Jayden S. Fills Newly Created Student Board Member Position


Jayden S. speaks at Conestoga’s annual Veteran’s Day program. He has now been added to the board of education as a student representative.

MURRAY, Neb. – At Conestoga Public School’s September board of education meeting, a new addition was made to the board. Senior Jayden S. will now be representing the student body as a non-voting member of the board. Following a proposal by Jayden earlier in the year, the board confirmed the position at the July meeting. They then opened it up for applications after the school year started and eventually selected Jayden.

“I began searching last winter for ways that students could be involved in elected offices and institutions,” Jayden stated. “I came across Nebraska Revised Statute 79-559 which prescribes that school districts can opt-in to including a student member on their board.”

He then reached out to high school principal Rob Geise about the possibility of creating this role for students at Conestoga. Geise then referred him to Allison Welch, the school board president.

According to Welch, “Upon this, we reached out to other schools in Nebraska who currently have student members on their board and spoke to the Nebraska Association of School Boards for guidance.” After receiving positive feedback from them, the board began to take steps towards the end of creating this position.

Then, on Sept. 13, they adopted revised policy 5041 regarding student government, which included the new opportunity for student leadership. The student member will act in an advisory capacity to the board and will not have a vote. They will also not be allowed to participate in executive sessions. They will however be able to participate in discussion and debate when prompted by a board member or administrator.

The circumstances of this year’s selection process were unique due to the recent formation of the policy, but moving forward, one rising senior who completes an application will be selected by Conestoga faculty members and confirmed at the May board meeting. Prior to the August meeting, they will receive an orientation by the superintendent. Then, their term will begin on Aug. 1 and end at the June board meeting.

Newly selected student representative Jayden stated, “I am glad that the school administration and the Conestoga Board of Education supported this effort and honored that they selected me to be the first student to hold this position. I am looking forward to representing my peers and bringing a student’s perspective to the board.”