Clintondale Community Schools Board of Education President Jared Maynard, right, swears in Abriana Guzman, left, and Kurt Violet at the board’s meeting on March 18.

Clintondale Community Schools Board of Education President Jared Maynard, right, swears in Abriana Guzman, left, and Kurt Violet at the board’s meeting on March 18.

Photo provided by Clintondale Community Schools

Clintondale brings back student members to school board

By: Nick Powers | C&G Newspapers | Published April 2, 2024


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Students will have their voices heard on the Clintondale Community Schools Board of Education for the first time since 2020. Sophomore Kurt Violet and junior Abriana Guzman were appointed to the board at its March 18 meeting.

“It’s just such an amazing opportunity to be here and I’m really thankful for that,” Guzman said after being sworn in.

“I’m glad you guys think highly of me to be here, so thank you,” said Violet.

While the students don’t get a vote on the board, they are able to have direct access to its proceedings. Clintondale principal Meloney Cargill said the representatives serve for two-year terms. She said the representatives were selected by Clintondale staff.

“Schools have a lot to do with students, they’re for students,” Cargill said after the meeting. “Students should definitely have a voice. They’re a stakeholder. They definitely deserve to have a seat at the table to, if nothing else, influence discussion but to also be aware of the discussions that are happening.”

Clintondale superintendent Kenneth Janczarek agreed.

“For me, being engaged with the students and families is extremely important,” Janczarek said after the meeting. “So to have some kids sitting in and just giving their opinion on things just offers another level of input to, not only me, but the community and the board of education.”

Clintondale Community Schools Board of Education President Jared Maynard said he heard about bringing the student members back to the board while he was campaigning for office. The comments came from teachers, former board members, parents and people he didn’t even know.

“It was a priority of mine, and my team, to return it so we can hear the voices of the students,” Maynard said after the meeting. “And so the students can have a voice at the board level. I’m excited for it.”

During the meeting Guzman said, as a student athlete, she would like to see improvements made to Clintondale’s track.

“I’ve seen the wear and tear on our tracks,” she said.

Later, she talked about adding more art electives like ceramics. She said a home economics class would be especially useful.

“I think it’s really important for our generation of kids to definitely have those things, those fundamental skills and values,” Guzman said. “So, as you go into adulthood, you’re not left unaware calling mom at college like, ‘Hey, how the heck do I, you know, do some taxes?’”

Violet said he’d like to see the school start a cross country team and make the basketball court less slippery.

Maynard said the students should talk amongst their peers and try to get things added to board meetings.

“Having been on student council back in my days here at Clintondale, I’m glad you guys are on the board,” Maynard said. “This is fantastic. Those are some great questions and reports.”

During public comment, Mark Titus, a former member of the Clintondale board, supported reinstating the student board members. Titus sat on the board for 14 years and considered helping to create the student representative spots one of the highlights of his career.

“Week after week I came to this podium asking for them back,” Titus said.

Titus said that previous student board members were able to advocate for improvements like better ceiling tiles.

“We addressed it. We repaired all the ceiling tiles for the students,” Titus said.