HARRISBURG, PA — The State Board of Education welcomed two new members to the Board at its summer meeting: Sarah Jordan, a Penn State University student, and Reva Gandhi, a junior at Parkland High School in the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA).
“As we continue to improve education and educational opportunities for all student in the commonwealth, it is imperative that we hear from students that may be affected by these changes,” said Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “Including students from both our public schools and higher education communities allow us to to ensure that the voices of our students are reflected in all that we do.
I offer my congratulations and greetings to the two newest members of the State Board of Education, Sarah Jordan and Reva Gandhi.”
The State Board changed its bylaws in May 2008 to incorporate student representation in a non-voting capacity. The student representatives – one senior student member and one junior student member – will serve on the Council of Basic Education and the Council of Higher Education. They will join students Taiba Sultana who attends Northampton Community College and Eva Rankin attending Upper St. Clair High School.
“I see my role on the board as a continuation of the work I started when I got involved in student government in high school. My school district, Upper Darby, is one of the largest and most diverse in Pennsylvania. I have been advocating for students since then, and I am excited to learn more about how I can help future Pennsylvania students,” said Sarah Jordan. “As a Middle Level English and Special Education major at Penn State, I am also very active in our student government. I feel it is important to help all stakeholders become more involved in the education of our students.”
“I am greatly honored to represent the over 1.7 million unique students, voices, and stories of the commonwealth,” said Reva Gandhi. “Through building lasting relationships and an open line of communication between students and our government, we can achieve equitable education for every school district across the state.”
“Student representatives are essential to the Board because of their unique viewpoint on education in the commonwealth, from inside the classroom,” said Chairwoman of the Board Karen Farmer White. “As representatives of their fellow students this provides Sarah and Reva with an opportunity to give input on the policies that affect current and future students. I look forward to working with them.”
Farmer White said student members must attend and participate in board meetings, advise and consult with the board, and adhere to board regulations. The State Board of Education’s 21 members – and four student representatives – convene every other month throughout the year to discuss and vote on education policies and procedures.
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