In 2008, OSBA’s Board of Trustees adopted an innovative strategic plan and planning process that mapped OSBA’s mission, vision and goals through the year 2012. A new Visionary Initiatives for Strategic Action (VISA) team was formed in 2012 and 2017 to revisit and update the plan. In 2022, OSBA President Robert M. Heard Sr. appointed a new 28-member team to revisit the VISA to guide the association's efforts from 2023-2027, which included revising OSBA's mission and vision statements.

OSBA vision statement
Leading the way as the respected voice of Ohio public education.

OSBA mission statement
OSBA engages and serves Ohio's public school board members and the diverse districts they represent by fostering or delivering:

  • Excellence in governance
  • Steadfast advocacy
  • Superior services
  • Relevant professional development
  • Customized training

As part of the VISA team's work, the committee built on the four pillars of the association's work - membership services, public relations and communications, student achievement and association operations - to create new goals to guide the association's work for the next five years.

Pillar 1: Membership services

Members use OSBA services and resources to serve as high-performing leaders in public education.


  1. Enhance engagement of school board members and their leadership teams.
  2. Increase collaboration to strengthen market competitiveness.
  3. Expand networking opportunities for school board members and the districts they serve.


  • In 2023, create a standing advisory group that collects member engagement data from multiple data points to advise OSBA workshops, communications, on-demand resources and trainings.
  • Beginning in 2023, create stand-alone video resources to assist in developing high-performing leaders in public education.
  • By 2027, expand the current learning management system platform for training and resources.
  • By 2025, strengthen the ability of the association’s public website to serve as a go-to source of information for members and staff.
  • Beginning in 2023, improve the strategic use of digital communication methods.
  • Beginning in 2023, evaluate major statewide education organizations and create sustainable communication and collaboration with this education advisory committee.
  • Beginning in 2023, increase partnerships and collaboration with ESCs and career centers.
  • Beginning in 2024, identify member needs and align targeted services to diversify revenues.
  • Beginning in 2023, analyze current OSBA services regarding costs and value in order to be competitive with the market.
  • Beginning in 2023, audit all networking opportunities and methodologies and make recommendations for implementation.

Pillar 2: Public relations and communications

OSBA highlights the critical importance of Ohio public education and the great work of its member districts.


  1. Utilize multiple platforms and strategies to showcase OSBA as the leader in public education.
  2. Provide resources for school districts to communicate effectively.
  3. Communicate the value and quality of public education in Ohio.


  • Beginning in 2023, create a marketing plan to showcase the good work of OSBA members in the success of public education.
  • Beginning in 2024 and by the end of 2025, review OSBA’s current brand and evaluate if it communicates the value it offers to members.
  • By 2025, create partnerships among communication agencies that aid school districts in effective communications.
  • By 2025, provide specific resources and trainings on effective communications for districts.
  • By 2025, create a marketing plan to communicate the value of public education to policymakers and invested parties at the state level.

Pillar 3: Ohio student achievement

Members are supported in their work to boost the achievement of students from all backgrounds and abilities.


  1. Increase awareness in the work of school boards and the role of governance in increasing student achievement.
  2. Increase understanding of educational barriers for students.
  3. Increase access to resources and funding for public schools.
  4. Increase opportunities, supports and guidance for member districts.


  • By 2025, create trainings centered around “why boardmanship matters to student achievement.”
  • By the end of 2027, provide opportunities for student representation in order to gain insight into student experiences.
  • In 2023, identify additional avenues for sharing student achievement news and stories.
  • By 2026, coordinate opportunities for regions to address specific student barriers to student achievement.
  • By 2025, develop opportunities for board members to meet with legislators.

Pillar 4: Association operations

OSBA embraces innovative, industry-leading best practices.


  1. Enhance OSBA's current and develop new revenue streams with an emphasis on diversification.
  2. Develop OSBA's highly effective volunteer leadership.
  3. Implement cutting-edge tools to streamline activities and maximize efficiencies.
  4. Recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled association staff.


  • Beginning in 2024, work with regional managers to create ways to recruit members to get involved at the regional level.
  • Beginning in the third quarter of 2024, develop a marketing plan to identify potential prospects for OSBA leadership positions.
  • Beginning in 2023, implement and enhance new and existing staff communication tools. 
  • In 2025, audit and provide recommendations regarding current staff policies and benefits.
  • In 2026, audit and provide recommendations regarding OSBA’s organizational chart.
  • Beginning in 2024 and by 2025, promote and maintain a consistent culture of customer service.
  • Beginning in 2023, develop a strategic communication plan to guide the association’s communication program and overall efforts of the communication staff.
  • Beginning in 2024, create and implement a long-term staff professional development plan.
  • Beginning in 2024, create and implement a long-term leadership professional development plan.