Roseville High School student Madison White shadowed Assistant Superintendent Pete Hedemark as part of the district’s student school board.

Roseville High School student Madison White shadowed Assistant Superintendent Pete Hedemark as part of the district’s student school board.

Photo provided by Joe Genest


Roseville students learn about government through school board program

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 30, 2018

 State Rep. John Chirkun, left, honored Roseville Superintendent John Kment for his 31 years serving in the position.

State Rep. John Chirkun, left, honored Roseville Superintendent John Kment for his 31 years serving in the position.

Photo provided by Joe Genest

ROSEVILLE — Each year, the Roseville Community Schools district invites students to take part in its student school board program. The program allows students to shadow members of the district’s Board of Education and administration for a day to learn what it takes to keep the schools running.

Nineteen students took part in the program Nov. 26. Each had to volunteer for the program and — if there were multiple students signing up for the same position — run for the office to be selected by their fellow students prior to the date of the program.

“Sixteen years ago, our athletic director, Brian Bleasdale, came up with the idea,” explained Superintendent John Kment. “Since we recognize our best athletes and our best students, we should recognize our teachers. We try to educate our students on government and the district, and this (student school board program) was folded into the idea. … We hope the kids have a fun time as well as an educational time.”

The program was a daylong process that featured the students getting paired up with the board member or administrator whose responsibilities they would perform at a mock school board meeting that evening.

“Students arrived at the Administration Building around 9 a.m.,” said district spokesperson Joe Genest. “Mr. Kment, (Deputy Superintendent Mark) Blaszkowski, and (school board President Teresa) Genest spoke to the group about the history of Roseville schools, and how the schools are run. Students, board members and administrators introduced themselves during this time as well. Students then had a short tour of the administration building before breaking off with their counterparts to learn more specifically about their roles with the district.”

After being taken out to lunch, the students came back to the Roseville Administration Building, where they went to the school board meeting room. They ran through the mock school board meeting several times for practice. They then ran the meeting in front of parents, staff and members of the community at 7 p.m.

“This provides an actual hands-on experience in government and administration, and shows how a school board works and how a district is run,” said Kment. “Hopefully, this will encourage students to get involved.”

During the meeting, the students addressed some of the common questions and issues going on in the district, such as the renewal by voters of the district’s non-homestead millage and the recent acquisition of a grant to improve school safety.

After that, each student recognized a staff member in the district who has had a profound impact on the student’s life.

“These are the teachers who are doing exactly what a teacher should be doing: making a positive difference in the lives of students,” said Kment.

Makayla Sumrall, a senior at Roseville High School, shadowed Genest and handled her responsibilities at the mock school board meeting. Sumrall said she was impressed by how much work goes into running a district.

“I was interested because I did the (mock City Council) program before and I got a lot out of it,” she said. “I wanted to know the inner workings of the district. I learned how much responsibility they have and how much work they have to do. I hope people appreciate what Roseville (Community Schools) offers and don’t take that for granted.”

Roseville High School senior Ashley Jaworski took on the role of one of the school board trustees.

“I got to see what really goes on and what we get from the school board and how it gets done,” said Jaworski. “Meeting with our counterparts let us see how much goes into running the district and all the different aspects you have to maintain just to run it.”

During the meeting, state Rep. John Chirkun, former mayor of Roseville, honored Kment for his 31 years as the school district’s superintendent.

“I was deeply honored by this recognition,” said Kment. “I like that the district does this program every year, because it really shows how hard both our students and staff work.”