High schooler brings student perspective as Minneapolis school board member


The Minneapolis School Board's newest member isn't old enough to vote yet, but he'll be involved in helping shape policies for his fellow students for the next 10 months.

Noah Branch, a sophomore at Patrick Henry High School, was sworn in Tuesday evening as the school board's first ever student representative.

Except for his status as a non-voting member, Branch will have the same responsibilities as every other member of the school board.

A committee of students, school leaders and board members picked Branch after a month-long application process that evaluated the students' leadership skills, goal-setting and public speaking, said WCCO .

"We are very excited to welcome Noah to the board," chair Jenny Arneson told the station. "I’m confident he will bring diverse student perspectives to our conversation so we can better serve our youngest constituency."

Leaders at Patrick Henry High School describe Branch as a "very involved" student. He plays on the golf team and volunteers with various student organizations.

Branch told WCCO he thinks having a student on the school board is necessary.

"I think my voice will be the bridge between the student body and the district," he said. "I think it will be great for the board to hear a student’s thoughts firsthand on everything."

Branch will serve on the board until the end of the year, and when his term is over he will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, according to KSTP.

Several other school boards in Minnesota have student members, but this is the first student representative in the Minneapolis district, KSTP notes.

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