• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

School board thanks Christian for being ‘student voice’

JARED CHRISTIAN, who served as the first-ever student representative on the Woodford County Board of Education, was thanked for providing a student’s perspective and voice to board discussions. Board member Sherri Springate is also pictured following a board meeting on May 21. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

At the end of his final meeting as student representative on the Woodford County Board of Education May 21, Jared Christian was thanked for bringing a student’s voice to the board’s discussions.

Jared, a 2018 graduate of Woodford County High School, described serving on the board as an opportunity to not only represent his own class and school, “but the community as a whole.”

The board approved a policy to allow a non-voting student representative to serve on the board in October 2016. The action came after former Woodford County High School student Matti Springate, daughter of board member Sherri Springate, told board members that a student representative would provide them with a valuable perspective on issues.

Jared, elected to the post by WCHS students, was the first-ever student representative on the board this school year. “He has set a very high bar,” said board Vice Chair Debby Edelen. “He contributes (to our discussions). He has changed our mind…” She also credited Jared for reaching out to his peers and sharing their perspective with the board before decisions are made.

“We just appreciate everything that you’ve taught us more than anything,” said board member Karen Brock.

Having a student representative on the board “shows the community and the students that we value the student’s voice – that your student voice is very powerful,” said Sherri Springate. She pointed out that on more than one occasion board members have asked Jared for his thoughts on an issue before making a decision and his voice has made a difference.

“…When the time came where we said, ‘Jared, tell us what do you think about this?’ You were always prepared. You were always insightful and you gave us a perspective that we needed to hear,” said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins.

Jared, who plans to begin his pre-med studies at Eastern Kentucky University in the fall, acknowledged that being the first-ever student representative on the Board of Education was scary.

“Someone needed to do it … I’m very happy I was able do this. And hopefully, I did it well,” said Jared, Class of 2018 president and son of Dana and Randy Christian.

As the recipient of the Superintendent’s Award, Jared spoke on behalf of his graduating class at their commencement ceremony Saturday, May 26.

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