Brattleboro Union High School students and teachers listen to an address by Nobel Peace Laureate and BUHS alumna Jody Williams at Natowich Field on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

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BRATTLEBORO — After receiving no applications from students interested in being youth representatives on the Windham Southeast School District Board, candidacy for the newly created positions will be opened to seniors and the deadline will be extended to May 31.

“None of the students applied by May 10,” School Board member Tim Maciel said at the board meeting Tuesday, referring to the original deadline.

Last month, the board made plans to appoint two full-time rising sophomores or juniors from Brattleboro Union High School as non-voting student representatives for one-year terms. Board member Lana Dever previously explained the decision to leave out rising seniors was because they might be busy preparing for college or working jobs. Seniors also leave early and “we really need a full-year commitment,” she had said.

Maciel said Michael Szostak, restorative justice coordinator at Brattleboro Union High School, indicated seniors were interested and “could very well do the job.”

Another issue had to do with the length of meetings. Board Vice Chairperson David Schoales said students who might be interested did not want to sit through three-hour meetings.

Schoales suggested having members of a committee taking on the project meet with administrators to adjust meeting agendas so youth representatives can weigh in on specific subjects without attending the whole meeting.

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According to a document on the initiative, the term for the first year will begin as soon as possible and end March 1. The board will continue to meet over the summer but student representatives may start in September.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved adding seniors to the list of eligible candidates and extending the deadline.

Students serving as representatives on the board will be expected to attend regular meetings of the board in person and/or via Zoom, become familiar with and abide by relevant policies, including the district’s Code of Ethics, and represent a diversity of opinions on a range of issues. Students from traditionally marginalized groups are encouraged to apply, as well as those working to promote diversity, equity, social justice and anti-racism.

To join, applicants are asked to submit written or video-recorded responses to two questions: What do you feel are the most pressing issues facing our school district today? Why do you wish to become a member of the WSESD School Board? Interviews will be kept confidential, according to the document.

Service on the board will count toward community service requirements at the school. Student representatives will be assigned a mentor from the board to support and guide them, and may be provided meals before board meetings.