Student Board of Representatives Brings Voice of Customers Directly to Board of Education
High school students volunteering for a student board of representatives gathered with district leaders Sept. 14, ahead of a Board of Education meeting in District 49.
A group of 18 students, several from each district high school, volunteered to add the student voice to the district’s governance process through the community’s elected representatives. The student representatives were chosen by their teachers and peers to help bring a student voice to the district’s governing processes.
“Your voice is very important as we make decisions,” said Marie LaVere-Wright, BOE president.
The student board of representatives began during the 2015-2016 school year after David Moore, a former board director, brought the idea forward.
“Mr. Moore was at the state’s board convention,” said Peter Hilts, chief education officer to the students and their parents. “He met some students who were doing something similar.”
“We visited and learned from people who had done it, but there are very few districts in Colorado doing something like this,” said Hilts. “We visited each student council and the students across our district really helped us develop the model.”
“Very few districts have a student board,” said John Graham, BOE vice-president, “but we are leading the way by doing this. This is something that’s catching on in Colorado.”
Members of the student board meet each month to review and discuss items on upcoming agendas. Two representatives of the student board attend the BOE meetings this month.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like this,” said Jill Queirolo, whose son, Michael Brown, 14, a ninth-grader at Vista Ridge High School, is volunteering for the SBOR. “I work in a service organization. When we make decisions without asking our customers what they want, we don’t get good results.”
“This is an awesome opportunity for the kids and the future kids.”
“I’m excited,” said Michael. “It’s a good opportunity to share what my experience is as a freshman. It’s cool to be able to share my opinion.”
“This is an opportunity to meet leaders and have a voice for my school,” said Maria Danieli, 18, a twelfth-grader at Springs Studio for Academic Excellence, who was in attendance with her mom, Sheri.
Athena Espiritu, 14, a ninth-grader at Pikes Peak Early College and Lexi Boone, 16, an eleventh-grader at Falcon High School, looked at their nameplates as the first to sit with the BOE directors this school year.
“I’ve always liked leadership positions,” said Athena, prior to the start of the meeting. “This is a great opportunity to participate.”