For the past three years, monthly meetings of Board of Education have required two additional chairs at the board member table.
Seats are not reserved for publicly elected board members, but for students.
Before school ends in June, a loudspeaker announcement at extends students the opportunity to learn inner workings of their district.
"At the close of the school year, (high school administration) takes a look at the top students in the junior class, who will become seniors in the fall," said Collingswood High School Principal Edward T. Hill. "An announcement is made to juniors who may be interested in being a liaison to the school board. We meet any interested students, who fill out applications. Then, myself and other staffers conduct applicant interviews."
Next, Hill sends the names of two worthy students to 's administration office. Once approved, the new student liaisons are officially notified.
"We choose two students, so that if one can't make a (board of education) meeting, the other will be present," said Hill. "The student board liaisons serve as a great communication tool between the high school and the school board."
Students serve throughout senior year, attending monthly board meetings and acting as a voice for the student body. Though not permitted to vote on agenda items with official board administration, liaisons assist by relaying school events, student concerns, and representing district youth.
Prior to each monthly board meeting, Principal Hill meets the two representatives to review and perfect points they'll raise to board members.
Meet Your School Board Liason: Shannon Borowski
For her final year at Collingswood High School, 17-year-old Shannon Borowski added board of education liaison to an already-impressive roster.
The borough resident is president of the school's DECA club, vice president of the Spanish club, and member of the National Honor Society, senior board student council.
Though she hasn't been accepted to a college yet, once there, Borowski plans to pursue a double major in business and Spanish, minoring in accounting.
And the well-rounded student knew she wanted to be part of the school board opportunity as soon as it was announced.
"I heard an announcement to come to the office if you were interested in becoming a school board liaison," said Borowski. "I went, and about eight other students showed up, too. When Mr. Hill told me I'd been selected, I accepted right away."
Borowski said board members held an induction ceremony for the new liaisons at their first-ever meeting this past August. Since then, she's grown accustomed to life as a student representative.
"I was really honored to be selected. I know both of the student representatives last year, and so I knew it would be a great experience," she said. "It's nice to represent the student body. And because of us, the board knows exactly what's going on in their schools—because we're in the classrooms with students every day. And we (liaisons) get to ask students directly what issues they'd like us to raise at meetings. We're their voice.
"I also think it's good for us because we get to see what is going on, not just with our high school, but throughout the district," Borowski added. "I like seeing the (board members) all come together—Oaklyn, Collingswood, and Woodlynne—to make decisions for students' benefit."
Borowski said serving the term will prove beneficial in her future.
"This experience is a great networking base. In the business world, it's all about networking and meeting people," she said. "And it's interesting to see how towns and school boards function. We're able to be mature, and to be at the same level as other adults. We have a chance that not everyone has."
Because Borowski appreciates valuable learning experiences, her principal knew she'd be a first-class representative for the student body.
"Shannon is a quiet leader in the senior class: hardworking, likes to be involved in everything," said Collingswood High School Principal Edward T. Hill. "She's a member of our senior seminar program, and she's a leader in that program as well as in the senior class."
Meet the district's other school board liaison, Morris Smith, by clicking .