Student representative to serve on Norfolk School Board

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A student representative will soon serve on the School Board.Board members last week approved the rules for allowing a junior or rising senior in good standing to participate in board meetings. They adopted the formal policy over the summer.The Norfolk board is the only one in South Hampton Roads to have a student representative, though others in the state and nation also do. Chairman Rodney Jordan has said it grew out of a desire to foster student engagement and provide leadership opportunities.

Under the approved rules, the student term begins Aug. 1 and will run through July 31 of the following year. Interested candidates will submit an application to their high schools and a committee at each school will select two as semifinalists.

A committee in the superintendent’s office will pick three students from that pool. They’ll be interviewed by the superintendent, who makes the final recommendation to the board for approval.

The student representative will not vote, attend closed meetings or have access to confidential information. The student also will complete research assignments requested by the board.

Member Tanya Bhasin said at a meeting that the process will help ensure a diverse candidate pool.

“Our student voices are so valuable, and we underestimate that voice,” she said.

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