Student senate rep is districts missing link
June 11, 2008 · Updated 9:25 AM
By PAUL BALCERAK
For a first-timer at one of the Central Kitsap School Districts school board meetings, a couple questions may come to mind; namely, Who is that kid and what is she doing sitting with the board members?
That kid is Olympic High School senior Rosin Saez and shes just the latest in a long succession of CKSD students who have served as the student representative to the board of directors.
The position isnt exactly an oddity other districts in the state have similar positions but it is exclusive. While board members serve to represent various groupings of schools around the district, Saez is the only person whose duty it is to specifically represent the whole of the CKSD student body about 12,000 students.
That may sound like a daunting task and it may be to some, but Saez takes it in stride.
I think its always been in my personality to be in a leadership-type role, Saez said.
The position was created more than 10 years ago Feb. 9, 1994, on the nose, according to CKSD Director of Operations Dirk Gleysteens recollection.
The representative is twice elected, in a sense, because he or she emanates from the student senate, a group of representatives from each secondary school in the district.
The purpose of the post, as stated in both school board policy and the student senate constitution, is fairly simple: act as a go-between for the school board and the student senate.
The impetus for creating the position is a little less clear, but the easy answer is that at the time, the board wanted to put a face to the students it represented.
Ultimately, because we are a school district, the board wanted to have a student voice, CKSD spokesman David Beil said.
There are some limits to that voice. The student rep doesnt have voting power on the board, nor does he or she sit in on executive sessions.
In fact, Saez is fairly quiet during most meetings, studiously taking note of whatever most directly affects her peers. Most of her duties pertain to updating the board on the senates two major responsibilities: planning the student leadership summit in the fall and CK Super Saturday in the spring.
But every now and then shes abruptly pulled into the arena to weigh in on student issues.
Recently, a hot debate on commencement ceremonies prompted board member Christy Cathcart to ask Saez what students thought.
Im kind of good at on-the-spot types of things, Saez said. Saying what I wanted to say, I felt pretty good about it.
Its that kind of daring and confidence that past senates have tended to favor in their representatives.
Each representative we have each year has a different set of abilities and strengths, Student Senate Adviser David Guertin said. You get your cream-of-the-crop students.
Beyond her duties as student rep to the board, she holds down a part-time job, plays the flute in the school band and excels on the district lacrosse team. Shes also secretary of her schools chapter of the national honor society, she finds time to take classes at Olympic College and shes aiming to be a Trojan Scholar this year a student who has a 3.8 GPA or higher.
I make up hours, Saez said of maintaining her busy schedule. I have a 28-hour day.
Shell certainly leave big shoes to fill, but her hyper-achievements arent exactly prerequisites for serving in the position.
She has a unique place on the board because of her ability and her experience level, Guertin said.
Whoever takes the baton from her next year will at least have this advice to go off of, too:
Know whats going on in all the schools in the district. Saez spends time talking to members of various ASBs.
I do like to know, personally, what the other students think, district-wide, she said.
Prepare to feel a little awkward for the first few school board meetings.
Its strange that ... youre the youngest one in the room, she said. Future student reps should expect to be in an entirely different environment than what theyd be used to.
Finally, dont be afraid to voice the opinion of the students in the district.
Be ready to go out there and say what you have to say, she said.