Board empowers representatives


Hailey Wilson, Staff Writer

District 202 presented the first group of student ambassadors at its Jan. 18board meeting. One student from each of the four Plainfield High schools will help represent the 27,000 Plainfield students during district board meetings.

They will help share information with the board about school life and student issues.

“The board’s goal is to support the needs of students by empowering them to participate in the management of the district,” Board of Education President Greg Nichols said.

Plainfield Central senior Hannah Darbro brought the idea to the board of having a student from each of the high schools participate with the monthly Board of Education meetings back in June of 2018.

“The Board agreed that her concept has merit and we directed Dr. Wood to work out the logistics and come back with a plan to support her goal of students playing a role in district governance,” Nichols said.

North senior Jack Anderson, Darbro, East senior Peyton Washington and South junior Brooke Poston are the first four student ambassador representatives.

“The four of us are all-natural born leaders, but at the same time we are all open to others opinions and work really well to not only accomplish everyone’s plans but even expand and better them,” Anderson said.

Communication between students and the board allows ideas about school improvement to come directly from the student representatives and gives the board the opportunity to ask questions directly to these students.

“Minimizing the effect of the ‘middleman’ should allow us both to greatly improve communication,” Nichols said.

The student ambassadors will help collaborate with the board committee and share ideas on how to improve student life.

“We are always interested in things we can help affect that improve the school experience and/or educational success of our students,” Nichols said.

Recently, the students designed an idea for checking out computers like library books and are currently working with administration to figure out the logistics to make it happen.

“The first meeting was really an introduction. This most recent meeting, however, brought forward an excellent idea from the student community- find a way to ‘checkout’ computers,” Nichols said.

Moving forward Nichols expects, “more great concepts like this to come to the table.”  The students want to bring forward change for the better in our high school and even in our community. The school board and the ambassadors work together with the same goal.

“We contribute by bringing real-life reports of happenings at our respective schools and by pitching idea for the board to act on in order to spark growth in the district,” Anderson said.

Allowing students to play a role in district governance helps give voice to the students of Plainfield.

“The fact that students are a part of activities at school and hear about personal experiences by their peers make the reports we give just that much more accurate and the board gets to hear all of this firsthand,” Anderson said.

Our student ambassadors get to see and contribute to the board and view the other side of what goes through our schools.

“While we want to make sure that we hear directly from the students, it is equally important that the students be able to hear directly from the school board,” Nichols said.

There is a lot that students can learn from being involved in the local level of a democratic system and seeing how the school board operates.

“I feel that adding this experience in local school and community government will prepare me to become a better leader in the future,” Anderson said.

Having a student body that promotes and pushes for positive change in the district allows growth and improvement among all the Plainfield schools.

“When I look back at Plainfield, I want to see that I left it in better condition than I arrived in and so far, I see that happening,” Anderson said.