Smyrna High School senior Diana Wilson is the student member for the Smyrna Board of Education for the 2013-2014 school year. This duty includes giving reports of student achievements and activities at the monthly board meetings.
Wilson recently took a few minutes to talk to the Sun-Times about her desire to be the student board member. She also talked about her involvement this summer as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program that gives students an inside look into the state government.
Q Why did you want to be the student board member?
A I really wanted to be the student board member because I wanted to make sure the school board knows and understands what we [the students] think so they can implement rules that benefit both students and teachers. I want them to know not only one side of the spectrum, which a lot of times we feel as students it is sometimes.
Q How were you selected?
A I had to write a one-page essay about why I wanted to be a student board member, what I thought I could do in the position, and a little background about me. Then they randomly selected – our names weren't on it – which student they thought was best.
Q How did you feel to be selected?
A I almost passed out. They didn't tell anybody [who was chosen] but one random day in May on the morning announcements Mrs. Cook announced the student board member. I was just like 'What?' I was like 'Oh my God, what if I don't win and everyone knows I lost' and then she said my name. So I was really shocked.
Q What did you think of the first meeting you attended?
A I thought it was really fun. It was memorable because I was installed. It was really interesting to see how they [board members] go about what they do at the meetings, with their agenda and what they talk about. It was good to see how all of them are kind of close, to see how all of them are friendly with each other. It was a nice environment.
Q Are there any changes in particular you want to suggest to the school board?
A I'd like to talk to them about having all the teachers on their websites have a spot where at the end of every marking period students can correspond with the teachers about what they struggled with, how they think they can improve, how the teachers can help, and what they think about the class. It would be available for teachers to see how they can help their students and also what they need to do better.
Q Why did you want to do Girls State?
A My sister is a Girls State alumni. She went two or three years ago and she absolutely loved it. She came home and talked about it and said 'Diana you need to go.' My whole junior year I wanted to go and hoped I'd be nominated. When Mr. Kiger told me about it, I filled out the application and went through the selection process. They picked me and Kayla Kennedy from Smyrna High.
Q What did you think of the program?
A The week was amazing. The females there are so inspiring; it inspired me to be more. That whole week they were so sweet, so kind yet have so much talent. Our counselors were so uplifting; they didn't pressure us but motivated us to be the future leaders. If you go to Girls State, you've already had leadership roles so this propels you even further. We talked to so many great people. Rep. [John] Carney, Sen. [Tom] Carper and Gov. Jack Markell were there. It was really fun. The girls were amazing.
Q You were elected governor for the week. What was that like?
A Once you're elected to a position you shadow that official. Gov. Markell is so sweet, nice and caring. He's so flexible. It's crazy how much he has to do at once, and his day is so long yet he was never tired. He's really inspiring to watch and he was so nice to me. We ate lunch and dinner at his house. He had a little get together with college students from the University of Delaware who helped pass a bill. There was a little picnic; it was so much fun. I met all these elected officials. It was like a 'Who's Who' of Delaware. It was amazing. He was really nice and at the end gave me a hug.
Q Do you see a future in politics for yourself?
A I definitely want to be in government. I want to help out. I think it's important for every citizen to really be informed and help other people be great for our nation. I want to be in politics to some degree. I don't know if I want to be governor, a state official or president but I definitely know I want to be involved in government.
Q What's your career goal?
A I want to be a business major, and my goal in life is to be a CEO of a big corporation.
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.