Speaking for the student body

Luke Kubicek

A school board can be very influential to the lives of students. Members are elected to set policies, budgets and oversee the district. Every couple of years there are seats open for election, and this year one of those seats will be reserved for a student. The idea to have a student on the school board came from superintendent Mr. Jeff Elstad. Mr. Elstad thought this would be a good idea because when he was Byron’s superintendent, they had a student school board member, and it became useful in understanding the needs of students. The school board also believes that this could benefit them.

Even though the student selected will not legally be able to participate in the voting, there are many other important roles they will have. Mr. Elstad, when asked about the student roles from past experience, said, “Many times the board members would rely on the students and say what do the students think about this – especially if it was a decision that was going to have a clear impact on the education of our students.” Student input is very important to the board because it can give different opinions of the subject.

Students who were interested in becoming a school board member must be a sophomore at the Owatonna High School, and all sophomores were eligible to fill out an application. The deadline for applications was Friday, April 13. From the applications, the school board will pick a handful of candidates to meet with in person. The school board plans to seat the new member in the May school board meeting. To students who applied, there will be many gained leadership skills, it looks incredible on resumes and college applications and there will be substantial scholarships available through the the Minnesota School Board Association.

The school board is very excited about the student representative, and school board president Mr. Mark Sebring said, “We look forward to the unique student perspective, and we believe it will have a significant, positive outcome for the district.” The student who is chosen for this honor will be expected to serve on the board during their junior and senior year. For each year, the board is planning to elect another sophomore allowing one junior and one senior on the board as well. This is a huge honor to whoever is chosen, and it is a great opportunity for Owatonna schools.