Today, the State Board of Education welcomed two new members to the Board: Ellie DeWitt, who attends Gettysburg College, and Alex Fey, a Phoenixville Area School District student. Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera informed attendees at the July 13 meeting that the new members will serve two-year terms as Board members.
"As we work to enhance public education in the commonwealth, we know that we cannot craft policy and make critical decisions without first receiving feedback from our stakeholders," said Secretary Rivera. "It is undeniable that the student perspective is an essential component of stakeholder engagement, and including their perspective in Board proceedings is helpful and necessary. I offer my congratulations and welcome the two new members of the State Board of Education, Ellie DeWitt and Alex Fey."
The Board changed its bylaws in May 2008 to incorporate student representation on the Board 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.
"Student representatives serve as essential members of the Board, bringing with them a unique perspective on education in the commonwealth," said Chairman of the Board Larry Wittig. "Additionally, their inclusion provides students with the chance to shape education policy and impact both current and future generations of students. I welcome Ellie and Alex, and look forward to working with them."
Wittig 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.