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JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has selected junior Omar Jamil of Hernando and senior Shelby Dean of Clinton for its student representative program, which will begin in July. Student representatives will be non-voting members but will provide input on policy decisions that affect Mississippi public schools.
The students were selected through a competitive process from 52 applicants statewide. After the senior representative graduates, the junior representative will promote to the senior representative position. A new junior representative will be appointed annually.
“All the students we considered for the representative program are highly accomplished and reflect Mississippi’s outstanding public schools,” said Dr. Jason Dean, SBE chair. “The Board is looking forward to working with Omar and Shelby in the upcoming school year and to the contributions of future student representatives.”
Omar is a junior at DeSoto Central High School in the DeSoto Public School District. Omar maintains a 4.266 grade point average, achieved a 30 on the ACT in the 9th grade, and has been involved with the Student Council, where he served as president during his sophomore year. He is also a member of the Knowledge Bowl Team, the Interact Club, the Future Business Leaders of America, the International Club, the chess team, and theatre department.
“Every aspect of my current high school career that I have shaped has cultivated into the student the Board of Education needs to represent our statewide student body,” Omar said.
Shelby is a senior at Clinton High School in the Clinton Public School District. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average, is a member of the ACT 30+ Club, and is active in numerous student and community organizations including the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Science Olympiad. Shelby has been a member of the Student Council since 7th grade, and most recently served as student body vice president. As a three-sport athlete, Shelby fills key roles in cross country, soccer and track. Shelby plans to become a high school mathematics teacher.
“As a representative, I would keep in mind all of my peers and keep in mind what would be beneficial for all of them, not just now, but in the long run, so that they can grow as peers, friends, and eventually leaders in the state of Mississippi,” Shelby said.
Junior Meghan Cosper-Gamache of Laurel and senior Alvin Ray Jones, Jr. of Heidelberg were named as alternates. Alternates are named to fulfill the term of student representatives, should they be unable to complete their term for any reason. Meghan is a junior at Stringer Attendance Center in the West Jasper School District. She has a 4.0 grade point average, is currently ranked No. 3 in her class, and plays the French horn in the concert band.
Meghan is a member of the Senior Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Stringer Maroon Pride Color Guard, the Mayor’s Youth Council, the Red Cross Club, and Stringer Baseball Diamond Girls. An active community volunteer, Meghan earned the Presidential Community Service Award for her leadership and volunteer work.
Alvin is a senior at Heidelberg High School in the East Jasper Consolidated School District. He maintains a 4.0 grade point average, is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, and has achieved perfect attendance for the past six years. Alvin served as vice president of the Student Council as a junior, is a member of the Beta Club, serves as head drum major for the marching band, plays the trombone in the concert
Approximately 15 state boards of education have successfully implemented student advisory programs. In 2018, the SBE adopted a policy outlining the criteria for adding student representatives to the State Board.