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NHCO School board member wants to bring student input to the board level (Photo: WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County School board member wants to bring a student voice to the Board of Education.

Lisa Estep sent a proposal to the other board members for a student representative. She said she got the idea from a colleague in a school district in Washington state.

New Hanover High School sophomore Jonathan Carr is just one voice of thousands sitting in a New Hanover County classroom every day.

“The students voices matter,” Carr said.”It is us going to school not the adults.”

That is why Estep wants to bring student input to the board level.

“They are the ones sitting there day after day,” Estep said. “I think I can represent them much better if I know from their own mouths what’s really happening.”

She said the policy works well for her friends in Washington.

“What they have found is that it has taught their son to speak up and that he can talk to adults,” Estep said. “He can present his ideas to adults and they will listen.”

The idea is that a high school student would serve as an advisor to the board providing student perspective and insight. They would also help the board understand student issues. The student would also serve as a liaison to the rest of the students through different networks and report what the school district is doing.

“It’s a great chance at public speaking, learning how to speak, learning how to voice your ideas,” Estep said.

New Hanover High senior Rayeisha Jones said the students may also learn something a little more than that.

“They’ll actually start to think that their opinion matters more,” Jones said.

Estep said she also wants to propose having a student representative from each high school in the school district. She hopes to discuss the proposal at the next board meeting in February.


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