KPBSD and The Legislature: School Board Leadership and Youth Advocacy Institute

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 School Board Leadership and Youth Advocacy Institute

A full weekend of learning and collaborating with school board members and students from around the state, plus two days of appointments with more than 25 legislators to share “Kenai schools” stories was fun, informative, and thought provoking! February 10–13, 2018, two students, three school board members, a Soldotna Prep teacher, and the district communications liaison participated in the Alaska Association of School Board (AASB) Legislator Leadership Flyin and Youth Advocacy Institute in Juneau, Alaska.  Whether it was testifying at a hearing, being introduced on the House of Representative floor, meeting with Governor Walker around his many yards long conference table, or the many excellent questions and facts and figures shared, our team was so well received. Aides and legislators showed our young people and team kindness, genuine interest in schools, and affirmation about the diverse schools in KPBSD. Two KPBSD student leaders reflect on their experience:

Highlight of High School

“Going to Juneau was the highlight of my high-school experiences. Having the opportunity to go to the state capital building and seeing, first hand, how hard our government works for us opened my eyes to the challenges we, as a state, face. I was proud to be a part of a group with such a positive attitude and the ability to articulate the needs of not only our district but all the districts of our state. The respect we were shown as a group and on an individual basis by everyone we met, from the Commissioner of Education, the Governor of Alaska, to the members of the House and the Senate showed me the value of a student's voice. I have personally been advocating for education for many years, I feel my voice was truly heard in Juneau. I had several legislators stop me in the halls of the capital building to tell me they appreciated my voice and the positive message the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District conveyed. Thank Goodness for the DREAM TEAM of three school board members, two students, a teacher, and our communications liaison!”Sabrina Ferguson, Ninilchik School, KPBSD Information Committee Student Representative

My Experience

“I had the pleasure and honor of meeting with Representatives and Senators from across the state during the February legislative fly-in with the school board and youth advocacy institute. It was a great time, opened my eyes to so many different things, and an opportunity to promote our wonderful district. I realized that the representatives and senators love hearing from kids! They love hearing what we have to say, and what we think needs changed or improved. Our local school board is just such a wonderful group of people! I loved every moment and aspect of the time in Juneau, and I encourage any student who is reading this to get involved with our school board, and to take the time to write to your Representative and Senator and let them know what's going on in your school!” – Calvin Mitzel, Soldotna High School, KPBSD Board of Education Student Representative

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Alaska Association of School Boards website