Harrisburg, PA - Today, the State Board of Education welcomed two new student members to the Board: Anne Griffin, a rising junior at Radnor High School in Delaware County, and Jillian Sweigard, a student at Empire Beauty School in Harrisburg and a graduate of Halifax High School.
“Engaging stakeholders to solicit their feedback is critical to the process of developing thoughtful education policy,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, who serves as the Board’s Chief Executive Officer. “Including students in this process allows the Board to hear firsthand about the impact of policy decisions on our key constituency. We welcome Anne and Jillian to the State Board of Education and look forward to working with them.”
The State Board began incorporating non-voting, student representation following a change to its bylaws in 2008. Student member duties include attendance and participation in Board meetings, consultation with the Board, and outreach to their statewide student peers.
“Student representatives bring a unique perspective on education in the commonwealth,” added Board Chairperson Karen Farmer White. “Additionally, serving on the Board gives them the opportunity to influence education policy for current and future generations of students.”
The student representatives will serve two-year terms on the Council of Basic Education and the Council of Higher Education.
Students are selected by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) to hold the positions on the Council of Basic Education. Sweigard was nominated by the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators to represent schools affiliated with the proprietary sector.
The State Board of Education was established in 1963 and reconstituted in 1988. The State Board of Education works closely with the Department of Education, state policymakers, and educators to review, develop and adopt regulations that govern basic and higher education in the commonwealth.
The State Board of Education’s 21 members – and four student representatives – convene every other month throughout the year to discuss and vote on education policies and procedures.
(Left to right: Jillian Sweigard, Anne Griffin)
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