Two seniors appointed to District 212's Board of Education

  • Amanda Le, a senior at East Leyden, is a student representative on District 212's Board of Education.Courtesy of District 212

    Amanda Le, a senior at East Leyden, is a student representative on District 212's Board of Education.Courtesy of District 212

 
Maryann Mills
Updated 9/16/2020 8:55 AM

Two Leyden students were appointed to District 212’s Board of Education at a meeting held on August 13. The two seniors were sworn in as student representative members, continuing a tradition established in 2016.

During the 2020-21 school year Amanda Le of East Leyden and Cassandra Diaz of West Leyden will represent other students by gathering feedback from their classmates and presenting that information to board members.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Students are nominated for the position by staff members who review the student's school involvement and contributions. Although the student members take the same oath of office as regular school board members, they do not vote on school board matters or attend closed sessions.

"Student board members have a standing agenda item every month for their reports," says Superintendent Nick Polyak. "They bring forward thoughts and concerns from their classmates, and also share some of the great things happening in their buildings and communities. Examples of input from students would be potential upgrades in the facilities, requests for new or different courses, or thoughts on remote learning and hybrid schedule plans."

Diaz is a member of the Girls Varsity Swim Team, National Honor Society, West Leyden Service Club and the Dreamers & Allies Club. Javier Vasquez, Diaz's counselor says that, "she is a selfless leader who exhibits passion, honesty and integrity. The Dreamers & Allies club supports undocumented students. Cassandra is an integral part of the club's growth and success."

Patricia Makishima, West Leyden principal, says Diaz leads by example and represents the strength of the school's student body. "Cassandra is an exceptional young woman who focuses on building relationships with all those around her. She also demonstrates great interpersonal and leadership skills,"Makishima says.

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Le is also a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Mathematics Team, Student Council, Class of 2021, Key Club and the Swimming and Diving Team. "It is because of Amanda's involvement that she is the ideal representative for her classmates and the East Leyden student body,"says Dominic Manola, East Leyden principal. "She embodies the belief that involvement matters, and her broad variety of experiences give her a valuable perspective of East Leyden."

Emily Alexenko, Le's counselor at East Leyden, says "Amanda is a dedicated student who looks for new ways to because involved with school. She will represent students well through her position as a board of education student representative."

Both Diaz and Le agree that it is an honor to be a student representative on the board of education, and they are excited about the opportunities the experience offers.

"This gives me the opportunity to get my voice heard and it also allows me to get the voice of the whole student body heard which is important to me," Diaz says. "From this experience I've learned it is important to speak up and ask questions."

"As a representative I can learn more about how the board makes decisions that benefit the students," Le adds. "I've learned how fortunate our school is to be funded so well, and that many people care about the students and make sure we have access to the things we need to succeed."

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