This 2018-19 school year is the second year the school board has selected student advisors. Last year, juniors (now seniors) Joe Castleman and Trinity Madison served. This year, the position was passed down to juniors Jessica Peterson and Patrick Lee.
The idea to have student advisors on the board came from a conference workshop attended by some board members a few years ago. There was a want for more student involvement, and superintendent John Simpson saw this as the perfect way to encourage this.
The current members were selected from a pool of about 15 then-sophomores that submitted a one-two page essay describing their interest in the role, the skills that qualify them for this role and the value that they would add to the board and district.
Finalists were interviewed by former principal Jon Clark, retired assistant principal John Raimondo, superintendent Simpson, as well as Madison and Castleman.
Simpson said, “Both Patrick and Jessica bring a certain wisdom that was evident through the interview process.”
The primary roles of the advisors are to attend board meetings consistently (only one serves at each meeting, in a pre-scheduled rotation), have knowledge of the topics being discussed and to meet regularly with Simpson and principal Matt Irvin.
As advisors, they act not just as voices for themselves but for the student body as a whole. This means they have to find some way of contacting students, either by creating Google Forms or by talking to the people around them to get a consensus.
Peterson said, “I have the prerogative to choose topics based upon the needs of the student body.”
The role so far has been positive and uplifting.
“My experience so far has been great,” Peterson said. “I really feel like now I have a voice to express not only my own opinions but also the opinions of others that might not always be heard.”
This is Maeve Taylor’s first year on the Echo. She found her niche in audio while taking journalism her freshman year.
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