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December 26, 2013

Niagara-Wheatfield student takes seat on school board

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There’s a new face sitting at the head table during Niagara-Wheatfield School Board meetings. And he’s there because he can be.

Jake Schoelles, a senior at the district’s high school, has joined the board as an ex-officio member in order to provide a different, student perspective during meetings.

Schoelles, a captain on the varsity football team this past season and the president of his class, among other notable activities he’s taken part in, will serve as an intermediary between student leadership and the school board.

According to School Board President Steve Sabo, he’ll be expected to provide conversation about his experiences in the school and how some of the budget cutbacks of the last two years have taken a toll on life inside the walls of his school building.

“I’m looking forward to hearing your insight on what some of these changes have done,” Sabo said. “You have some experience with what’s been going on in the school, so hopefully we can hear from you about what it’s like in there.”

The ex-officio member was created when voters approved a ballot proposal during this past May’s budget and school board vote. In his position, Schoelles will not be permitted to vote in any board action, nor participate in any executive session the board takes.

Accommodating Schoelles’s presence might facilitate a makeover of the board’s meeting space. Sabo said he’d like to see the board’s work area shifted around to accommodate the extra person.

When welcomed to his seat at the table, Schoelles simply expressed thanks for the opportunity.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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