(Editor’s Note: Below is an article from Student Board Member Caleb Anderson. Caleb is a Daniel Boone High School senior who, along with three other Washington County seniors, has represented his school as a student board member with the Washington County Board of Education. The Herald & Tribune will continue to highlight a column from each student board member in future editions. Watch for our monthly Student Voices page for more!)
By CALEB ANDERSON
Daniel Boone High School
My name is Caleb Anderson, and I have had the great honor and privilege of being a Student Board Member for the Washington County School Board for the 2020-2021 school year.
This year has brought unprecedented circumstances for everyone throughout the world, which is why I feel extra lucky to have been the voice of the student body over the past year.
This year in particular has brought upon the school system a vast amount of questions, confusion, and anger among parents and students alike. Everyone has been consistently searching for the answer to how we can keep students and faculty safe while providing students the education that they need.
Right from the start of this year, although virtual, I was staying busy with my roles as a student representative. I attended virtual school board meetings where I gave my input, along with the opinions of my peers, to the director and board members.
The initial decision to begin virtual learning was expected, given the uncertainty of COVID-19. As several months passed, however, the frustration of parents and students was beginning to become apparent. They had complied and had been patiently waiting for school’s in-person return. That is when I decided to take action.
I composed a survey that was sent out to the entire student body of Daniel Boone High School, where I received over 500 responses. Over 75 percent, myself included, wanted to return to in-person learning. Many felt that virtual instruction was inferior to in-person learning.
Regarding seniors, I along with many others, witnessed the abrupt end to the class of 2020’s year, and we didn’t want history to repeat with our graduating class. I felt it was imperative that our voices be heard, and that the deserving seniors of our county got to have as normal a year as possible.
However, after presenting my findings to the board, they decided to still keep the school system virtual until the end of the calendar year. I had several news interviews regarding my opinion on the board’s decisions. Fortunately, defeat was short lived. We have since returned to in person instruction, and have regained a sense of normalcy in an otherwise very abnormal year.
Overall, I am beyond honored to have been chosen to represent the amazing students of Washington County. I feel that being able to be the students’ voice in an otherwise dark time is a huge privilege.
The relationships I have formed with my fellow Student Representatives, as well as the sitting board members is priceless. I will carry with me what I have learned during my time on the board for the rest of my life!