West Hempstead schools create first ever​​ student-led council

By Danielle Franz and Mallory Wilson

On Tuesday, Mar. 5, the West Hempstead Board of Education held a budget meeting that featured the Board’s first student-led advisory council.

Nine students ranging from the ages of eight to 18 from Cornwell Avenue Elementary, George Washington Middle School and West Hempstead High School made up the council, and each of the students had a chance to present what changes they felt their school needed. Their suggestions spanned from updated bathrooms to the creation of a greenhouse.

“The most important thing for me is adding Chromebooks because I think that is a big aspect of our learning,” said Brady Haberstroh, a sixth-grader from George Washington School.

The council was created by Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman as well as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dina Reilly and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Mr. Joel Press.

“We wanted student input,” said Rehman. “The only way to give them ownership over what they are learning is to listen to what they have to say.”

“I hope to make the whole school a better place and more comfortable for learning for everyone and I hope that our voice will help the whole school,” said Victoria Hassan, a fifth-grader at George Washington School.

At the conclusion of the student’s presentations, applause and cheers filled the room.

“The power of their voice shined through,” said Rehman. “We are looking to expand,” he added, by adding at least “one student from each grade level” to increase student involvement.

It’s important to hear from “those who are in the schools every day such as the students,” said Byars Cole, the trustee for the Board of Education. “That way we can get the most honest and truthful opinion about what needs to be done.”