HOWELL – Howell Township Board of Education members were uprooted from their chairs recently by a group of 5th graders who proudly served as school superintendent, school board president and board members.
The first annual Student Board of Education Day started off as an idea on the dais, modeled after the Student Government Day, where Howell 7th graders conduct a meeting as Howell Township mayor and councilmembers for a day.
“We had this great idea at the board level, then we got out of the way and let the students and staff create something incredible, and today was a day we shall not forget,” said Board President Timothy O’Brien, who also thanked his board president counterpart for holding down the board while he was away.
Three 5th grade students were chosen from each of the five elementary schools, based on their answer to the essay question – if you were to serve as a Board of Education member for Howell Township, what policies would you implement and support to promote a positive environment for all students?
Students who were elected to serve on the school board spent most of their day at the Board of Education administration building participating in student committee meetings. They then went to Middle School North that evening to hold their official Student Board of Education meeting, prior to the regular Board of Education meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. that night.
Mike Harvey, vice principal and social studies supervisor at Greenville School, who took the lead on the project, recognized the students after their meeting. He said it was great to sit in on various committee meetings with students and listen to their meaningful conversations.
The goal is to hold the essay contest and Student Board of Education Day annually.
“I saw this as an opportunity to bring our work to the community in a different light,” said Superintendent Joseph Isola. “Impressed doesn’t do it justice.”