Bay Port senior Rachel Ceaglske shares her reflections on a year of service as the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education student representative:
Communication is an integral part of the functioning of any group. The Howard-Suamico School Board is no exception. Dialogue within the Board must be professional and smooth, thus Policy Governance was implemented. The staff and administration needed to be on the same page as the Board, so staff is welcome and encouraged to attend Board meetings. Communication with the community, who are the stakeholders of HSSD, is also a key part of the Board, so Community Conversations were hosted at public locations. Finally, two-way communication between the student body and the Board is important because the purpose of the Board and the District is to prepare students for a changing world. Thus, in 2006, the nonvoting position of Student Representative to the Board was created.
I, Rachel Ceaglske, served in this position for the duration of the 2017-2018 school year. In this role, I gave the students’ perspective about decisions the Board was making. I brought the concerns of the student body to the Board and worked to find solutions to issues that students had. I also brought messages from the Board back to the students. During my time on the Board, I realized what an integral part I was playing in the successful communication of the Board. I was a valued member, and my thoughts on behalf of the student body were considered seriously.
This experience has been very eye opening for me. I hadn’t realized that the inner workings of the District were so complex. It is comforting that there is a team of administrators and Board members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to shape HSSD into the progressive district that it is. The role of the Board, which is to be accessible to the community and accountable for the performance of the schools, is a delicate one because it requires balancing the needs of the community with the needs of the school while focusing on the development of students within the schools. The HSSD Board has taken on this challenge and has succeeded. The Board has been flexible and ever changing to meet the needs of those it serves.
The HSSD Board of Education sets the standard high for the district, and the administration, teachers, and students have risen to the challenge. I am grateful to be a part of a district with a dedicated Board, forward thinking administration, passionate teachers, and strong students. The Howard-Suamico School District has great things in store for the future, and I look forward to seeing where the Board of Education leads the community.
For more information about our governance policies or our school district, please visit our website at www.hssd.k12.wi.us For additional information regarding this article, contact Student Representative to the Board, Rachel Ceaglske, at firstname.lastname@example.org or School Board member, Rachelle Paulsen, at email@example.com