Bridgton Selectmen seek student rep

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Taking the lead from the SAD 61 School Board, Bridgton Selectmen think it would be a great idea to have a non-voting student representative from Lake Region High School serve on their board.

But just how that student would be selected remained in question on Tuesday, as the board discussed a proposed new Student Representative Policy. Member Paul Hoyt thinks selectmen should be part of the selection process. The majority of the board, however, was satisfied to leave it up to the LRHS Leadership Team.

Karen Eller, Bridgton’s representative to the SAD 61 School Board, said the Leadership Team could present two students for consideration, and let selectmen make the final choice. Under the proposed policy, the student would be a junior or senior, and would serve for one year as a non-voting member, from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

The student would also be invited to serve on board subcommittees, and would need to attend a board orientation before beginning his or her term.

“The student representative is invited and urged to make comments and inquiries pertinent to the subject under discussion, and to propose ideas and suggestions as in the manner expected of all board members,” the proposed policy states. The student would not be allowed to make or second motions, however, but his or her comments would be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The student would also not be allowed to attend executive sessions or view confidential town documents.

Periodic meetings of the student would be held with the town manager and the board chair to make sure any concerns or issues were being addressed, and the student would be able to suggest agenda items.

To be eligible for appointment, the student would need to “maintain academic and citizenship standards,” and adhere to the board’s Code of Ethics, bylaws, policies and regulations. Inappropriate behavior or chronic missed meetings (80% attendance is required) might result in removal of the student, but only by a two-thirds majority vote of the board.

One policy item that will need to be clarified is whether, as proposed, the student could receive one elective credit for their year of board service. Selectman Bernie King, who originally proposed the idea after seeing it in action at a SAD 61 board meeting, said he would check with school officials to see if that would be allowed.

The board will vote on the policy at their meeting next Tuesday, Dec. 19.

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