The Delaware Board of Education’s newest member is very familiar with the school district — because she has been a student here since she was in kindergarten.
Abbey Jones was sworn in as the board’s student member last month and will spend the duration of her senior year attending board meetings and giving the board input from a student’s perspective.
Jones said she heard an announcement during the school year that asked for any juniors interested in serving on the board to contact Hayes High School Principal Richard Stranges. Jones said she wants to go into journalism and education and aspires to be a principal and superintendent.
Students interested in the position had to submit an essay and speak with school administrators.
“[Jones’] essay was chosen by the panel of teachers and administrators as a finalist and I interviewed the final three candidates.” Stranges said. “Abbey emerged for her enthusiasm, genuineness and wide variety of experiences in school and out of school. She brings a fresh perspective to the board of education and she is articulate, well-spoken and assertive. Her honesty of what Hayes has been to her and what she would like to see is exactly what the board desired. Her experiences in journalism and quest for educational knowledge was icing on the cake.”
Stranges added that not many school districts give students opportunities like this.
“The student board representative helps the school board by providing a student perspective to their discussions and decision-making,” said Superintendent Paul Craft. “While the student representative votes are non-binding, it helps to inform our work greatly. Especially for high school-related discussions, they tend to add wonderful insights. Further, it is not that long ago that they were middle school or elementary students, so their perspective is still fresh on issues at those levels as well.”
“It’s been life changing for me,” Jones said.
Jones, is replacing Mitchell Lucas, who graduated in May. Lucas is planning to attend the Ohio State University and major in political science and philosophy.Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.