Student representatives serve on community boards
Six Berkeley Springs High School students have been serving as representatives on various Morgan County community boards. They’ve learned about the inner workings of government entities and community agencies and have enjoyed the time they’ve served. All valued the experience.
Graduating senior Shayla Russell served on the War Memorial Hospital Board and attended five meetings. She said they discussed financial information, how to better the hospital and ways to get more patients. Russell said that she offered advice on ways to improve the hospital and that the experience was very informative.
Russell highly recommended being a hospital board student representative.
“It would be a great opportunity if going into a nursing career or medicine. It would probably be very beneficial,” she said.
Parks & Recreation
Junior Matt Parkinson went to two Morgan County Parks & Recreation Board meetings as a student representative and liked being on the board. It was informative to learn what the community could use, what projects were more opportunistic and what they were working with financially, he said.
Parkinson said he offered ideas to the board, including having their Santa photo shoot in the park, and helped put out flyers to get the information to more families. He said he’d recommend being a community board representative to students entering any business-related fields.
“It teaches you to work with what you have in the most beneficial way,” Parkinson said.
.Junior Ashley Tomlinson has attended five to seven Morgan County Commission meetings. She recalled the recent county animal control issues and how they helped the Cacapon State Park renovations.
Tomlinson said that being a student representative for the commission had been a learning experience since she hadn’t been aware of a lot of things that were involved. Her mentor County Administrator Jody McClintock would answer questions that she had.
Tomlinson said she learned a lot and loved going to the meetings. Everyone was very friendly, she said. She would recommend being a board member to other students.
“You get to meet all sorts of people and help your community,” Tomlinson said.
Graduating senior Kelsey Weimer is the outgoing student representative on the Morgan County School Board. She served on the board for the second half of her junior year and the first half of her senior year.
Weimer said that the school board was really interesting, so intricate and kind of political. There was exciting controversy and boring finances—kind of like life, she said.
Weimer felt she could give her opinion and voiced concerns about teen pregnancy and new security systems. She said the school board members were great and were very welcoming and friendly. It was nice to be a part of it and she really learned a lot.
“I would recommend it to anyone,” Weimer said.
Junior Rachel Michaels is the new representative on the school board, who started in January. Michaels observed two meetings. She noted that there were so many specifics that go into what the school board governs – field trips, budgets, transportation and other resources.
“It was a good opportunity to understand how things work,” she said.
Michaels said she might serve on a board later on in her future.
“If they teach me what they know, I would be able to come back and give back,” she said.
Junior Corey Shetler has attended two Morgan County Health Board meetings since November. He learned that the Morgan County Health Department didn’t just offer vaccines and clinics for sick people, but also dealt with well permits and perk tests.
Shetler agreed with Michaels that sitting on the boards helps them to understand what’s going on. He said he just listened at the meetings since he was a newcomer. Shetler hopes to offer some suggestions at next year’s meetings.
Tomlinson, Shetler, Michaels and Parkinson will continue serving on their appointed boards next year.