Raylin Brennan, rising senior at Sprague High School, and Isaac McDonald, rising senior at West Salem High School, will serve as the next student advisors to the Salem-Keizer School Board through June 2023.

During its regularly scheduled board meeting on June 14, the Salem-Keizer School Board of Directors voted to appoint Raylin Brennan, rising senior at Sprague High School, and Isaac McDonald, rising senior at West Salem High School, as the next student advisors to the school board.

Addition of a second student advisor

A student advisor was to have been appointed at the May 10 board meeting. However, upon the suggestion of Director Carson Cottingham, the board decided to table the motion to appoint a student advisor to the June meeting so they could consider revision of Board Governance Policy (BG-11) to allow for appointment of two student advisors for the 2022-23 school year. The board voted on the policy revision, just prior to the appointment.

“Our first two advisors to the school board have proven outstanding and have demonstrated the level of commitment our students have for this work,” said SKPS School Board Chair Osvaldo Avila. “With the addition of a second student advisor, both Raylin and Isaac will provide even greater perspective to further represent all students and amplify student voice. We strive to have this critical input, while not overburdening our students with the additional load this role inevitably carries.”

Role of student advisors

Student advisor(s) are appointed by the SKPS board of directors annually and serve in an advisory, non-voting capacity. The student(s) must have one year of experience on the district-led student equity committee/student advisory committee.

“I am interested in serving as the student advisor to the Salem-Keizer School Board because it is the ultimate opportunity to participate in my community and advocate for the school district in which I have spent my entire life,” wrote McDonald in his application to become the student advisor. “Over my many years as a student in this district, I have noticed how students have changed, especially after a year of isolation. Alongside the school board, it would be important for me to ensure that our schools and systems continue to evolve with the young people we serve.”

“Being on speech and debate, my coach has taught me the importance of listening to other people and being able to uplift other people’s voices,” said Brennan at the May 10 school board meeting. “I will make it a point to tell people that any concerns that they have, they can come to me.”

Students sworn in next month

Raylin and Isaac will be officially sworn in to serve as student advisors to the school board at its first business meeting of the 2022-23 school year on Tuesday, July 12 and will serve through June 2023.