Bremen Community High School District 228 students and school board members take part in a recent Students in Leadership meeting at Tinley Park High School. | Supplied photo
Updated: April 3, 2014 6:03AM
Students from Tinley Park, Bremen, Hillcrest and Oak Forest high schools took part Jan. 21 in a Bremen Community High School District 228 Students in Leadership meeting at Tinley Park High School, according to a press release from the district.
Each school board member and administrator was paired up with one student.
Julia Karajeh (Tinley Park) played the role of board President John Kirkton, while and Jasmine Silva (Bremen) acted as Supt. Bill Kendall.
Karajeh led the meeting, and Silva provided input as superintendent. Bashar Abuseini (Oak Forest) acted as board secretary David Mensing. Other student participants provided group reports and committee summary notes, asked questions and made motions to approve new business items, including finance, personnel and policy.
Alise Mossuto (Oak Forest) played board vice president Debi Stearns, Richard Gutierrez (Bremen) was board member Bill Browne, Matthew Zator (Tinley Park) was board member Larry Canning, Camaron Covington (Bremen) was board member Evelyn Gleason, Peter Cashaw (Hillcrest) was board member Leslie Jones, Alexis Hooker (Tinley Park) was community relations coordinator Lori DeVos, Claudia McGee-Morales (Hillcrest) was Assistant Supt. Cory Williams, Alex Tinnell (Tinley Park) was Assistant Supt. Tom O’Malley, Veronica Legrone (Hillcrest) was Assistant Supt. Dan Goggins, and Sabrina Madrid (Oak Forest) was information technology manager Jim Donato.
Students had attended a workshop Jan. 10 to prepare for the meeting, according to the press release. Students not only learned about the board meeting process but gave Kendall and district administrators input on specific topics and in other areas of interest to the students.
Students then presented the information at the board meeting, the release said.
Ashley Dumas (Tinley Park), Patrick Kristin (Oak Forest), Legrone, Madrid, Johnny Taylor (Tinley Park) and Tinnell presented “Bring Your Own Device,” sharing the pros and cons of the district’s use of learning tools. Students considered pricing, insurance, sizes of iPad, WiFi, keyboards or eliminating keyboards, charging abilities, consequences for forgetting them and convenience as district options.
Asia Ashford and Alexus Brame, Cashaw, Jordan Freeman and Morales — all of Hillcrest — spoke about summer enrichment programs. The students suggested the possibility of offering classes in the summer so they could take special-interest courses they do not have time for during the school year. Courses in art, industrial technology, family and consumer science, reading and math remediation could be offered for no credit, and the students thought such courses would be an improvement to the summer program, according to the press release.
Abuseini, Peter Boyajian (Oak Forest), Gutierrez, Hooker, Tiffany Jones (Tinley Park), Silva and Abigail Simon (Tinley Park) presented alternative methods to recognize academic achievement. The students thought that recognizing only valedictorians, salutatorians and students who ranked in the top 10 added additional pressure and isolated other students when it comes to academic awards.
Erika Arias (Oak Forest), Krista Jensen (Tinley Park), Mossuto, William Ringhofer (Tinley Park) and Zator discussed the outcomes of the 5 Essentials Survey as they related to ambitious instruction. This survey was given to students and teachers at the end of last school year, according to the press release. It is structured to increase motivation and input from students. Students listed several things as motivational for attending school: when teachers smile, visual learning, being with friends, socializing and learning something new every day.
Covington and Karajeh discussed some student policy changes, such as allowing book bags and reconsidering the dress code. The students say seniors who excel academically and behaviorally should have special privileges in their final year of high school.
“This evening showcased just a sampling of our bright and confident students,” Kendall said in the release. “I am excited about their ideas and look forward to implementing some of them in the upcoming school year.”