Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Silas Thibodeau wants to represent his entire school, not just a select few.

The Kenai Central High School junior, who was sworn in as the student representative to the Kenai City Council during the body’s regular meeting on Wednesday, said he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term.

“I like to be friends with everybody in the school,” he told the Clarion. “I like to talk to the students and see what they think instead of just what the teachers and the administration thinks is best for the students.”

The 16-year-old said this is his first leadership position, and that he enjoyed his first council meeting last week.

“It’s really fun and from what I saw from the beginning, it was cool,” Thibodeau said. “I got to meet all the different people that were on (the council).”

The issues he hopes to focus on during his tenure as student representative are bullying and vaping.

“I’m not sure how I can solve (it) but I would try to find a way to solve it,” Thibodeau said.

He described the students and staff at Kenai Central as a family, and said he wants the public to know that when push comes to shove, everyone at the school helps one another out.

“I think that no matter how much we fight with each other, I think that we’re one big family,” Thibodeau said. “I know for myself, I would stick up for any student at the school if they were getting bullied.”

The junior is involved in baseball and a part of the drumline for the marching band at Kenai Central. After high school he’s thinking about studying business or government, and said if he stays in the area he’d consider running for a seat on the city council or Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Thibodeau briefed the council on Wednesday about upcoming games and social activities planned at the high school.

The next Kenai City Council meeting is set for Feb. 2.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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