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Student reps may be in D19's future

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

STORRS/MANSFIELD — The E.O. Smith High School student body may soon have an opportunity for representation on the Regional School District 19 Board of Education.

At their meeting Tuesday, board members discussed welcoming one or two upper-level high school students to regularly partake in board of education meetings.

District 19 Superintendent Jill Krieger said in her experience at Manchester High School, where she worked as principal until August, the arrangement had been positive.

Krieger said she wanted to post a notice to the junior class and ask them to respond to a few questions regarding why the students would want to serve on the board of education, what issues they find important at E.O. Smith and what activities they are involved in.

E.O. Smith serves students from Mansfield, Willington and Ashford.

Krieger said she would then interview interested students, along with other board of education members, to select a student.

Board members agreed two students would be best, just in case one was not able to attend meetings on a particular evening.

“I think it would be nice to have a junior and a senior, so that the junior could rollover into the next year and we are adding just one new person every year,” Krieger said. “Also, they can’t always get here. Having two, you’ll find that most of the time you have a student here. I think their voice is important.”

Krieger suggested a junior and a senior should serve, so there could be continuance through the junior’s two-year term.

Every spring, a rising junior would be selected to serve for two years.

During the discussion, board member Megan Moran suggested inviting a freshman and senior to the board — so there could be a wider range of age perspectives and so a relationship could be established.

“There’s such a variance between what freshman classes deal with in their issues and what senior classes deal with,” Moran said. “That way, you’re harboring an older student/younger student relationship and there’s a mentor for that freshman.”

Other board members disagreed, mostly because of concerns a freshman would find board of education meetings overwhelming.

But by the time a sophomore is in their spring term, they might be ready to volunteer their time and perspective.

No formal votes were made, but Krieger said she would move forward with posting the notice.

 

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