Aberdeen School Board will seat student members in advisory roles

The Aberdeen School Board on Tuesday unanimously passed a measure to add two student members to the board in an advisory role.

The school board members said they hope the students will give board members insight into the needs of students, and make the board more responsive to those needs.

“We heard from other boards who have been doing this for a number of years and they say it gives them a view point they otherwise would not have had,” said Doug Smith, president of the Aberdeen School Board. “Everything we do impacts students, some more than others, so we thought it would be a good idea.”

The role is purely advisory. The students would have no voting power. They will also not be able to make motions, hold a board office or attend executive sessions.

The student board members would advise the board about the student body’s thoughts about measures brought before the board. The student board members would act as liaisons between the school board and the associated student body and give reports about board activities to the students.

The board will select a junior and a senior from Aberdeen High. Each student member will serve a two-year term, with the exception being the first senior chosen for the position. Interested students can nominate themselves, but board members said they would encourage students to apply for the position who would be exceptionally suited for the board. All applicants must answer a three-question application. A GPA requirement for the position has not been determined, but applicants must receive a recommendation from three staff members and provide a copy of their transcripts and attendance records. No deadline has been set for nominations. For this year’s opening, the board may select one or two students.