Student School Board Representatives

Published September 2023


Get to Know Our Student School Board Representatives

At School District 197, we believe that students should have a meaningful voice in shaping their schools and classrooms. To amplify student voice and ensure that students are a part of the decision-making process, we have two high school students to serve as School Board Student Representatives each school year. Their primary role is to provide insight from a student lens, support and enhance the Board’s understanding of student issues and how students experience their education, and expand student voice. This year’s Student Representatives are seniors LaRae Dodson and Sam Villa. They shared with us why they serve on the school board, things they have learned by participating in meetings, and how they stay involved in our community. You can read their responses below.

LaRae Dodson

Sam Villa

What does your role as a School Board Student Representative entail?

Our role is to be the student body’s voice for the ISD197 school board. We do this by writing reports about what is happening at each school in the district during our monthly meetings, and asking questions about topics that would heavily affect students.

Why did you want to become a School Board Student Representative?

LaRae: I am passionate about education and believe that student input is essential to creating positive change for all students at Two Rivers High School and across the district. As a student representative, I can offer a unique perspective and understanding of issues affecting students.

Sam: I wanted to be able to be a voice for not just the high school but all grades. I also think it’s really important for the members of the board and community to also know what is happening with the kids in elementary and middle school—they are the future of the district and community.

What are your goals this year as a School Board Student Representative?

LaRae: My ultimate goal is to ensure that all of the student voices in School District 197 are heard and seen by the people with the power to make change. As well as it is important that the students are aware of the changes happening in the district.

Sam: We both want to be able to do our best and be very interactive with the board. That could be asking more questions we have or bringing students in to highlight some of their accomplishments.

What advice would you give this year’s juniors interested in being a School Board Student Representative?

Sam: You should definitely think about applying if you want to learn more about local government and how policies work. It’s like a behind-the-scenes of why things are happening the way they are at school and it’s really cool to learn about.

LaRae: You get as much out of this role as you put into it. And become friends with the other student representative—it makes working together better, and who doesn’t want another friend!