LUSD student makes state board finals

By Nancy Gutierrez

Lindsay High School junior Hector Marquez spent four days in Sacramento participating in the California Association of Student Council's (CASC) Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE) conference.

Marquez was chosen to attend the conference because of his involvement as the student member of the Lindsay Unified School District Board. Marquez was also participating as one of 12 finalists chosen to compete for the coveted student position on the State Board of Education.

Marquez applied for the position in October. A week before the conference he received a letter informing him that out of 106 applicants he would attend the conference as one of 12 finalists. No student school board member from Lindsay has made the final 12 though several have tried. Student members of the State Board of Education get the opportunity to not just discuss issues affecting California education, they get to vote on them as well. But first, finalists had to participate in an interview process and give a presentation to the 70 delegate at the conference on the duties of the student state board member.

"I gave a presentation on what I would bring to the position," he said. "I talked about issues that were important to Lindsay High School, like having visual and performing arts classes."

Aside from running for office, Marquez also collaborated with other student council members from across the state on issues concerning education. Each of the participants were put into groups and asked to create proposals that would be sent to the state board. Hector's team discussed changing how standards are taught to teachers so that they can be easily taught to students. He said other proposals included equal funding for schools and a Student Bill of Rights.

At the end of the conference three of the 12 finalists for the student member position were chosen to participate in the final interview with the state board. Though Marquez was not one of the final three he said the knowledge he gained from the conference was worth the effort.

"I learned how the legislative process works and how to get a proposition passed," Marquez said. "And all about the duties of the state board representative. I also got to meet Jack O'Connell."

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