The Board of Education welcomed a fresh face member to the group during the regularly scheduled Monday, Oct. 5 meeting. Soldotna High School junior Brian Dusek was elected a little earlier than the three other board seats up for grabs this year during the Oct. 6 Regular Elections.
His peers voted Dusek onto the board at the 2015-2016 Borough-wide Student Council Conference on Sept. 23 at Homer High School. His council advisor Meggean Bos-Marquez was the first to encourage his step up.
“She approached me and she really wanted me to do it,” Dusek said. “She thought it would be a good connection between the school board and student council.”
Representing his fellow students, Dusek believes, will be his main duty on the board. While his is “just an advisory vote,” he will be adding a valuable perspective to the governmental body that most directly affects it, which is that of the nearly 8,000 local students in the school district.
“If all KPBSD schools could work together and be a part of the district, we could become the best district in this state, maybe even the nation,” Dusek said during his campaign speech at the conference. “If you elect me to the school board, I will help facilitate discussions that will lead us to that level.”
Bos-Marquez was also the encouragement behind former Soldotna High School senior Jackson Blackwell’s stint on the Soldotna City Council during the 2014-2015 school year. She said her push to join bigger bodies is “to give them a little more engagement in their communities.” Many other school district boards and committees will request student representatives every year, and this year all seven open spots were sought after by Soldotna High School students, she said proudly.
“I thought Brian would be a great candidate for a number of reasons,” Bos-Marquez said. “He has been involved with council for three years, so he has prior experience.
He exhibits amazing leadership both in school and outside of school. He is involved in different events in the school and community, and has innovative ideas of how to improve student engagement.”
Dusek is currently serving as the Activities Director of the Executive Board at Soldotna High School, on council since middle school, and class president for the past two years.
Dusek is going to be the mouthpiece for all 44 school district schools from the big to the small, Bos-Marquez said. That means making more connections. She said a good place to start is high school student council presidents.
Dusek said he is well aware of the work he is going to have to put in to be effective in his new position. But he is confident. In the mean time he is getting a little help.
At Monday’s meeting board member Sunni Hilts, school district Administrative Secretary Debbie Tressler and board president Joe Arness went over the meeting packet with Dusek before hand.
“He was a little concerned he was going to mess up,” Hilts said at the end of the meeting with a laugh. “I told him we could all forget. He needs to mess up to be part of the group.”
Kenai Peninsula Education Association President David Brighton, who regularly attends board meetings, welcome Dusek during the public comment period.
“Your dad (Superintendent Sean Dusek) got promoted, but you still found a way to be his boss,” Brighton said with a laugh.
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