The student council consists of a variety of positions all created for different purposes. However within student government there is one position that is not frequently mentioned, one that many people don’t even know exists, the position of student representative to the Ridgewood Board of Education.
Like any other position that fits under the umbrella of students government, the students interested needs to complete several steps in order to obtain the position. But for the position of student representative to the board, interested students go through a rigorous application process instead of appealing to the student body and gaining election.The first step, like one might expect is to write an essay about why they want the position, and which of their qualities make them a worthy applicant. After proving their interest and eligibility through their essays, students enter the next step in the selection process, an interview conducted by a panel comprised of Dr. Gorman, Mr. Pizzuto, and the current representative, who for this school year is senior Becky Tomilchik.
The individual who is chosen for this position gets a glimpse at how the Ridgewood Board of Ed functions. He or she must attend board meetings at the Ed Center every other Monday and give a report about happenings in the school including events and issues concerning academics, athletics, and the arts among others. Based upon these guidelines, the student to fill this position is clearly expected to be well-informed of and involved in RHS culture, and the representative must sit in on all of the student council meetings to stay updated.
Although the representative plays a crucial part in keeping the Board of Ed informed and weighing in on certain issues, he/she does not get to participate in the decision making process. When asked to describe his duties for this position, next year’s representative, rising senior, Josh Schneider, stated, “I am tasked with presenting my personal opinion on matters as well representing the best interests of the RHS student body. In short, I act as a liaison between my fellow students and the Board of Ed.” Josh is getting ready of the school year ahead of him as he prepares to step into Tomilchik’s shoes and represent the school.
In summation, the position of the Representative to the Ridgewood Board of Education is not only just an extension of student congress, but also a bridge between high school students and the administrators that run the school system. According to Board president Ms. Sheila Brogan, “Having a student representative to the Board of Education is of great value. It provides the Board the opportunity to hear the student perspective and gives the student the opportunity to voice opinions and concerns about school district policy such as the 1 to 1 (ChromeBook) initiative.” The students that take on this position, like Tomilchik and Schneider, must be active members of the school and have superior leadership and speaking skills, as they maintain a close relationship with the Board of Ed.