Redhawks address the Board to Trustees

Sadie Johnson

By Sadie Johnson, Liberty High School - TX

Every month the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees meets to discuss school district business but some people may not realize students can address the board to talk about a variety of issues facing students.

I definitely think it’s a really good way to get traction to any movements you believe and to get the board’s attention,”

— sophomore Maya Silberman

Anyone wishing to address the school board must fill out a public comment card and return the card to the proper place 15 minutes before the start of the open meeting.

Two students on campus, sophomore Maya Silberman and junior Athena Tseng have each addressed the board in recent months.

“I have spoken at two Frisco Board meetings,” Silberman said. “I am a part of Diversify Our Narrative Frisco ISD and something that’s very important to us is going to speak at the board meeting so we can talk to the board members so they understand what our goals are.”

“I went to two board meetings, one in August and one earlier this year in January,” Tseng said. “I decided to go because I wanted to talk about diversity within the curriculum to make sure that the board and other Frisco citizens also knew about this issue occurring in school.”

Monthly board meetings are the only chance for students, or the public, to address everyone on the Board of Trustees. 

“We have rules that prohibit us from being able to meet as a board of 7 with anyone in the community including students outside of our regular board meetings or outside of a posted meeting because when we’re all together we have to have that open to the community,” Board of Trustees President Rene Archambault. 

But speaking to the Board of Trustees is a bit different than talking in front of a class.

“So talking at the board meetings can be a bit stressful and a bit nerve-racking because you are usually there with a bunch of adults,” Tseng said. “There aren’t too many students there, but when you get up there and talk, it really isn’t that bad. The board is really friendly to you.”

Although it can be nerve-racking, Silberman still recommends it to other students.

“I definitely think it’s a really good way to get traction to any movements you believe and to get the board’s attention,” Silberman said. “Also, a lot of teachers and parents will go and watch the live stream so if you have an issue or a complaint about FISD that you want to get attention to, I would definitely recommend going and speaking.”

We just love hearing from you all… so that feedback is very important,”

— Frisco ISD Board of Trustees President Rene Archambault

According to Archambault, the number of students speaking to the board and advocating for change has increased in recent years.

 “When I first joined the board for the first few years, we rarely had students speaking at our meetings. So this new kind of advocacy effort on behalf of our students, we just love hearing from you all and we encourage it,” Archambault said. “We want to know the path that our students are taking, that what we are doing as a board is providing the resources that are needed. And if not, then how can we do better. So that feedback is very important.”

This story was originally published on Wingspan on October 12, 2021.