On Board

After serving in the role as a sophomore, Brendan White is again looking to connect the opinions of students with district administration in his second term as School Board Representative.

Andrew McLaughlin, Staff Writer

How is the School Board Representative affiliated with the Student Council?

The School Board Representative is one of the executive members of the Student Council, but unlike elected officers, it is chosen by the principals and the Student Council Advisor, Mr. Karolski. I’ve been involved with the Student Council since sixth grade and continued to do it in high school. When it was time to run for positions in sophomore year, I wanted to find a way to be more involved, but I didn’t have an interest in being a student council officer. I was really interested in the administrative side of education, however, so the School Board Representative role fit me well.

What are the main responsibilities of a School Board Representative?

Each month we present a School Activities Report to the Board after we talk with students and faculty advisors from each club. We get a brief rundown of what they have planned and what they’ve been doing. You also have to create a bridge between NASH and the School Board. I’m hoping to share student voices with the Board and then take back what the School Board says to the student body. I want to have an open communication cycle.

How was your earlier term in the position?

Working with the School Board in 10th grade really allowed me to see a different side of education. It was tough at times, but ultimately, I enjoyed it. I got to talk with a lot of great people and heard many student voices. My favorite part of the job at NAI were the principal’s advisory luncheons and chats. One of the things that came out of those luncheons last year was Wellness Wednesdays, which I worked hard to develop with the NASH School Board Rep. It was a really fulfilling process because we were able to figure out what students wanted; we made a survey that got over 1200 responses. And I think Wellness Wednesdays did benefit a lot of students in the online school environment.

What is the election process like for a School Board Representative? 

It starts with a written portion that includes a few essays where you explain why you want the position. Then there was an interview with Dr. Dirda, Dr. McEwen, and Mr Karolski. Obviously, I was not campaigning like the Student Council officers, as the School Board Rep is selected by the high school principals and the Student Council Advisor.

Is it intimidating to present information to the School Board?

It gets easier over time. I think everybody gets a little bit stressed speaking in front of people they respect, so I do get nervous. As you get to know the School Board and become more comfortable in the role, it also becomes less stressful. Overall, the School Board and administration are very supportive of the School Board Reps. But honestly, I think what makes it so easy is we have some amazing things going on at NASH and NAI, which makes it easy to share the activities our students are doing.

What was the biggest challenge in your previous term as a School Board Representative?

It was definitely the mix of online and in-person meetings. We were at Central Administration, then at NASH, then online, which is frustrating because not being in the room with people does make a difference. At that time, it was for the best, but communication is more difficult when you’re at home.

What is the most important part of the job to you?

I think the most important part of my job is to just listen to students. Like the School Board, I take listening to students and hearing everyone out very seriously. I’m a very friendly person, so I encourage people to stop me in the hallway, DM me on Instagram, or email me if they have any concerns or questions. If you are comfortable reaching out on e-mail or online, I highly encourage you to do so.

What is your primary goal in representing the opinions of the student body?

I’m looking forward to hearing student input as many ways as possible. We’re going to try and find ways for you to anonymously give feedback about how we can improve NASH.  We want to hear what you students have to say, as we are going to really try and make NASH a better place with your ideas.