By MADDY VITALE
Ocean City High School student Lauren Knopp has been named the 2022 student representative to the New Jersey State Board of Education.
Lauren, of Ocean City, who will be an OCHS senior in the fall, took office at a July 6 state board meeting, according to a statement from Angelica Allen-McMillan, commissioner by acting at New Jersey Education.
“In her role, she hopes to be a voice students can count on and a visionary of what student communities can collectively achieve by listening to each other,” Allen-McMillan said.
She went on to say what an important role it was.
“I emphasize student representatives on the State Board because now, more than ever, it is crucial to listen to student voices,” Allen-McMillan continued. “New Jersey schoolchildren have battled a pandemic that has had profound consequences on their learning and social supports – and often on their families.”
Lauren said in a statement that she was “beyond ecstatic” upon being selected to the board.
Throughout her high school career, she kept busy with clubs and activities. She first served on the student council when she was in sixth grade.
In addition to student council, Lauren belongs to the OCHS drama club, math club, and environmental association, among other activities.
“All of these activities have helped me develop my leadership skills as well as my critical thinking skills,” she said. “I am beyond grateful that the steps I have taken to improve myself have brought me this far. I look forward to meeting and working with students from all over New Jersey.
Ocean City School Board member Jacqueline McAlister noted Lauren’s major achievement.
“The Ocean City School District and the community are extremely proud that Lauren has been chosen as the student representative for the New Jersey State Board of Education,” McAlister said. “Lauren was chosen by her peers to be the voice of thousands of students across the state, and her contribution will be invaluable to the decision-making process at Trenton.”
McAlister continued, “Lauren’s achievement is certainly a point of celebration for Ocean City and her selection is a positive reflection on the hard work of the entire education community. Congratulations to Laurent. We are delighted to follow his progress in this distinguished appointment.
Lauren replaces Maura Baker, the outgoing student representative of West Orange High School.
The student representative is selected through the New Jersey Association of Student Councils and serves as a liaison between the state council and the student community, according to the state’s website.
The student representative serves for one year as a non-voting member at public meetings of the Council of State. The student representative also makes a presentation to the council at each public meeting.
Here is a complete list of students selected for the New Jersey School Board Association for 2022:
President, Dillon Dukes, Kingsway Regional High School
Vice President Gina Liu, Cherry Hill High School East
Secretary Maya Cope, Delsea Regional High School
Treasurer Priyanka Das, Hightstown High School
Executive Member Charity – Zachary No, Rancocas Valley Regional High School
Executive Member Projects — Sarah Hewitt, Collingswood High School
Executive Member Publications — Mark Anthony Williams, Holy Cross Preparatory Academy
State Board of Education Student Representative, Lauren Knopp, Ocean City High School
Mid-Level Representative, Jude Palazzo, Kingsway Regional Middle School
For more information about the New Jersey School Board Association, visit https://www.njsba.org/