Do you ever wonder who controls exam periods, field trips, and school improvements? The Yadkin County Board of Education is in control of all of these and more, but sometimes the students in Yadkin County have misconceptions of who makes up the board and what those members really do.
Starmount High School’s Principal Cody Hemric explained just what measures have to be taken to be a member of the board. The school board members run in the general election, they’re nonpartisan (meaning that they run as neither a Republican nor Democrat), and they cannot be active school employees.
Hemric said, “Day-to-day decisions and how they affect us, for example, would be field trips. If there is an overnight field trip, or an out-of-state field trip, the board has to approve of that in advance.”
The students can thank the school board for positively affecting Starmount High School by allowing them to participate in field trips like going to New York with the show choir, or in fundraising, the hiring of new teachers, and even the updated lights around the school.
One thing that most students are unaware of is that they already have a student representative attending the board’s open sessions. Each high school in Yadkin County has a student representative who gets the honor of being the voice of the student body. The student representative must meet certain qualifications to be picked by administration to represent the student body. Not only does he or she have to be a senior, but the student must have good standing with the school.
For Starmount, the representative, Houston Nicks, presents updates about school sports, upcoming events, and things that he wants to share with the board that has been a real concern from the students.
Even though the school board may not control what is offered for lunch, it does control and influence many things on campus.
Hemric also said, “Every board meeting they run through the approvals of contracts and bids. Let’s say there is going to be a new project of a classroom being built, so that means different contractors can submit bids on what price they can do it for, and then the board selects which one gets the bid.”
The process by which projects get approved, when testing dates are scheduled, as well as teacher workdays are up to the school board’s decisions.
Understanding all of the protocols that the school board follows may be confusing at times to students, but with the help of the student representative who has already been put in place, students’ voices will be heard.
Savannah Putman is a senior and student member of the Starmount Journalism Club and YCS Virtual Academy of Journalism.