CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three West Virginia high school students selected to serve as student representatives to the West Virginia Board of Education will have the opportunity to see government in action.
Ronald “Trey” Lockhart, a senior at River View High School in McDowell County, will fill the student position in December, January and February. Varun Menon, a senior at Martinsburg High School in Berkeley County, will serve in March, April and May. Molly Ballard, a junior at Poca High School in Putnam County, will take the post in September, October and November 2012. Savannah Chandler, a senior at Ritchie County High School, completed her three-month term on Wednesday.
"We welcome all these students and look forward to their participation with the state Board of Education," said West Virginia Board President Wade Linger. "We also thank Savannah for her service. Student representatives provide a young voice that helps us understand how our decisions may affect students."
Lockhart excels both as a student and as a student-athlete. Last year he was inducted into the National Honor Society and also played on basketball and baseball teams that won their Class A sectional championships. He also placed second in the State Social Studies Fair in 2008, was chosen for Mountaineer Boys State in 2011 and made playoff appearances on the school’s football team in 2009 and 2010.
“Living in McDowell County, it seems like we live too far away from Charleston to voice our opinion on education matters,” Lockhart said. “…Through participation in WVBE meetings, I can express my beliefs concerning the importance of academic success, community revitalization, family support and youth leadership.”
Menon excels as a member of the National Honor Society, the Hispanic Honor Society as well as varsity tennis and cross country, and Thespian Troupe. He was chosen to participate in the Governor’s Honors Academy in 2011 and on the Academic Competition for Excellence as captain. He also has participated in West Virginia Youth in Government and represented his county at the capitol, where he was elected Youth Governor. “My motivation for being student representative is to help establish the public school system in West Virginia as one of the best in the nation so that students after me can enjoy the benefits of stronger educational opportunities,” Menon said
Ballard also is a member of the National Honor Society and was the Student of the Month during her freshman and sophomore years. She was chosen as the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Ambassador for Poca High and as the ambassador for West Virginia to the World Leadership Congress in Chicago. She also plays volleyball and tennis.”I believe that a student voice is a vital aspect in keeping the state Board of Education aware of occurrences and opportunities to improve schools in each county,” Ballard said. “The opinions and perspectives from students are too important to overlook.”
The state board launched its student representative project in 2007 in an effort to promote civic awareness, garner teen input and give high school students the opportunity to see government in action. Students wishing to be considered for the board's program must complete an application, obtain parental permission and submit letters of recommendation and a transcript.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
– The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.”, West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.