Student board representatives, school board president share ideas with ODE board members
Three current and three former Centerville High School students, along with the Centerville Board of Education president, visited the Ohio Department of Education on May 14 to talk with state board members about their experiences as student liaisons to the school board.
"I am so proud of what these students have accomplished, and I always appreciate hearing their ideas and brainstorming with them," said Centerville Board of Education President Annie Self, who initiated the idea of adding student liaisons to Centerville's board. The first students joined at the start of the 2017-18 school year.
According to Self, the students were invited to meet with Ohio Department of Education board members by Charlotte McGuire, the group's vice president who represents District 3, which includes Centerville.
"It was an honor to present at the State Board of Education because we got to advocate for the students' voice and blaze a trail for student representation," said CHS junior Jacob Myers.
Myers is serving as a student board representative this year, along with seniors Julia Lokai and Ben Thomas and junior Ben Campbell. Last year's student representatives, Eliot Ferstl, Sery Gunawardena and Megan Rose, joined them in Columbus.
The Centerville students discussed their thoughts about issues facing high schoolers, such as mental health, school safety, class rank and GPA, and training in skilled trades, as well as their initiatives, including student surveys, voter registration drives, and working with the high school principal to address student concerns.
Centerville's student representatives are expected to attend monthly work sessions and regular meetings, participate in board discussions and may propose resolutions for board consideration. They do not have the right to make motions, vote, hold board offices or attend executive sessions.
Self hopes that awareness of Centerville's program will encourage other school districts to welcome student liaisons to their board meetings.
"It's good for adults to be reminded that today's students are seeing different technology, resources and social changes than past generations," Self said, adding that student representatives should not be afraid to speak up for what they think could be a positive changes.Centerville City Schools serve nearly 8,400 students in Centerville and Washington Township in southwest Ohio, offering a variety of educational programs to a diverse student population. The district operates 13 school buildings, as well as two preschools and a bus facility accommodating and servicing 120 buses that also transports daily to 15 public and 15 non-public schools. Visit www.centerville.k12.oh.us for more information.