Wauwatosa School Board swears in first-ever student representatives to Board
October 12, 2018
For the first time in its history, the Wauwatosa School Board has added non-voting student representatives to the school board as part of its effort to increase student voice in the decision-making process.
Four students – two from each high school– took their official oath during the Wauwatosa School Board meeting on Monday, October 8 and will assume their seats for one year.
The 2018-2019 student representatives include:
· Layne Donovan – Senior, East High School
· Sam Baierl – Senior, West High School
· Emma Gifford – Senior, East High School
· Nailah Boyd – Senior, West High School
Juniors and seniors from each high school were eligible to apply. The application process included letters of recommendation and interview questions such as “How will you capture the voice of all students in the District for the Board?” and “If faced with a controversial issue, how would you arrive at a decision?”
Ms. Donovan explained why she wanted to serve in this new role.
“I want to be a Student Representative because I am passionate about the issues that face the school board, and I believe that I can effectively represent my fellow classmates,” she said. “Democracy only works when the people are engaged, not only in our federal, government but also at the local level. When issues affect Wauwatosa students, their opinions should be heard.”
School Board President Shawn Rolland said ideally, student representatives will build bridges between the diverse student body in the District and the school board.
“Wouldn’t it be great if the school was a place where students felt confident and empowered? That’s why we want to give our students seats at the table. With their voices, I think we can shape better policies and create schools where 100% of students feel welcome and inspired.”
Each student representative is to attend one school board meeting a month and then will communicate Board actions or discussions of interest to students by submitting informational bulletins to their high school students and staff or through other means as determined in cooperation with school administration.
Student representatives will participate in Board discussions with exception of sessions concerning personnel matters, which includes employee performance, student discipline hearings, negotiations and grievances, discussion of property sales or transfers or any other matters permitted to be discussed in closed executive session under the Public Open Meeting Law.
The Board unanimously voted to add four high school students to serve as non-voting Student Representatives to the School Board during its June 11, 2018 meeting.