MADISON — A sophomore at Madison Area Memorial High School has been appointed by Gov. Paul LePage to serve as a student representative on the Maine State Board of Education.

Kristin Bishop, 16, begins her two-year term in June as one of only two student representatives on the board. She will attend monthly board meetings in Augusta.

“It is an honor to be a student representative on the Maine State Board of Education to not only represent education as a student, but to be able to make a difference with a youth perspective,” Bishop said Monday. “I think I can make a difference working with adults to have a common goal of getting students to excel and lead positive and productive lives.”

Bishop is the daughter of Frank Bishop, who works at Sappi Fine Paper, and Vanessa Bishop, a special education teacher at Madison Elementary School.

Since 2008, the state board has had two nonvoting student members who join the board as high school juniors. Students are appointed by the governor, confirmed by the Maine Senate and except for voting, have full privileges and responsibilities of board membership, according to the board’s website.

The state board has nine adult members and one high school junior and one high school senior. Chelsea Whynot of Cape Elizabeth High School was appointed last year to represent Maine’s 1st Congressional District on the board. Bishop, as a high school junior this coming school year, will represent the 2nd Congressional District.

The Maine State Board of Education advises the commissioner of education in matters concerning state education laws and makes education policy recommendations to the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Madison social studies teacher Kara Atwood said she wrote the letter to the board recommending Bishop for the position.

“I told her it was one of the easiest recommendations I’ve been asked to write,” Atwood said. “She has amazing leadership skills and motivation and determination. She is class president; she is the role model student of the entire school.”

Bishop’s credentials include membership on the school’s Civil Rights Team, Student Government, Maine Youth Action Network leadership program, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, the Youth Empowerment and Police Project for substance abuse prevention and addiction services, chorus and is the district’s student representative on the Health Advisory Council.

Madison High School Principal Stephan Ouellette said the staff is excited to have a local student represent the school and the community on the state Board of Education.

“When she said she was interested in this, we knew she had a great chance to get this position because of who she is and her knowledge, background and her interest in history and government,” Ouellette said. “This is something that is going to be part of her life for a very long time.”

Bishop said her interests in education include finding ways to keep students in school and helping students find their value and importance in a school setting by improving student and teacher relationships.

She said she wants to attend college after high school but hasn’t decided whether to study political science or law.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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