Three local students attended the Annual Education Conference held December 4-6 in San Diego by the California School Boards Association (CSBA.) The conference works to improve understanding of policies and practices affecting education in California and increase communication amongst school districts’ administrative staffs and school boards.
The 2013 AEC was attended by Student Board Members Alex Khalil from Burbank High, Joseph Jurado of Burroughs High and Linda Reyes Echeverria from Monterey High. Kelly Saunders, Burbank High history teacher, chaperoned the three students. Board of Education members Dave Kemp, Dr. Roberta Reynolds, Charlene Tabet, Ted Bunch and Larry Applebaum also attended the conference along with BUSD Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz and Kimberley Clark, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Public Information Officer for the school district.
“The CSBA conference was a very wonderful experience. Being in the room with fellow student board members who share similar interests and are all leaders was what I enjoyed the most,” commented Ms. Reyes Echeverria. “The atmosphere was so professional and friendly, which made it all that more enjoyable. The keynote speakers looked at subjects differently and believed that just because one method doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean another method won’t.”
“The breakout sessions were full of information that has made me all the wiser and more aware of how to do different tasks in many ways, not just the way we have been taught is correct,” continued Ms. Reyes Echeverria. “Our group was great – we all had a splendid time and got to know each other better. Everything about the conference was phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a conference where I was this sad to leave, and since then, wish I could go back. It was simply amazing.”
Student Board Members from BUSD have attended the conference for the past three years, in addition to playing important roles throughout the year in the district. They attend the bi-monthly School Board meetings and address the Board of Education, senior staff, audience at City Hall and on the Burbank Channel. Student Board Members report on their respective high schools’ activities and events and may cast preferential votes on matters not subject to closed session discussion. Preferential votes are cast prior to the official Board vote and are recorded in the Board minutes, although their votes do not affect the final outcome of a vote. Student Board Members may also make motions during meetings, which may be acted upon by Board members, except on matters dealing with employer-employee relations.
Student Board Members also serve as their school’s Associate Student Body (ASB) Presidents. The CSBA conference expands the perspectives of these student attendees, adds to their knowledge and enhances their roles on the BUSD governance team.