School board welcomes first-ever student representative

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

By Kayla Lasure
Contributing Writer

STANFORD – A new, younger face will now be seen at the Lincoln County school board’s monthly meetings as Lincoln County High School junior Emma Kaiser, was chosen to serve as the school board’s first-ever “student representative.”

Superintendent Michael Rowe said the board is excited to have Kaiser join them.

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“The job of the student representative, when asked or called upon, is to give us the input of what the kids at the schools want,” Rowe said. “When it comes time to make tough decisions we want the input of what the kids think about those decisions. Emma is going to be the go-between, between the board and the students to make sure the students have a voice in those tough decisions.”

Rowe said he presented the idea of a obtaining a board student representative when he was interviewing for his position. After some online research of what other districts have done, the board drew up criteria of what the student representative would have to meet.

The application process started in December and required the students to list their GPA, extracurricular activities, a couple essay questions and teacher recommendations.

“In the end, (Emma’s) answers and her written response to why she wanted to be a board student representative were top notch,” Rowe said. “So that’s who we chose to be on our board.”

The application questions asked students to talk about what activities they’re involved in and what they thought they could offer as a student representative. Kaiser said she wrote about her leadership capabilities, how she identifies with multiple groups in the school and her ability to communicate well with others.

Kaiser is already well-known in the district for her role as the kicker for the LCHS football team. However, she is also a part of the soccer team, swim team, Future Business Leaders of America, Beta Club, National Honor Society and a local church youth group.

Wanting to use her array of activities as a platform for her new role,, Kaiser said she is honored to receive this position to help give students a voice.

“Teachers don’t see everything that goes on – not just teachers but even adults that work at the board,” Kaiser said. “Being a student, you’re on the inside and you see everything and know what people talk about. They kind of just need to know what’s going on.”

While the student representative will not having voting power, they do get to sit alongside the board during meetings. Kaiser was even given her own nameplate to use during meetings.

So far, Kaiser has had the opportunity to attend the January school board meeting. Rowe said he used the opportunity to explain to Kaiser how meetings usually run and some of the terminology that is used.

As she begins to attend more meetings, Kaiser said she is hoping to bring ideas and thoughts from the students to the board. She plans to possibly use online surveys or a comment box at the high school to try to gather information from students of what they would like to see changed.

This new route of having student representation on the board is important, Rowe said, because they’re ultimately here to serve the students.

“Our purpose is to make sure that our students are happy and want to go to school,” Rowe said. “We want to make sure that everything we do works toward that. Our students here are going to be the future leaders of tomorrow for Lincoln County. We have to work with them and meet them where they’re at to make sure they’re successful.”

A new student representative will be chosen at the beginning of every school year, Rowe said. His hope is that more students will start to apply and want to get more involved.

“The ultimate goal is to give multiple students a chance to see how a board works and to give them a chance to put something on their resumé showing they were willing to step up to the plate and represent their fellow student body,” said Rowe.