W.Va. Board of Education Welcomes New Student Representative

April 10, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Vincent Tennant, a senior at The Linsly School in Ohio County, is latest student representative to join the West Virginia Board of Education.

Tennant, a student athlete and participant in the U.S. Senate Youth Program, attended his first meeting this week in Charleston. He also will serve in May. He is first private school student to participate in the program.

“Having student representatives on the West Virginia Board of Education not only broadens their education but also provides a young voice on how our decisions affect students,” said board President Delores W. Cook. “We also welcome Vincent’s participation as one way to build cooperation between private and public schools.”  

The state board launched its student representative project last year in an effort to promote civic awareness, garner teen input and give high school students the opportunity to see government in action. Since then, seven other students have participated. Civics also is a component of the state’s 21st Century Learning program.

“Civics is so important to a well-rounded education in a Democratic society," said board Vice President Priscilla Haden, who proposed the project. “A healthy democracy depends on the participation of citizens and that participation must be learned. Individuals do not automatically become free and responsible citizens.”  

West Virginia is among only a few states that require students to take civics to graduate. Civics courses were long offered as electives and became required last fall for the Class of 2008.

Students wishing to be considered for the board’s program must complete an application, obtain parental permission and submit letters of recommendation. For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.