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Amplifying Student Voices

SY2017-2018 Student Representatives

Thank you to all who helped us recruit an amazing crop of candidates to serve as the State Board’s new student representatives. Tallya Rhodes from H.D. Woodson High School (Ward 7) and Tatiana Robinson from Ballou High School (Ward 8) were selected as our State Board Student Representatives for 2017-2018.

  • Tallya Rhodes is a senior at H.D. Woodson High School (Ward 7) and is a resident of Ward 5. A member of the Youth Advisory Council and a delegate for the DC STEM Program, Ms. Rhodes is committed helping the voices of all students be heard.
     
  • Tatiana Robinson is a senior at Ballou High School (Ward 8) and is a resident of Ward 7. Ms. Robinson serves as Vice President of the Ballou Book Club and is a member of the Principal's Honor Roll. She looks forward to being a voice for students, knowing that the power of an education can be life-altering.

Student Representatives serve for one school year from September to June. They participate in all SBOE activities and are considered as full members of the State Board. Their votes are recorded, but cannot affect the outcome of any policy measure.  Student Representatives are expected to attend all official SBOE meetings. Meetings of the State Board occur in the evening twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday of each month. In addition, Student Representatives co-chair the Student Advisory Committee and are responsible for setting the agenda for the Committee. 

Student Advisory Committee for SY2017-2018

The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) is composed of a minimum of 15 high school students, one from each of the 10 largest (by student population) high schools in the District and 5 additional members from other high schools. The Student Advisory Committee serves as the voice of students in the State Board’s work.  They are consulted on all issues of policy before the Board.  The Student Advisory Committee meets once per month, on the third Monday of each month at 4:30pm.  The Committee also produces a report each year to the State Board on an matter of importance to District students and provides recommendations on action. Stay tuned for the announcement of our full Student Advisory Committee (SAC) later this summer.

ALL Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • District of Columbia resident
     
  • Sophomore, junior or senior in either a traditional public or public charter high school.

Hear First-Hand Experience From Former Representatives:

Alex Dorosin, 2017 Woodrow Wilson High School Graduate, SY2016-20167 SBOE Student Representative 

"Working on behalf of a diverse student body is a privilege. As both the Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) and a Student Representative to the D.C. State Board of Education, I have become a strong advocate for students from my school and community. In these roles, I have had the opportunity to channel my passion by working to improve the experiences of my peers in the DC school system. From meeting with the new DCPS Chancellor to discussing educational policy with administrators, I have felt the impact of my words in the District. My SAC meetings have taught me to compromise with fellow committee members from around the city to achieve common goals. As Student Representative, I am speaking not only with my voice, but also with the voices of my peers: the students who have supported me in my work, and who want to see our city shine."

Brian Contreras, 2016 School Without Walls Graduate, SY2014-2016 SBOE Student Representative 

"Students rarely get the opportunity to be involved in the political systems that control their lives every day, but over the past two years, I’ve been one of the few who had the chance to take up just such a role. As one of two Student Representatives on the DC State Board of Education, I met with city leaders nearly every week to discuss the policy issues that limit the ability of the DC student community to get the most out of their education. The ability to be directly engaged in issues as diverse as health standards, teacher accountability, and the achievement gap provided an opportunity made available to an unfortunately small number of young people in our community. In fact, I created the new Student Advisory Committee as a means of increasing the involvement of students in student-centric policy creation; I hope this group will grow in the years to come. My time on the Board was not only interesting and allowed me to grow personally, but also (I would hope) created some small change in the DC education system that will help my peers in the same way." 

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Destinee Whittington, 2016 Richard Wright Public Charter School Graduate, SY2015-2016 SBOE Student Representative 

"I have really grown being around some of the DC's most important leaders in education. As Student Representative, my confidence has grown so much! I have made lifetime connections with this wonderful opportunity. Being a student representative has been a life-changing experience." 

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