BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — One Kern County student is about to have an influential platform, and we’re not talking about social media.
23ABC’s Kristin Vartan has details on one student’s historic appointment to the county’s first Student Board Trustee.
We see them every board meeting, sitting on the dais, elected officials known as “Board Trustees” making decisions for the future of the Kern High School District.
Now a student sits beside them, chosen by her peers to be their voice.
Ana Herron is the new student board member of the KHSD Board of Trustees. She’s the first in Kern County history and tells 23ABC she’s ready for the responsibilities that come with the new role.
“The largest trait that comes in handy here is my ability to empathize. And that doesn’t necessarily mean just sympathize and feel everyone’s pain–it’s just understanding where people are coming from even if we don’t necessarily share the same viewpoints. For an example here, there are a lot of audience members with diverse opinions, but everyone is genuinely here for the students,” said Herron.
Ana’s vote will not formally count when trustees make decisions at meetings, but it will be recorded. As far as Ana is concerned, that counts for something.
“I think the board has done a wonderful job of listening to my opinions and the opinions of the students, and I think just by me being up there, and vocally expressing my opinion. They’re definitely more aware of what the students might want more of.”
Ana is also on the Student Member Advisory Council and believes the new appointment will only help her continue to bridge gaps in communication. She said her first point of action, creating feedback forums on the already implemented “climate of schools” surveys.
“So not just – ‘are you uncomfortable’, but ‘how can we make you feel more comfortable?’ So that students are able to speak up. I don’t necessarily think there’s been someone who’s wanted to sift through all those responses, but I’m somebody that’s willing to do that.”
Ana is making history and she hasn’t even graduated yet but post-diploma, the senior wants to continue helping others in the medical field. She shared with us her hopes to bring medical care in underserved areas through Doctors Without Borders of the Peace Corp.