Should a student serve on the Olentangy Board of Education, and if so, what would they do?
Superintendent Mark Raiff discussed three possible alternatives at the board’s retreat on Aug. 18. The first was to elect one student representative from the entire district.
“That would be a pretty selective honor,” Raiff said. “Kids use that on their resumes.”
The second would be elect or assign one student representative from each high school.
“They could maybe participate in a panel to give a student perspective and have a dialogue,” Raiff said.
The third would be to establish a superintendent’s advisory committee made up of students from each high school.
“Currently, all three principals have advisories they meet with quarterly,” Raiff said. “When I ran the principal’s advisory at Liberty (High School), we would typically have one representative from each home base per grade level. We really got an eclectic group.”
The student advisory committee could attend a board meeting anytime there is an issue that might affect them, or quarterly.
“We would bring it and discuss with the students, get input and great suggestions from them,” Raiff said. “Option three was something I intended to do, because I wanted to have that interaction with the students.”
Member Dave King said the third option was the best way to create common ground, but he didn’t want a student to serve on an elected board.
“I prefer option one, and have someone sitting at this table with us,” said board President Kevin O’Brien. “I want it to be a meaningful experience for them.”
Citing the difficulty of attending every scheduled board meeting, member Roger Bartz suggested having one student at each meeting, rotating from each high school. He also said the student should have a voice in the role, whether it is sitting in on a meeting or providing unbiased feedback.
Member Adam White said it would be interesting to see how the student would vote.
The board did not take action on the matter, but could revisit student involvement at a future meeting.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.