During the Osseo School Board meeting Oct. 19, four local students were presented as the first-ever student school board representatives for the district.

Maple Grove senior Cal Thorson, Osseo senior Faith Suah, Park Center sophomore Haniyah Dabney, and Osseo Area Learning Center senior Nadiyah Abdullah were selected as the four student representatives from each respective senior high school.

“On behalf of the entire board, I would like to express how excited and happy we are to have you here this evening. We very much value student voice and we have such a diverse district and it’s such an important part of our decision-making process,” board chair Kelsey Dawson Walton said at the meeting.

Osseo superintendent Cory McIntyre said that the district has been developing a school board student representative program for the past few months, which kicked off at the recent school board meeting.

“Our school board highly prioritizes and values student voices,” McIntyre said. “The views, updates, and suggestions you as school board representatives will bring will provide great insight and will have lasting impacts on the district. Serving in a leadership position will prepare you for leading in whatever career path you choose down the road. We’re very proud of each of you for pursuing this opportunity.”

At the Oct. 19 meeting, each of the representatives gave a school report to the board. Thorson talked about how a record 1,600 Maple Grove students attended the homecoming dance this year, along with athletic success in girls tennis and football. “Students showed a lot of spirit during homecoming week,” Thorson said.

Suah also talked about Osseo’s record attendance at their homecoming dance and pep fest, and how student leadership used social media to everyone involved in the week’s activities. “Our goal is to bring spirit back to Osseo,” Suah said.

Dabney discussed Park Center’s unified classes, which is where special education and non-special education students take classes together. “That is a great opportunity to create bonds,” Dabney said. She also mentioned that during the homecoming dance, Park Center played diverse music, like Afro and K-Pop, which she appreciated since “the majority of our school is very diverse,” she said. “I feel like it connected the students more and made the students feel more accepted and like they had a home and place to be. I really bonded with different cultures.”

Abdullah talked about how Osseo Area Learning Center has had 33 graduates from the summer and beginning of the school year. “We’re just planning on getting more,” Abdullah said.

Amy Janecek is the student school board representative mentor, as well as being a District Level Principal. Janecek is excited for the opportunity these students have to share their individual perspectives at each senior high school with the board.

“We are really grateful and excited for you to be here, students,” Janecek said at the meeting. “We know we’re in a very diverse school community and that each of our [senior high schools] has different school cultures. For you students, that might be part of your everyday high school experience, but for all of us, what we hear is really unique.”

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