Two students have reserved spots on the two state boards that set education policy.
Hannah Rens, a junior at Sioux City East High School, was appointed to the State Board of Education last spring. She’s also a member of the student council at her high school, but don’t interpret that as a signal she will seek elected office in the future.
“Everybody thinks I’m going into politics, but right now I really want to go into aerospace engineering,” she says. “My dad and my sister are engineers and I’ve kind of grown up with it and it’s my passion. I want to go to space someday, so that would probably take priority over being a politician.”
Rens is one of ten members of the Board of Education, but she is not a voting member of the panel. Still, she does all the homework and gets a chance to voice her opinion during board meetings. One of her priority issues is the so-called “Common Core” which sets academic standards for Iowa schools.
“In the coming future with the Iowa Core we’ll be looking at the next generation science standards and also the new testing system that will be voted on in the legislature for 2016,” Rens says.
Rens joined the Board of Education in May and her term ends April 30, 2016. The other state board which has a spot for a student member is the Board of Regents — the board that governs the state-supported universities. The current student member of that board is also named Hannah. Hannah Walsh of Spirit Lake is student at the University of Iowa.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)