39 • Leadership development and member service director •
Idaho School Boards Association • Boise
Krissy Lamont strives to lead by example. She has had no trouble in exceeding the expectations of her role in the Idaho School Boards Association, initiating the development of workshops she now teaches across the state.
Lamont grew up in Salmon, Idaho, and didn’t really expect to get into education. She started working at a local hospital in the X-ray department when she was 20 years old. Although she enjoyed the work, she realized once she had children that she wanted to do something that could make their lives better.
“When you live in a small town, you kind of are flexible for what’s available and what you enjoy the most, but when I got to education, I felt like I found my calling,” Lamont says.
At 30 years old, Lamont started working in the administration’s office of the Salmon School District. As a business manager, she oversaw accounts payable and worked closely with the superintendent.
“One of my other roles was working with the school board, and they were willing to listen to what I suggested, and I actually got an award for boardsmanship while I was there,” Lamont says.
Lamont left her hometown when she was hired as director of membership services at the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA). The ISBA is a nonprofit organization that helps school boards improve their district’s educational opportunities and organizational structure. It also advocates to the Idaho Legislature on behalf of the districts and helps organize community involvement through public hearings.
As director of leadership development, Lamont’s main duties include working with association members to improve the structure and efficiency of their school administration.
“It’s not training,” Lamont says. “When people hear you have to be ‘trained’ it means you’ve done something wrong.”
Lamont has raised revenue for the department from $5,000 annually to $200,000 annually in just five years. This was largely due to the success of various work- shops she organized that sometimes included more than 600 attendees.
“I wanted to make the program based on respect and trust,” Lamont says.
Lamont’s main role as director of membership services is to help district members access resources for their schools. All school board members are volunteers and meet at least once a month, although sometimes a lot more often. Lamont keeps this in mind when assisting them because school boards don’t get paid for their work.
“We deal with things that aren’t so warm and fuzzy like price management, and it helps to maintain a positive attitude to take their mind off that,” says Lamont.
Lamont’s most valuable gain in the past 20 years is knowledge in education and “the willingness to appreciate what we have and to build on that,” she says.
In the next 20 years, Lamont hopes to always remain positive and to lead by example.
“I would say continuing professional development for myself because if I’m gonna say it I want to make sure I’m gonna do it too,” she says.