB Convention.