This 2021-22 school year, the South Huntington School District’s Board of Education chose its first Ex-Officio Student Member of the Board, Owen Connolly.
Connolly, a Walt Whitman High School senior, went through a thorough application and interview process to obtain this position. He now joins the Board for their main meetings, sitting alongside the trustees and assistant superintendents. He will also be leading brief presentations at the meetings on what he has been working on during his time with students.
“We are so happy to have Owen Connolly join us as the first Ex-Officio Student Member of our South Huntington Board of Education,” said Laura Carey, Vice President of the Board of Education. “President Ciappetta and I, along with the other Trustees are confident that Owen will bring his impressive talents to this position while being the voice for our student body.”
When Connolly heard of this position, he was looking forward to applying, as this was the first time he’s applied for a position such as this for the school district.
He explained that as a student and a younger adult, some are unaware of the specifics of the inner workings or process that relates to the Board of Education for a school district. He was elated to be able to join this process and help promote a voice for the student body.
“The addition of an ex-officio student member of the Board of Education will ensure a voice for those most impacted by the Board's decisions -- our student body,” said Nick Ciappetta, President of the Board of Education. “Owen Connolly is a perfect fit for this role given his impressive scholastic, athletic, and co-curricular achievements.”
“Owen is thoughtful and articulate, and the Board looks forward to his input, especially as we enter the budget process,” Ciappetta added.
After he graduates, Connolly is looking forward to studying public policy as this decision was influenced by his interest in government, history, politics and how a civilization works- further intriguing him for the Ex-Officio Student Member of the Board position as well.
Connolly is extremely grateful to have this position and gain this opportunity not many other school districts have.
“It’s something that I hope I can lay the foundation for kids to do after me, to help the student body,” he concluded.