School board extends student rep program

Five students — two juniors and three seniors — are slated to represent MTHS this school year as advisory members of the board of directors

By Bruno Porras, Hawkeye Staff

A new school year means new school board representatives in the Edmonds School District, and this year at MTHS we have multiple. The five representatives for MTHS are seniors Bani Bedi, Payton Love, Marianne Nacanaynay and juniors Jonathan Kwong and Meghan Park. Student representatives will be able to sit with board members on a rotating basis.

Becoming a representative is simple: A sophomore going into their junior year or a junior going into their senior year must to send an application to the school board by June 1st, which consists of a few questions and the signatures of the principal and a staff member. If accepted, they will become a school board representative for the following year and attend school board meetings every other Tuesday.

The representatives are responsible for voicing the opinions of MTHS students at school board meetings, where students are asked to share their thoughts and the thoughts of the student body and the community. The board will consider the input of the school representatives in making decisions.  

Principal Greg Schellenberg has identified a few issues concerning student perspective.

“I know that last year there was a lot of confusion over what the role really is and what their responsibilities is then back to the school and it should be a communication both ways,” he said. “If there is an upcoming issue, they should gather the voices of the students here as a representative and then, following the meeting, they should communicate back and discuss.”

My duty is to ensure that our students in my class have a voice, and that they know that people are standing up for them to better their school experience.”

— Payton Love

Schellenberg believes the school representatives will provide a diverse perspective of the students of MTHS. “When things are being discussed at the board meetings level, there’s an opportunity [for a staff member or parent] to turn and say, ‘Students, what do you think about this?’ and maybe [the student representatives] had time to prepare; they have an answer ready or maybe they haven’t,” he said. “It could just be maybe off the top of their own thoughts or perspectives. In that sense, if there’s more students [representatives], then I think that there’s a greater breath of perspectives that can more accurately reflect our diversity of our student body.”

Schellenberg expects the student representatives to “represent us well,” but, more importantly, to be thoughtful towards their fellow student representatives and the students who are under-represented, for the position isn’t a debate one, according to Schellenberg, but one for voicing the student body for their school’s benefit.

“[The job includes] listening to what the board is working with, like, real big picture items, and to break that down to the student experience, so to have that thoughtfulness but to be bold, to stand up and say, ‘I might disagree with [what] my representative from Lynnwood High School said,’” Schellenberg said. “I don’t necessarily think it’s an easy position, I don’t think it’s a debate position, like a legislature where you have to argue your point to be solid, [but] to feel and have an understanding of what your classmates feel like doing.”

Schellenberg has great confidence in the ability of the representatives to meet his expectations. This can be seen through one of MTHS’s very own senior representatives, Payton Love.

Love, a loud and proud Rowdy Rooter full of school spirit, wishes to use his love for Terrace to make an impact on the MTHS community through representation on the school board. “I have some goals that the board understands what we do and we are able to better our community and the people around us,” Love said.

His goals reflect his appreciation for the school, and his boldness as a Rowdy Rooter reflects the qualities that Schellenberg wants to see in our representatives. Utilizing such boldness, Love will attend to the needs of the students by effectively representing the needs of the community.

“My duty is to ensure that our students in my class have a voice, and that they know that people are standing up for them to better their school experience,” Love said.

Love isn’t one to shy away from anyone, not even staff. His respect for the school staff is great and he wants the best for them. Love wants for their needs to be met as well by providing their voice in input for the school board. “I want the staff to have a voice; they’re one of the main reasons why we have the chance to do these things,” he said.

The school representatives will be attending every school board meeting in the Edmonds School District to better MTHS.