If you've ever attended a meeting of the Board of Education this year and thought perhaps two of the board members looked a little young to be elected officials, you're partly right. They didn't run for the position, but were elected to the board by their peers when they were elected president of their class.
They're Kristie Botti and Francesca Barilla, the Sachem East and North student representatives on the board, respectively. Sachem Patch interviewed both students as a way of introducing them to the community in their coveted role as honorary board members. Each year the board is represented by one student from each high school campus. They do not cast a vote in the proceedings, but they do get a ringside seat to all the action and learning experiences of sitting on the horseshoe.
This week, we spoke with Kristie Botti, the Sachem East representative:
SP: How did you wind up becoming the East representative on the School Board?
KB: I became the East representative on the Board when I was elected Student Government President of Sachem East.
SP: Are you interested in politics or school administration as a career?
KB: I am planning on going to college to become an elementary school teacher with a possible dual certification in either special education or foreign language.
SP: How do you find the school board meetings? Educational? Interesting? Boring?
KB: I find the school board meetings interesting, most of the time. A lot of the topics discussed at the meetings are new to me and it's interesting to learn about everything that is going on in the district. But sometimes they do get alittle boring when the sessions become hours long.
SP: Have you ever felt the desire during those meetings to "second" a motion or cast a vote?
KB: Not yet. I still feel new to the whole process.
SP: What is something most of your classmates don't know about the Board of Education?
KB: Most of my classmates don't realize how important the Board of Education is, including myself before I was on it. There are so many things that need to be discussed, or approved by the board before it is allowed to happen in the schools.
SP: Tell us about AbstraKT Beings.
KB: AbstraKT Beings is a new dance company founded by Kyle Preiser & Theresa Stone. The dancers apart of it are from all around the country, mostly the New Jersey, New York, and NYC areas, and some from Maryland. We have done performances in NYC as Kyle and Theresa hope to give dancers the essentials to be successful in the dance industry.
SP: What are your focuses in school? Do you play a sport? Are you involved in any upcoming school events?
KB: My main focus in school are my grades. I think it is important to have good grades, so I focus and study to achieve those grades. I do not play any sports in school. I dance on two dance companies outside of school so that takes up a lot of my time. I am involved in March Madness that is coming up. Because I am president it is my job to help set the whole thing up, as well as the other Student Government officers.
SP: What can you say you have gained the most from the experience of sitting on the Board of Education?
KB: I gained knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes. It made me realize how important the Board of Education is to our district.
Visit Sachem Patch in the near future for our discussion with Sachem North's student representative Francesca Barilla.