Martin is a senior at Cleveland High School. She is set to graduate Friday night with her peers. Her next step is to study at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
Board Chair Tom Cloud offered his thanks to Martin.
“We do appreciate everything you’ve done with us. It has been wonderful having you for a year,” Cloud said. “We hope you’ve gotten a few experiences out of this as you continue further ... I’ve certainly enjoyed having you do updates of what is going on in the school. We have not had that before. It has been really refreshing to us.”
Cloud said board members hear news, but not often from students.
Board member Peggy Pesterfield agreed with Cloud. She said Martin was very thorough in her updates.
According to Dawn Robinson, board member, the board tried several years ago to appoint a student board representative.
“We have a knack for getting students who have a lot going on, so it was hard for them to attend,” Robinson said. “So you don’t really have the distinction of being the first student representative, but you do have the distinction of being the first student who came to the meetings.”
“That is necessary because we value your input and we appreciate the time and effort you’ve committed.”
Board member Steve Morgan said he liked the idea of having a student present on behalf of their fellow students. He said she always gave her input.
“You weren’t afraid to say so and you always gave us your honest opinion,” Morgan said. “I wasn’t here for the first [student representative], so for me you were the first liaison, and you did great.”
Cloud read a resolution in Martin’s honor and presented her with a gift from the board.
Autumn O’Bryan suggested Samantha Douglas as next year’s student representative. The board approved the recommendation.
Additional students recognized included the Keep America Beautiful essay winners and members of Cleveland High School’s Model U.N.
JoAnn Maskew announced the first, second and third place winners. She said there were only 12 entries in this year’s competition. All three winners came from Jeannie Cuervo’s class at CHS.
Madelyn Walker took third place with her essay, “How the Earth Can Kill;” Eric Ingraham received second place with, “Paper or Plastic;” and John David Coats won first place with “Slippery Slope, Effects of Off Shore Drilling on Our Coasts.”
Each student thanked Cuervo for assigning the essay. Walker told the board Cuervo is an inspiration. The essay competition was sponsored by the Westside Ruritan Club.
Julie Phillips and Athena Davis, CHS teachers, presented the 2012-13 Model United Nations Team. Participants included: Landon Seaborn, Megan Castleberry, Lydia Frazier, Zach Near, Austyn Stevenson, Andy Patel, Eric Ingraham, Olivia Hysinger, Grant Currin, Benjamin Dale, Nick Melton, Derek Snyder, Carolyn Cao, Kelsey Wofford, Forrest Fuller, Betsie Hobbs, Alex Hutt, Melissa Gonvalves, Eduardo Zavala and Lauren Barnette.
All 20 students attended the conference at Georgetown University and had the opportunity to tour Washington, D.C. Fifteen of the 20 students are seniors. Currin, a three-year member of CHS’ Model U.N. team, shared his experience.
“Model U.N. is great for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is the caliber of people you get to meet and interact with you wouldn’t otherwise,” Currin said. “I was sitting in a room of about 15 people and they were from other countries and private schools in the northeast. I was sitting between a guy from China and a guy whose parents were refugees from Albania.”
Continued Currin, “When the discussion came around to me during introductions everyone looked at me like I was an alien because I said I was from a public school.”
Phillips thanked the board for allowing the team to take the field trip every year.
Cleveland Middle School’s Principal Mike Collier presented two employees of the month to the board.
He said the school would not function the same way without Kathy Rock and Grace Dyrek.
Robinson gave a TLN report to the board. She said a decision on school vouchers and charter schools has been postponed for another year.
June and July’s meeting will be condensed into one due to scheduling conflicts. The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 20.