Virginia School Board's Student Members Add Perspective

By KBJR News 1

December 10, 2012 Updated Dec 10, 2012 at 11:33 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- For most high school students the thought of attending a school board meeting would leave them, well, bored. That's not the case with several Virginia High School students.
They're not just interested in the school board – they're members.

"I just give a student report," said student school board member, Marko Dewhurst, "Like activities that are going on."

Dewhurst, a Virginia High School senior, and Abby Fink, a Virginia High School junior, serve as the Virginia School Board's student representatives.

They're two of the most recent student school board members, but they're far from being the first.

"It's been going on for almost ten years," said School Board Chair, Tim Riordan.

Riordan says the former superintendent decided to add students to the school board in 2002 to get perspectives that only they would be able to give.

"She wanted to get the feel of the whole building, what was happening. Not just from the teachers, but the whole students," said Riordan.

"It's fun to just tell them what's going on in the school and what students think," said Fink.

If you think this is a good idea, you're not alone. Riordan says about 82 school districts have student representatives and that number is growing.

"I believe more schools are because it's growing over the years," said Riordan.

It will help Dewhurst and Fink grow too, because they're getting a front row seat to a good experience.

"It's different because you usually look up to your elders, but they're looking up to us to see what is really going on," said Dewhurst.

As far as being board at the school board meetings, think again.

"They're [the school board members] usually pretty funny," said Fink.

The student representatives are nominated by their student council adviser for the positions.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.