LAPS Board Appoints Liaisons To Represent Student Voice

The LAPS Board appoints juniors LIzeth Garcia, Quintin Madsen and Fayrouz Mourad to join seniors Elizabeth Booton,  DeJahn Tafoya and Nina Johnson as student liaisons for the 2021-22 school year. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

The tradition continues as the Los Alamos School Board appointed three new student liaisons for the 2021-2022 school year. Juniors LIzeth Garcia, Quintin Madsen and Fayrouz Mourad have been selected to join seniors Elizabeth Booton, Nina Johnson and DeJahn Tafoya as student liaisons.

“The student liaisons play a vital role in communicating the concerns, needs and opinions of the students,” School Board President Melanie Colgan said. “The School Board uses this information to make decisions about policies that ultimately affect the students.”

School board student liaisons serve in an advisory capacity on the board. “The liaisons are expected to attend a monthly school board meeting where they have an opportunity to express student views on agenda topics,” Colgan. “They are also expected to return to school and help spread the word about what is happening in the district.”

At the start of the new school year, interested Los Alamos High School juniors are encouraged to apply to become a student liaison. The Student Liaison Selection Committee reviews the applications, and selects a diverse group of students who participate in different activities and classes to join the seniors who were liaisons last year.

“This helps the School Board get a well-rounded view of the student experience,” Colgan said.

All three new student liaisons said that they are proud to be chosen this year for this opportunity.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Garcia said. “I decided to apply to be a student liaison to be able to communicate some ideas that I, as well as other students, have on how to make this school district better.”

The idea for student involvement on the school board began in the fall of 2015. Since the board makes many policy decisions that directly affect students, having student representation on the board in a liaison role enables the board to gain input from students and find out their thoughts on issues that relate directly to them. In accordance with state statutes, the students may not be members of the board and have voting rights.

“My role as a student liaison to the LAPS school board is to provide communication between the adults on the board and the students affected by their decisions,” Johnson said. “I speak on behalf of teens, expressing our concerns, confusions, excitement, etc. about new rules, organizations and opportunities put in place in our schools. My goal this year is to bring concerns students have about COVID, online learning, vaccinations, and more to the table. I want every teen to feel heard and seen by the School Board.”

Garcia said, “In my role as student liaison, I hope to be able to help communicate some of the concerns I have heard from my peers to the School Board. I would like to see better representation for minorities in the community and better ways to integrate peoples’ cultures to the district.”

Johnson added, “I love that communication between the students and staff is so emphasized with the implementation of the student liaison role, and look forward to serving as liaison throughout the rest of the school year.”

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