Teens lend student perspective to school board
Attend a meeting of the Roseville Joint Union High School District school board and you’ll see five adults elected by voters to make crucial decisions about education.
You’ll also see two teenagers — although they don’t having any voting power. They do, however, have a voice.
Student body presidents of the district’s high schools get to spend three months acting as student representatives on the board. The two current representatives talked with the Press Tribune about on their experiences one month into the (unpaid) position.
Name: Chelsea Lockett, 17
School: Senior, Antelope High School
How have you liked being on the board?
Originally, it’s funny, because people were like, oh, it’s going to be so boring and it’s just district meetings. But it’s actually been fairly interesting. You don’t really think about what the district does for the school, you just think about what the school does for the school.
At a recent board meeting, they (talked) about career technical education classes and there was a lot of feedback from parents, teachers and career technical managers talking about different trades and the reasons they promote career technical education.
I voiced my opinion and (that) I agreed with what they were saying. Not many students go to board meetings to voice their opinions — they send their parents to do that. It’s one thing to hear from a parent but I think it makes a difference to hear the students’ opinion whether a class is beneficial to them.
Have there been topics you’ve found particularly interesting?
They (made) senior ball a school-sanctioned event again, rather than have the boosters plan and run it. Our senior class will now raise money — we actually have a lot of money to go toward it.
Thanking (Garry) Genzlinger for his support in building Antelope High School since his time on the board is done now. It was cool to be able to thank him for everything he did to get Antelope started.
Is there anything you don’t enjoy about the meetings?
I guess, for me, it’s stressful they’re on Tuesday nights because I have yearbook work night normally from right after school to about 9 or 10 p.m. … I’m at yearbook, go home and change really quickly, go to the meeting and then go back to yearbook. Tuesdays are very long days for me.
What other activities are you involved with?
Well, I’m ASB president, so that’s a big thing. Student government, yearbook, the board and I just got done with volleyball season. Then throw a little bit of work for AP calculus in there.
Where do you want to go to college?
I’ve applied to six schools. Ideally, I get into Stanford. But if I don’t get in, I’m not going to be crushed. All the schools I’ve applied to have good education programs and that’s what I really care about.
Name: Paige Finkemeier, 17
School: Senior, Granite Bay High School
How have you liked it so far?
It’s been really interesting to see the process because I’m also on the high school site council, so I see how it goes from the school site to the district.
Have there been items discussed you’ve found especially interesting?
The board deals with admitting new courses into next year’s schedule and so I’ve gotten to see what other schools are doing with new classes. Like I know Woodcreek is going to start a music management program and at Granite Bay High School there’s going to be a new IB religions class.
Are the board meetings what you expected?
My brother actually served on the board last year, so I kind of had an idea. It’s not much of a surprise, but each meeting has been totally different. One was really short and we did a couple quick things, and another one went into a whole (presentation about) Oakmont High School.
It’s mainly a listening position as a student … We can’t vote on anything but sometimes it’s nice for them to hear what we have to say.
What other activities are you involved with?
I’m ASB president. I’ve been in student government all four years. I was also on the soccer team and I was on the track team. I’m involved in AP and honors courses. I’m on the site council.
As ASB president, it’s my role to work on our school culture and making Granite Bay High School a better place for the students and staff socially and emotionally. We’re doing a campaign this year on how it’s hard to hate someone whose story you know. … If we can accept that everyone has their own thing (outside of school) we can move past differences we have and see the bigger picture.
What do you want to do after high school?
I’m planning on attending a four-year university and getting my bachelor’s of science in nursing and then working in a hospital in the newborn (unit).