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December 17, 2012
Oakland Junior Named State Board of Education Student Advisor
(Salem, Ore) – State Board of Education chair Artemio Paz, Jr. has named Benjamin Barnes of Oakland High School to serve as a student advisor to the State Board of Education. This is the sixth year that the State Board has included high school students as Board advisors.
“I am happy Benjamin has joined the Board as its student advisor,” said Chair Paz. “Having a student perspective at the table is incredibly valuable and keeps all of us focused on what our work is all about—students. Benjamin is an outstanding teenager and serves as an example of our students’ commitment to making the world a better place through public service.”
Barnes is currently a junior at Oakland High School. He is in the top two percent of his class academically and is working towards an Honors Diploma as well as taking classes for college credit at Umpqua Community College. He serves as the vice president of the Oakland High School Student Council and participates in football, wrestling, baseball, and the Future Business Leaders of America. In the 2011-12 school year, he also served as a member of former Superintendent Castillo’s Youth Advisory Team where he discussed education issues with students from across Oregon. His concerns about education include how poverty affects student success and keeping Talented and Gifted students engaged in the learning process.
"I really hope to be able to provide a helpful perspective to the Board,” said Barnes. “I'm very grateful to the State Board of Education for allowing me to represent K-12 students across Oregon and for allowing me to represent my home town of Oakland."
Student advisors must commit to attend Board meetings and special functions of the Board, participate in policy discussions, demonstrate leadership and a basic understanding of current education issues, and have a commitment to community involvement. Barnes attended his first meeting with the Board on December 6.
The Oregon Legislature created the State Board of Education in 1951 to oversee grades K-12 and all community colleges. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for up to two four-year terms. Seven members are selected to represent the five congressional districts with two at-large members. Current board members include Artemio Paz, Jr. (Chair), Samuel Henry (Vice-Chair), Serilda Summers-McGee, Gerald Hamilton, Angela Bowen, and Duncan Wyse. The seat representing the Fifth Congressional District is currently vacant. For more information on State Board members and advisors, please go to http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=183.
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