Delaware student board member prepares to pass torch


A student representative on the Delaware school board will attend her last board meeting on June 2 when she will pass the torch to a new student.

Abigail Jones, a recent graduate of Delaware Hayes High School and the student board member on the Delaware Board of Education, said serving on the board has been the highlight of her senior year.

Jones was appointed to the board last summer and attended board meetings to give the elected board members the student body’s perspective on various issues facing the district.

Jones said she will step down at the upcoming June 2 board meeting where a new student will be appointed. Jones said Hayes High Principal Richard Stranges will be selecting the new representative in the next two weeks.

“It’s been a great opportunity,” Jones said. “I think every district should have a student board member, if not multiple board members.”

Jones said the best part for her has been working with school administrators, since Jones plans to attend Kent State University to study education. Jones said she hopes to be a school administrator one day.

“The best part was gaining (Superintendent) Paul Craft and Principal Stranges as mentors,” Jones said. “They showed me aspects of the board I never would have known about.”

School administrators are quick to praise Jones for her work on the board.

“Abbey was an outstanding student board member this year,” Craft said. “She served as a wonderful conduit for information to the board about happenings at Hayes High School and as a sounding board for the administration and board as we considered changes in practice or policies. Her parents became engaged as well, giving us further connections and insight with our stakeholders.”

Board Vice President Jayna McDaniel-Browning said the board was very impressed with Jones.

“She is intelligent and thoughtful, but she is also fearless about speaking up in forums that many people find a little intimidating,” McDaniel-Browning said. “I think we all appreciated her candor and her willingness to share her opinions and experiences.”

Stranges said Jones will be hard to replace.

“Abbey is one of those unique students who exemplifies what is good with students today,” Stranges said. “She exceeded my expectations in every way, added value to the board and represented Hayes with integrity.”

Jones said her favorite memory of serving on the board was at the ground-breaking for the new wing at Hayes High.

“It was a cool, unifying experience that made me happy to be part of the board,” Jones said.

Jones said she has been a student at Delaware City Schools her entire educational career and said it was also “cool” to be recognized as a board member by people she didn’t know.

Craft said Jones has been a pleasure to have on the board.

“Abbey is going to go off and do great things,” Craft said. “She is so full of energy, so full of life. She has been a pleasure to have on the board.”

Jones at the May 16 board meeting, her last meeting as a Hayes High student. at the May 16 board meeting, her last meeting as a Hayes High student. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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