School boards are designed to serve students and families, but there have been instances where this priority is overlooked.
Nevada Joint Union High School District (NJUHSD) Student Board Trustee Amelia Glaz is working to ensure that students and families don’t get overlooked.
The Nevada Union High School senior will be graduating this spring, but before she does, she will have left a solid impression on the NJUHSD and the board of trustees that currently serve.
Glaz has been serving on the NJUHSD school board for the 2022 — 2023 school year, and with her help, students in the district have been heard. Trustees who were elected by voters in Nov. held listening sessions with students and Glaz to understand concerns about some of the policies that needed revision.
“By the time my term is up, I hope to see the board really getting involved with the students… More listening sessions would be greatly appreciated, and helpful. I want to see my peers’ ideas and complaints be valued and for quick action to be taken on them. I’m very excited to have the revised harassment/discrimination policy brought to the board, and to actually get approved. That has been in the works for a year now, and it would bring a lot of fulfillment to everyone on campus,” Glaz said.
Superintendent Dan Frisella also values the role of a student representative to share perspectives with the board, and communicate ideas back to the student body.
“Our board and administration is committed to serving our students to the absolute best of our ability. Our students are our end-users, and the primary stakeholder group we aim to serve. Students spend 6 hours a day in our classrooms, which makes their experience and perspective surrounding how we deliver their education invaluable. Board Trustee Glaz’s role in bringing that perspective to our board room is critical to our mission of providing high quality experiences to our students,” Frisella said.
Taking on a leadership role with adults in this capacity is a challenge, but science teacher Eric Mayer praised Glaz for her intelligence and courage. Academically, Glaz excels and is able to balance sports and other activities to prove herself to be well-rounded.
“One of my favorite teachers had approached me and mentioned that he thought I would be a good fit. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed, and I thought I could assist in making changes for the better. Mr. Mayer also helped me with the process,” Glaz said.
At the board meeting Wed. night Glaz participated in the public interviews of candidates to fill the vacancy left by former Trustee Jim Drew who resigned abruptly in Dec. 2022. She will have the responsibility of casting a preferential vote, meaning she will cast her vote and state her opinion prior to the board’s actual vote, according to information supplied by the NJUHSD on the role of a student trustee.
“Amelia will participate in the public interview process in the same way that the other four trustees will — she will ask interview questions, follow-up questions, and participate in board deliberations,” Superintendent Frisella said. “The only difference will be that her vote is ‘preferential’ and will not count toward the 3 votes needed to make a selection.”
Glaz has not gone unnoticed by audiences at school board meetings.
“Miss Glaz has demonstrated a passion to represent the students of the NJUHSD,” President of the Board Duwaine Ganskie said. “She has brought valuable student perspective to our Board meetings and has always advocated for students’ best interests,” board president Duwaine Ganskie said.
Declining to recite the pledge of allegiance and speaking out about discrimination on some campuses Glaz has been an advocate for students who felt they were being ignored by administration and the past NJUHSD board of trustees, has spurred some reaction by local residents making public comments during meetings.
“I knew my voice was going to be important, but I wasn’t expecting it to spark drama,” Glaz said.
After high school, Glaz plans on attending Sierra College with a major in civil engineering then transferring to one of the California Polytechnic schools.