Student selected to serve on school board
WORTHINGTON — Giving students a voice is what prompted Quinn Bents, a Worthington High School sophomore, to join the District 518 school board.
Linden Olson, a longtime member of the board as well as a member of the Minnesota School Board Association’s board, is eager to hear what Bents can contribute.
“This will judge the students’ perspective, and the school board can understand some of the issues from their perspective,” Olson said.
Through an application process, Bents was selected from a field of four candidates for the school board member post.
“The application had questions like, ‘What would you gain from this experience?’ and ‘How could you capture the students’ opinions and ideas about certain issues?” Bents explained.
The applications were shown to the school board members, who then conducted interviews with each of the student candidates.
“We looked at school involvement, community activities, academic involvement and other leadership activities,” Olson said. “I think this is also a great opportunity for students to understand the kind of decisions the school board has to make.”
Bents was announced as the successful candidate last month. Tuesday night’s meeting was her first with the board.
“We had three excellent candidates, but we thought that Quinn would be able to offer a little bit more,” Olson said.
Bents looked back Wednesday morning on her initial meeting.
“I was a little nervous, but excited. I’m excited to give the student’s point of view, because we are affected by the decisions made in these meetings,” she said. “I want our voice heard.”
Bents is set to be on the school board for the remainder of this academic year, as well as next year.
“Since we didn’t choose someone until later in the school year, we wanted to give Quinn a full school year,” Olson said. “As far as what we’ll do after that, we will see how it goes.”
The hope in moving forward is that there will always be a student on the school board to make sure students’ opinions on school issues are heard.
“Too often I think we make decisions we think that are good for students, but we really don’t know,” Olson said. “I think Quinn will give us a great perspective.”
Bents, who is also involved with band, choir, track, tennis and 4-H along with a host of other activities, plans to attend Iowa State University after she graduates to pursue a veterinary science degree.