Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau has named a Belgrade High School student to a new Student Advisory Board that will give input to Juneau’s office.
Ashley Bergstrand, a junior at Belgrade, was one of 40 students from 31 Montana schools named Monday, Juneau said.
The board will represent 142,082 Montana K-12 students.
“Ashley Bergstrand will provide a much needed student perspective on state policy, such as Graduation Matters Montana, and will help guide the K-12 education system into the future,” Juneau said in a statement.
Student Advisory Board members were nominated by local school and community members, and had to apply online for selection to the board.
“The young people in our classrooms today will make up the workforce of tomorrow,” Juneau said. “An educated workforce is essential to economic development and our state’s long-term success. It is important that students have a voice in how that future looks,” Juneau said.
The Office of Public Instruction is launching an initiative called “Graduation Matters Montana” to increase the number of Montana high school graduates. The impacts of dropping out of high school are extreme, both for the student and for Montana’s economy — costing us millions of dollars annually in lost income and increased public costs.
“Teachers and schools cannot solve the problem alone; it will take parents, businesses, students, civic groups and others working together to make a positive difference,” Juneau said.
“We look forward to hearing Ashley Bergstrand’s voice at the state policy level,” Juneau added.