MABTON - At their most recent meeting, Mabton School Board officials gave Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis the go-ahead to appoint a student representative to serve as a non-voting member of the board.
According to Pasiero-Davis, the board has been mulling the idea over for several months.
The goal, says Pasiero-Davis, is to get students to understand the process of how a governing body works.
"First and foremost, the students can understand process. All of life involves processes and most of us don't like it," she said. "Process can be a positive and productive thing when you have a majority of representatives of the community coming together to discuss challenges and solutions."
Yes, she says, process can be slow. But the student representative will be able to see the value in not making hasty decisions. Instead, she says, the student will see "intelligent conversation, dialogue and discussion around a challenge."
Pasiero-Davis said that she believes the standards of democracy are not so easily learned by students.
"Kids don't know a lot about democracy, government and their history. This is one small step in the right direction, bringing students into the process.
"Process is the underpinning of democracy."
Her hope is that student representatives will get hands-on learning experiences as to how leaders act on behalf of their constituency.
The board will benefit from student participation as well. The student will serve as a voice for the student body.
"Students are beautifully candid," says Pasiero-Davis. "That always sparks good thinking."
She's eager to see a student representative join the board. "What I'd like to see is for the board to become more conversational about hopes and ideas for bettering Mabton School District."
Pasiero-Davis is expecting to appoint a student prior to the February school board meeting.
She is also contemplating a request to have two representatives as opposed to one, perhaps a junior and senior from the high school.