Shane Sellers secured a spot on the board following November’s general election. His term began Jan. 1.

Shane Sellers secured a spot on the board following November’s general election. His term began Jan. 1.

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Teen begins term on L’Anse Creuse School Board

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 13, 2021

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Shane Sellers was still in high school when he officially threw his name in the ring to be on the L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education.

The 18-year-old secured a spot on the board following November’s general election. His term began Jan. 1.

Sellers believes his age makes him the youngest board member in the district’s 66-year history.

Sellers, who won’t turn 19 until April, said what motivated him to be on the board was seeing firsthand the virtual learning process he went through as a student early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“When I looked at my college plans, I realized maybe the best route is to go back into the schools and improve virtual learning to make it better for the next senior class,” he said.

Sellers is a 2020 graduate of L’Anse Creuse High School – North in Macomb Township and is enrolled full-time at Macomb Community College. He works as a junior coach and director at Peachtree Tennis Club in Clinton Township.

“I was quite shocked when I saw the results,” he said. “I honestly thought I was in third place in a two-man race,” he said. “My campaign worked the hardest.”

Sellers’ top goals as a board member are fiscal responsibility, spending money on students, and ensuring that in-person learning is safe and available to all students including those considered high risk.

When he announced his candidacy, Sellers said it was tough for folks to take him seriously, due to his age.

“I thought my ideas were not far out there,” he said. “Some looked at me and didn’t bother to listen to what I had to say. The people that were very open to a new perspective loved it. The one’s most receptive were district parents who liked my plan the most for virtual learning.”  

When asked what he has to do to earn the respect of fellow board members, all of which are older than him, Sellers said he often uses the line that he is “here for six years.”

“With COVID learning, there’s never been more of a public eye on the school board,” he said. “When we sit down and have discussions, my vote counts the same as theirs and I’m here for the long haul.”

Sellers wasn’t born when current Superintendent Erik Edoff began working in the district in 1998 as a teacher.

“I think it’s great,” Edoff responded when asked what he makes of a recent district graduate serving on the board. “Part of the strength of our school board is its diversity and he will bring a different perspective and a voice that represents a group of people in our district.”

Edoff added that district students can learn from Sellers that their voice can be made louder by becoming involved.

“If you want to have an impact at any level, this proves you can be successful, even at a young age,” Edoff said. “He certainly brings a fresh student perspective into the conversation.”

Sellers said it will be interesting when he does building visits to see what the reaction is from teachers he recently had as a student.

He said that being a recent graduate better positions himself to advocate for students, many of which at the high school level know him.

“I have a social media influence and a lot of students can reach out to me that way, which is more informal,” Sellers said. “When I was in school, I remember a singular time where I ever saw a board member walk through the halls during a school day. I want to be somebody who goes away from the board table and into the hallways and classrooms which shows that I care.”

Some challenges he anticipates his age presenting in this role are earning the respect of the board and central district administration.

“That’s a big concern of mine,” he said. “I have faith that eventually they will understand that I am here and want to work. Also, a lot of teachers have been very receptive, but I hope they see me as the board member and not the student.”   

A pair of six-year terms were up for grabs in November’s general election. Sellers received the second most number of votes, with 9,704. Incumbent Adam Lipski was the top vote-getter, with 12,545.

The board consists of Sellers — who replaced Donald Hubler — Lipski, Hilary Dubay, Amelia Servial, Sharon Ross, Mary Hilton and Terri Spencer.

Its first meeting of 2021 is Jan. 19.

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