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, and is the first and only nature preschool in the New River Valley. 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. Our organization depends on the generosity of individuals who wish to spend a year (or more!) giving back to their community through directorship on The Mayapple School Board. Click here to apply. 

Our History

The Mayapple School opened its doors in Newport, VA in August 2015  as a subsidiary of the non-profit organization LoCo Arts. In August 2018 we began operation as an independent organization, and in January 2019 we moved to nearby Blacksburg, VA in order to avoid The Mountain Valley Pipeline. The Mayapple School is currently a certified 501(c)3 organization.

Board Member Expectations/Responsibilities:

  • Attend regular board meetings either via Zoom or at the site of The Mayapple School, held about 10 times yearly.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 action items directly supporting The Mayapple School in reaching its goals. Action items are continually evolving in response to need. All Mayapple School board members are expected to be actively involved during their tenure. (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.
    • strategic planning – How do we best use and expand our capabilities to serve our community? As we prepare for our move to our own property, this is especially pertinent.
    • 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!
    • business compliance – In leading a business, board members will find out that many separate tasks need to be completed in order The Mayapple School to fiscally and organizationally comply with the law. Supporting tasks in the past have included applying for a town business license, creating Articles of Incorporation, drafting and reviewing our lease agreement, etc.
  • 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 and personal asks. Review and approve of fiscal budget line items in support of The Mayapple School programs, such as employees’ salary and compensation and summer camp and preschool scholarships.
  • 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.
  • Work closely with The Mayapple School key staff to determine and monitor The Mayapple School’s programs with a spirit of initiative to actively 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