THE FWSU STORY: Representatives Bring Student Voice and Leadership to Fairfax School Board

The long-standing tradition at BFA Fairfax of having two student representatives serve on our school board continues. Providing students with opportunities to lead is one of the central emphases of the FWSU Action Plan. The two student representatives, a junior and a senior, are selected through a comprehensive process facilitated by the BFA Fairfax Student Council. The Fairfax School Board has benefited from the perspective of some exceptional student members over the years and this year’s term is no exception. BFA Fairfax senior Bailey Halliday and junior Shane Seals have served with distinction.

Bailey Halliday and Shane Seals are student representatives serving on the Fairfax School Board.

Bailey Halliday and Shane Seals are student representatives serving on the Fairfax School Board.

Each month Bailey and Shane keep the rest of the board apprised of all the happenings at BFA Fairfax and most importantly, help shape the understanding of the issues at our school and our community from a student perspective. Their voice in the operations of BFA Fairfax is invaluable and we are proud of their contributions.

Today, our student representatives offer their thoughts on what it means to serve on the Fairfax School Board:

BAILEY HALLIDAY

Can you tell us why you were interested in serving on the Fairfax School Board? 

I wanted to be more involved in my community.  I like being involved in as many activities as possible. I wasn’t sure what exactly a student representative did on a school board but I was excited to learn more about it. I enjoy understanding how decisions are made and who the people are that are making them.

What have you learned? 

I have learned so much in the last 2 years. This role has taught me everything from how a school board runs, to how best to get my point across to a group of people.  It has allowed me to practice my public speaking skills and become confident in my speaking abilities. I have also learned how much the school board members care about the students.  They truly value our opinions and want to know what is going on in our school.

What advice would you give to other students who may want to serve?

I would tell students to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.  This is a unique opportunity that does not come around often. It is a lot of work so students should be prepared, however, it is definitely worth it in the end!

What excites you most about education at BFA Fairfax?

The world of education is changing and it is starting at BFA.  One of my favorite parts of being a student rep. On the school board is listening to other students and teachers talk about what is going on in the classrooms.  The teachers are all so dedicated and want students to get the most that they can out of their education. There are always new ways to get involved in your own learning.

What do your friends think of your service?

My friends were definitely skeptical at first of me taking on this role but I think that they like it now.  I try to get all of the students involved in my reports so I will often ask multiple students about what is going on for them in school.  I believe that my friends like the opportunity to tell the school board all of the amazing things going on in this school.

SHANE SEALS

Can you tell us why you were interested in serving on the Fairfax School Board?

I hadn’t heard much about it prior to my application, but once I learned about being able to join I was interested. I hadn’t had a chance to participate in any student government or committees behind school changes and decision-making, so I decided it would be a good chance to earn some experience and insight into the school.

What have you learned?

I’ve learned how administrative committees function and the mindset behind the decisions they make. Beyond that, I’ve learned how to summarize reports of what’s going on in the school and how that connects to school trends and changes that need to be made.

What advice would you give to other students who may want to serve?

I would advise joining student council or becoming involved with some form of student
leadership because it will provide valuable experience and insight into how different committees function and will help you follow along and create your own student reports for each meeting.

What excites you most about education at BFA Fairfax? 

The range of different teaching styles and the access to technical programs and other post-high school programs is exciting. It’s really important to have plenty of opportunities in Vermont so kids have the chance to branch out after high school.

What do your friends think of your service?

I don’t think my friends think much about me being on the school board because of the meetings are so spaced out and they don’t hear about them often.

BFA Board 2018

Fairfax Board of School Directors

“Bailey and Shane serve a very important role on our school board as they bring the ‘student voice’ to the table.  They are great advocates for our students and remind us of the many successes and challenges students face in school.  We depend on them to help us make the best decisions to sustain and improve educational opportunities at BFA Fairfax.” — Elaine Carpenter,  Chair of Fairfax Board of School Directors

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