Board Includes Reps From APS High Schools

Breaking New Ground
Posted on 01/16/2019
Image of High School Board Reps and Board of EducationThe Akron Board of Education has been working on the plan for nearly a year now. At Monday's meeting, the first of the new year, board members welcomed some new, fresh-faced colleagues who will be attending board meetings.

Each high school has a student representative on the board. They won't be voting or making official decisions, but they will be observing and learning and contributing to discussions with new ideas.

Board member Lisa Mansfield helped create the student board after hearing, often, from students engaging her on social media mainly. "I wondered how we could take the positive energy and even the worry some kids carry around, and turn this into enthusiasm, something positive," said Mansfield.

Some public school districts in Ohio and across the U.S. have one student representative on their boards. Mansfield and the rest of the board felt having a voice from each school was a better plan that offered greater diversity and a broader voice for students and the community.

"This didn't really get energy until we put kids on the committee to help formulate this. Our students gave the idea life and got a bunch of grownups to think differently and make this happen," Mansfield said. She also credits former board President Patrick Bravo for being committed and supportive of the plan, even as it seemed to lose steam.

"It really was our students who breathed life back into this idea," said Bravo.

This is a pilot group. "The first group has the honor of being first, but also the challenge to help us work out the kinks and the bugs to pave the way for next year's selected group of student board members."

The student board members named Monday evening serve until the end of the school year. They are all welcome to attend board meetings and sit in the gallery, but each meeting will have one seat at the official board table set specifically for one of the student representatives. The board has added a committee made up solely of the student representatives. They will meet as any other board committee does, and their representatives will deliver their committee reports officially at meetings of the Akron School Board.

Image of High School Board Reps and Board of Education

Student School Board members have their first photo taken with their board colleagues (L-R):

Luke Buckingham – Firestone CLC
Nathaniel Smith – Ellet
Addison Johnson – STEM High School
Kyrice Brunson – East CLC
Chyna Grier – Buchtel CLC
Rai Monisha – North
Salam Said – Akron Early College High School
Chandler Forshee – Kenmore-Garfield

Elected Akron School Board members (L-R):

Ginger Baylor
Morgan Lasher
Lisa Mansfield
Tim Miller, Vice President
Bruce Alexander
Rev. Dr. Curtis T. Walker, Sr. Board President
Patrick Bravo
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