For the first time DVC has selected three student representatives for the school board, and the representatives, who will serve as the voice of all students, attended their first school board meeting.
Juniors Christian Salinas and Makayla Wilson, and sophomore Daniela Torres were selected as the DVC representatives after submitting their application to the board. DVS and DVD also selected student reps. Applicants from the three schools had the opportunity to represent their school; these students believe they have ideas and experience to contribute to the school board and want to make sure all voices are heard.
Junior Christian Salinas was awarded one of the three DVC positions as he was able to show the school board that he is passionate, dedicated, and interested in fulfilling this role to voice everyone’s opinion.
“I feel like a student connection is what the board needs so they could get the most accurate feedback… so that they could improve the areas where it needs the most attention,” said Salinas.
As he was accepted to be a representative it was a very accomplishing moment for him.
“I’m even honored to just be there in the Zoom meeting with people of such high authority like the superintendent and being able to share or listen upon the council talking to each other so it was definitely a good experience,” said Salinas.
The role of being a student representative can be a challenging spot to fill, not only will they be speaking for all students but there are important procedures that need to be followed. A student who isn’t used to that kind of work can feel overwhelmed at first.
Kristina Becht, Math and Intro to Computer Science teacher, believes this is an extremely rewarding yet rigorous position.
“There’s a lot of rules and procedures with the school board so I really hope that they do a thoughtful way of empowering those students to understand the rules so that they are able to really make a change and use their voices effectively,” said Becht.
Training could help the students feel more prepared and at ease. They don’t know what to expect since this is the first time there has been a student representative. The suggestion to train the new reps came from Carisma De Anda, a junior at Da Vinci Science, who thought of this compelling idea for there to be a student representative for each of the campuses. She was the first person to come forward and propose this idea and Matthew Wunder, CEO of Da Vinci Schools, believed this could be beneficial for the students.
“We just didn’t know about it, it was not like anyone brought it forward before but I think if they had, we would’ve considered it,” said Wunder.
Although De Anda’s proposal was approved, there was a massive undertaking to make this happen. She had to do everything from scratch including making a proposal and gathering information from different districts.
“I emailed my principal who directed me to Matt and then after the proposal, I was thinking about what’s going to happen, the separate meetings aside from the board meetings, student school board meetings that would be just to prepare, and a timeline that goes along with it,” said De Anda.
Jaylon Jones, a junior at DVC and a strong student advocate who wants to become a politician in the future, believes the new student representatives will be beneficial to the school. He believes that a school isn’t anything without the participation of students.
“I encourage the school board to make high school the best experience it can be because there’s already so much weight that’s being put upon children; this is weight that they may have never seen before and they’re actively growing their mind, growing their bodies,” said Jones.
The new student representatives hope that with this new change they will be able to contribute to the DV community and make school-wide improvements.
“Over time I envisioned that as long as there was a way to communicate student voices and for the board to hear it, that was the most important goal,” said De Anda.