Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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All aboard with student reps on the ISD board

Every other Thursday, nine students from across the district gather at a long table and discuss topics ranging from upcoming school policies to the meaning of mastery in a classroom.

 These nine students are part of the Issaquah School District School Board, which started including students in their meetings during 2021. From Liberty, there are three existing members on the board: senior Mia Williamson and juniors Aditi Marehalli and Jack O’Connell. 

“We provide feedback on the general consensus of what the general student body thinks about different issues and then relay them to a higher authority,” O’Connell said. 

The Issaquah School Board consists of five adults and nine students who work together to create goals for the district, manage the financial affairs, and support the students within the district. 

“We’re able to share student voices to the school board,” Marehalli said. “This is a great opportunity to connect the upper level management,  because at the end of the day, we’re the ones they’re actually impacting.”

The Issaquah School Board started this program in 2021, which is when they interviewed the first round of applicants to join in the following year. 

“I saw the application on Canvas and I thought it was really cool that the district was trying to give students a more active voice,” Williamson said. “I applied in the spring of my sophomore year and I was asked to continue on to be a mentor towards incoming representatives.” 

As part of the responsibility of being on the board, student representatives are permitted to share their thoughts during meetings and prepare presentations on student feedback they gather from their schools.

“We’re the whole purpose of them, and by creating this bridge, it allows students to share their voices when they otherwise may have not been heard,” Marehalli said. 

Each meeting, there is an agenda of topics the board focuses on, allowing them to focus on a large range of topics throughout the year depending on its relevance. 

“One topic that the district and school board is really interested in is expanding the specialized education in secondary school,” Williamson said. “That essentially means offering more career-oriented classes in high school.” 

The integration of students into the school board is still a work in progress, but this year, representatives are finding themselves closer, both to the board and to each other. 

“One of the topics that interested me this year is E12, which is about learning environments in different levels of education,” Marehalli said. “It’s important to focus on our learning environment because obviously as students we all have different learning styles and we need to make sure that we’re all able to succeed and that the environment is equitable to us, not only in name but in practice.”

In working together to make their respective schools a better place, the representatives have gotten to know each other over the past couple of years. 

“There was the Washington State School District Associates (WSSDA) conference in November and we met a bunch of other school representatives from all over Washington and we created an Instagram channel that we continuously communicate on,” Marehalli said. 

Before meetings, the student representatives will sometimes arrive early to hang out with each other while munching on a snack. 

“They pretty much always have catering right before meetings,” Williamson said. “Sometimes a whole bunch of us will come 30 minutes early and have dinner, do homework, and chat about how college applications are going or whatever.”

Not only has it brought the student representatives closer together, but it’s also helped them with their own leadership skills and work ethic. 

“Personally, it’s helped me be more confident in my ability to speak publicly and share my ideas,” Marehalli said. “It’s also helped me be more motivated because I actually will wake up at 7 a.m. on Wednesday mornings now.”


About the Contributor
Alexa Lim
Alexa Lim, Spotlight Editor
Alexa Lim is a junior at Liberty High School and the Spotlight Editor in the Patriot Press. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and writing.