The Christina School Board will soon feature a student voice.
The board voted earlier this month to create a non-voting student member of the board position. The student will not participate in executive sessions or receive any materials considered “privileged” under the Delaware State Code, such as material about personnel or legal matters.
The student must be a Christina high school student with a grade average above 2.7. The student must also be a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. The student will be nominated and elected by the advisory council, with the election for the 2021-22 school year taking place in October.
Superintendent Dan Shelton said the advisory council will be selected by school leadership, such as guidance counselors.
“The goal would be for it to be a diverse group not only racially but so it’s not only kids who are in student council,” Shelton said. “It’s not going to just be student council presidents, it’s going to be a diverse group.”
Shelton said a similar advisory council existed when he was superintendent of the Capital School District.
“It’s not just the typical leaders,” Shelton said. “There’s a lot of different types of leaders in schools.”
The idea of adding a student to the board was first pitched by board member Susan Mitchell, whose term ended last month.
“I think it’s long overdue,” Mitchell said. “I really look forward to attending some board meetings and seeing a student from one of our high schools sitting up here.”
Board Vice President Claire O’Neal added that the position offers an opportunity for high school students to develop leadership skills.
The state board of education has had a student member since 2019.