Student representatives to be on next year’s school board

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, there will be two student representatives on the school board. 

The students must be of sophomore, junior or senior standing, and will be required to go to one board meeting a month, respectively. The two representatives have not been chosen yet, but the board is currently conducting an application process.

Other school districts, including Wauwatosa, already have student representation on their school boards, which was a source of inspiration for the board.

“One of the things that we did in the process of thinking about this was talk to other school districts that have done it,” said Paru Shah, school board president. “And so I happened to be having a conversation with the board members in Tosa this school year, and they shared with me their process, and we decided to move forward this year with it.”

Students Mira Lee Prabhu and Julia Appel, juniors, along with Jason Hegelmeyer, senior, collaborated with Tim Kenney, high school principal, and multiple board members to help design the position and application process.

“I think the school board, and the administration, and the adults in our lives really want to give us a good education, provide for us and do what needs to be done to have the healthy happy students and meet our district goals … and it’s hard for them to do that without any student input,” Appel said.

At board meetings, the representatives will sit at the table with the board members, and can participate like any other member. However, they will not be able to vote on issues. Overall, the students will be required to put in 10 hours per month, which includes time spent at board meetings. Additionally, the board will provide any transportation to and from meetings if needed. 

Quinn McClure, junior, likes the idea of having students involved with decision and policy making.

“I think it’s a good idea for student representatives because it gives the student body a voice in the school board meetings,” McClure said.

As far as the type of student that should apply, there are no specific requirements other than being a rising sophomore, junior or senior, and the commitment level. 

“Just be willing to be have the interest and have the ability to commit … have some ideas about things that they’re really passionate about that they’d like the school board maybe to address,” Shah said. “But I think we’re open to really any student who’s interested in being part of the conversation.”

Hegelmeyer, Prabhu and Appel, when figuring out logistics for the position, wanted to make sure that it was an option for all students, regardless of their level of school involvement.

“One thing that was really important is that we wanted to make sure that the application and this position was accessible for a group of students that might not always be involved in school stuff,” Appel said. 

Information about applications have been sent out to all students’ emails and can be picked up upon request at the front office. Both Shah and Appel encourage anyone who is interested to apply.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, everybody should apply for it who’s interested,” Appel said.