By SHERIDAN CYR
Board of Education members and school officials said goodbye to two of their senior student representatives. One week before graduation, BOE members kicked off the festivities during their June 14 meeting with a special commencement ritual.
Board members stopped the meeting to recognize Joseph Martin and Sean Young, two members of the Class of 2018 that served as student representatives during the 2018-19 school year. Martin has been the veteran student representative on the BOE, serving for his junior and senior years. Young is the rookie, serving in his senior year.
The two play a pivotal role during town meetings as they report school happenings and serve as a knowledgeable resource for the board.
“Our student representatives have been so informative in telling us all the things going on at Southington High School,” said BOE vice chair Terri Carmody. “They have been very helpful to us as BOE members on issues we have discussed, and have given their input on what effects our decisions will have on our students.”
Carmody said the most important thing, for her, was the humor the student representatives brought to each meeting. “We have been privileged to have them with us. We wish them well, and hope they will visit us,” Carmody said.
BOE chair Brian Goralski presented Martin and Young with a certificate of excellence.
“These young men have represented us with great pride,” he said. “You know how much this board appreciates everything you have done for us as our colleagues.”
Young and Martin both reflected on their time as student representatives and thanked board members for the experience.
“This experience is unlike any other available at Southington schools,” said Young. “How many students get the chance to meet and work with you? How many get to see firsthand how the government works? How many get to feel this in touch with their school district and community?”
Young said he feels prepared to be a model citizen, and he has forged a strong, memorable bond with Martin and Bianca Spataro—a junior—the third student representative on the board.
Martin recalled his first BOE meeting as a student representative and shared how his time with the board has helped him over the past two years.
“I appreciate the opportunity and the fact that I was able to experience something a little different,” he said. “I’m definitely going to take what I’ve learned through this and apply it to my college experience.”
When school starts in the fall, the board will name the two successors chosen to serve alongside Spataro for the 2018-19 school year.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.