NEHS Student on School District Board for the 2021-2022 School Year
At its June 24th Action Meeting, the Board of Education will officially install and welcome Rebecca Allen and Armando Ortez as the Student Board Representatives for the 2021-2022 school year. In this role, they will represent their peers by sharing student concerns with the Board at its monthly meetings and by reporting Board deliberations and actions to the student body.
Ms. Allen, a rising junior at Central High School, and Mr. Ortez, a rising senior at Northeast High School, are eager to begin their new roles on August 19. They hope to give voice to student concerns and work toward addressing those issues, with the ultimate goal of improving school experiences for all District students.
Mr. Ortez, a first-generation Honduran American, plans to reach out to immigrant students and represent silenced voices in his role as a Student Board Representative. Interested in politics and advocating for social justice, Mr. Ortez would like to ensure there are safe, comfortable spaces for students who lack a home or family. He takes dual enrollment courses at Community College of Philadelphia and participates in track and lacrosse at Northeast. Also this year, Mr. Ortez participated in Access Engineering, an enrichment program presented by University of Pennsylvania students to introduce high school students to engineering.
In her role as a Student Board Representative, Ms. Allen hopes to connect with students of all backgrounds and work toward creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive school experience for all SDP students. At Central, Ms. Allen co-founded UNHEARD (Uprooting Negligence by Habituating Equity and Anti-Racism through Real Discussions), a group that holds discussions and workshops focused on equity and inclusion. She is also a member of the Nexus team, a group that works to build relationships at Central through restorative justice practices. Ms. Allen volunteers at Abundant Harvest House of Prayer Food Pantry and has participated in student voter registration drives.
“We welcome Rebecca and Armando, who bring diverse perspectives and insights to the Board along with their passion to advocate on behalf of their peers,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson. “We are eager to work with them and hear their ideas, as they fulfill a vital role in bringing student voice to the Board of Education,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson.
To become a Student Board Representative, students must submit an application to the Office of Student Support Services in the spring along with a current school transcript and two reference letters. Selected applicants, who must be in eleventh or twelfth grade during their term, are then interviewed by a committee and then the Superintendent who recommends two students to the Board of Education.