It's a first: New student liaison sits in on Dist. 113 board meeting

  • Raquel Bach

    Raquel Bach

Updated 9/15/2022 11:41 AM

The district president asked her the question:

Which did she prefer, Raquel Bach, or "Rocky"?


"Honestly, either/or," Bach responded to Ken Fishbain and the rest of the Township High School District 113 board.

Rocky, she said, was easier for people to pronounce.

No matter how they say it, this is something the Highland Park High School senior can write on her resume -- on Sept. 13 she became the first student liaison to sit in on a District 113 board meeting.

The board appointed its first class of student liaisons at its May 24 meeting. All still juniors at that point, they were Bach and her twin brother, Jeremy; classmate Evelyn Gehrig; and Deerfield High School seniors Anna Catella and Keshav Shah.

One liaison from each school is scheduled to sit in on the first board meeting of the month, on a rotating schedule. As noted at the meeting, due to often booked schedules a student might not be able to make it.

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That was the case Tuesday, but Bach needed no help in getting her points across.

"As a whole I would say that Highland Park High School is thriving," she said in a rapid-fire patter. "I truly believe that our students and our staff are enjoying being back at school and enjoying the activities and the school classes that have started up. I see so many smiles in the hall and so many staff looking forward to seeing their students' faces this year."

In fact, Bach said this was the first time she'd seen the faces of teachers she had her sophomore year, under COVID mitigations. Bach and three other liaisons still were wearing face masks when they were appointed May 24.

In what resembled a principal's report, Bach said the Highland Park football team was 2-1 entering Friday's game against Hersey, and that Giants coach Anthony Kopp had been named Chicago Bears High School Coach of the Week after the season-opening win against Leyden.

Bach said extracurricular clubs were up and running. She went into some detail about the school's Career Exploration Program, in which students meet professionals in a field of interest, first virtually and then if desired, through a school counselor, personally.


After Bach was done delivering her presentation that career program drew discussion from interested board members.

"To kind of wrap up, HPHS, very happy to be back, very happy as a student body and I'd like to say staff as well, and we're very happy to continue the school year," she said.

Fishbain called her "an insider now."

Though the student liaisons cannot join closed sessions or vote on agenda items, he urged Bach to "holler at me" if she wanted to address a topic or bring something up.

"It's great to have you here," he said.

"You are the first," Fishbain said. "I've been on the board a long time, and there aren't very many things that can be a first, but this is a first -- having a student liaison at the table with us."

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