Call for Board Members

Call for Board Members and Committee Members

The Mayapple School offers creative, place-based education for ages 3-6 in the New River Valley. We opened our doors in August 2015 as a subsidiary of the 501c3 arts and education non-profit, LoCo Arts, and are currently the only nature preschool in the New River Valley. LoCo Arts will be taking a hiatus in programming starting July 2018, with no set end date. Therefore, The Mayapple School will soon file for a business license of its own and pursue independent 501c3 status. We are currently seeking nominations of strongly qualified individuals to join our board. Self-nominations are encouraged; all nominated parties shall be informed of and consent to nomination beforehand. Click here to apply. 

Expectations/Responsibilities:

  • Attend regular board meetings at the site of The Mayapple School, held monthly.
  • Participate in the process of drafting and adopting bylaws, either for a worker-self directed non-profit or a more traditional model.
  • Discuss The Mayapple School’s values and goals in meeting the needs of our community to form a mission statement under which we will operate and refer to, with all actions ideally supporting our mission.
  • Visit The Mayapple School during operating hours at least once per school year in order to accurately convey The Mayapple School’s operations and services. Act as an ambassador of The Mayapple School through promotion of its activities.
  • Actively participate in an annual strategic planning process  (“board retreat”) to set goals and steps for achieving The Mayapple School’s mission and vision.
  • Review and approve of employees’ salary and compensation. Establish a review procedure for employee performance and follow procedure.
  • Establish policies for those with grievance and whistle-blowers, including proper procedure.
  • Make ongoing evaluations and give input with The Mayapple School’s strategic goals and community’s best interests in mind, while adhering to the highest ethical decision making including independent judgement while voting.
  • Approve all key contracts and ensure that necessary contracts are in place, such as insurance. Ensure that The Mayapple School follows the law in these and all other actions. Be aware of legal obligations including duties of care, loyalty, and obedience.
  • Oversee and participate in the licensure process through the Virginia Department of Social Services for Child Day Centers, including providing all necessary documents such as background checks before becoming a board officer.
  • Participate in subcommittees or action items, directly supporting The Mayapple School in reaching its goals. Subcommittees and action items are continually evolving in response to need. Individuals interested in helping with action items yet not able to fully commit as a board member are welcome to apply as committee member, without full standing on the board. All Mayapple School board members are expected to be actively involved each month. All board members leave each and every board meeting with action items to fulfill each month. (Leave of absences are available due to illness, pregnancy, etc.) Currently many of our action items support one of the following items:
    • fundraising – As a non-profit, we seek to serve the wider community. This means raising funds for scholarships so that all interested families can benefit from our programs, not just the ones that can afford full tuition.
    • planning our physical move – The Mayapple School’s current location is in the blast zone of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and our forest play area is in the direct path of a MVP access road. To protect child safety, we are preparing for a move to Blacksburg Friends Meetinghouse on Mt. Tabor Rd. This involves conditional use permit with the Town of Blacksburg as well as approval of our licensing body, Virginia Department of Social Services.
    • planning our organizational start up and separation from LoCo Arts – From filing with the state to finding a bookkeeper, from filing for 501c3 status to licensing our new organization as a Child Day Center, there is a lot of work to be done.
    • ensuring programmatic success – These initiatives, from marketing to working on a plan for employee retention, help our programs to be as healthy and vibrant as the world we seek to create!
  • Support The Mayapple School through donation of skills, time, and assets in a way that is personally significant to you. Members of The Mayapple School Board of Advisors serve in a voluntary capacity and receive no monetary remuneration for their services.
  • Provide proper financial oversight by developing an annual budget and regularly reviewing spending and organizational accounts. Ensure adequate resources by setting tuition prices and ensuring high student enrollment, as well as participating and leading fundraising events, personal asks, and grant writing projects.
  • Ensure the succession of your own position and the board as a whole by recruiting and interviewing board candidates, as well as establishing orientation procedures and providing orientation to new board members.
  • Commit to serving for at least one year as a board member and assess personal and board performance at the end of each year.
  • Determine and monitor The Mayapple School’s programs with a spirit of initiative. The Mayapple School is a wonderful little place, but instead of feeling safe and secure in our own little world by pushing anything new out, we should work actively to grow and serve the community through our mission and vision.
  • Keep confidential information confidential.
  • Promptly disclose any conflicts of interest.
  • Additionally, the Chair of the board will also manage the board effectively.

Successful Candidates:

  • Can fulfill expectations and responsibilities as above and have the time to care.
  • Have knowledge of and fully support The Mayapple School’s philosophy and values. These individuals believe in the importance of project based learning and nature education for young children and recognize The Mayapple School as an essential program offering for early childhood education in the New River Valley.
  • Use passion to fuel their internal incentive for action. These individuals know how to act on plans, overcome obstacles, and create change. Individuals should have previous experience demonstrating initiative and problem solving. To create the best Mayapple School, we need board members who feel confident in presenting their unique ideas and have the grit to see project work through until completion.
  • Are respected in the community with positive community contacts and relationships.
  • Have special skills or occupations to share, such as: previous non-profit or for-profit board leadership, real estate, law, education, marketing, fund raising, project management, etc.

Nominations for The Mayapple School Board are currently being accepted for one or more upcoming open seats. If you would like to be considered, please fill out the application. Click here for the application. Thank you for honoring us with your nomination.

Suggested Reading: Board Roles and Responsibilities