School board’s new student reps to serve as QHS liaisons
For the first time, two students have been appointed to the school board to serve as representatives of Quincy High School.
Chosen in December after an application process, Mireya Camacho and Shayla Appling are tasked with representing the QHS student body and fostering communication between the school board, students and parents. They participate in school board discussions but do not vote on issues.
“I wanted to get more involved,” said Camacho, a senior, of why she applied for the position. “I am social and outgoing. It was easy for students to tell me what they wanted changed. Sometimes there is not enough communication.”
“It is important to be a good example,” added Appling, a junior. “One of your jobs is to talk to people. You have to be trustworthy because people are going to bring their problems to you and you have to be open-minded.”
And district leaders are happy to have the students on board.
“We wanted the student representatives to become liaisons so they can be a conduit between the school board and the Quincy High School students,” said Alex Ybarra, school board president. “The board wanted an avenue for the students to talk directly to the board via the student representatives and vice versa.”
“The board is very pleased to have two outstanding high school students serving as student representatives,” added school board member Tricia Lubach. “They are working hard to get up to speed on the work of a school board and gaining knowledge about a huge array of educational topics.”
Both girls are active high school students. Appling is a member of the Link Crew, a high school transition program, and she plays the clarinet and bass clarinet in the high school band. She also is a National Honor Society member and is involved with FFA and 4-H.
Also a member of the National Honor Society, Camacho participates in FFA, Mecha, Science Club and the district Learning Improvement Team. She is on the cross-country, track, soccer and wrestling teams and works for Princess Fashion part time.
Camacho and Appling have attended four board meetings so far. They both believe they gained much new knowledge from the meetings about the school board and the work it does.
“It was overwhelming,” Appling said. “It was humbling to see how much they do for us.”
Each student representative was given a booklet explaining her responsibilities. And, at the meetings, when Camacho has questions about acronyms or unfamiliar terms that are used, she finds the school board has been helpful and welcoming.
“I am excited to connect the school board with the student voice,” she said.
The board recognizes that the student voice is important.
“The value Mireya and Shayla bring to the board level is their willingness to share their experiences as students,” Lubach said. “It’s vital for students to have a voice in their educational experiences. Helping adults in the system ensure that we are giving them the opportunities they need to be successful. Their addition to the board is especially good timing since the district is just embarking on a strategic planning process, so their input will help shape the goals in the district for many years to come.
“The board needs to communicate with all of the stakeholders, primarily students,” Ybarra added.“That’s why I volunteer and the board is volunteering. We are doing it for the students.”
This year, one idea that the Camacho-Appling team would like to work on is finding more opportunities for families to see their student’s work and projects so they can see what they are doing in school.
Appling hopes the pair can make a positive impact so more students will rise to the challenge when the junior student representative position is open in August.
“It is a good learning opportunity,” Appling said. “You have to be a good leader, speaker and manage your time well.”
— By Tammara Green, QVPR contributor