Student Board Members Announced

AUSD -- Alameda Unified School District Board President Heather Little (far left) and AUSD Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi (far right) welcome the 2023-2024 student board members Talia Kotovsky (second from left), Mirabelle Kruger

Student Board Members Announced

At its Aug. 22 meeting, the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Education appointed two new student board members alongside returning member Talia Kotovsky of Alameda High School.

The designation of student representatives from high schools around Alameda was implemented to ensure that discussions of the school district incorporate perspectives from the people most affected by their decisions from all over the Island. Incoming Mirabelle Kruger of Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School and Lianna Lau of Alameda Science & Technology Institute will act as liaisons between the Board and their student body.

Kotovsky spoke on how much she enjoyed her position last year as a junior. She described the challenges she faced of being new to the Board and learning her role among the members.

“It was a huge learning curve for the first couple of months,” said Kotovsky.

She described skills she obtained that taught her to communicate and collaborate effectively “with adults as well as other student board members.” Kotovsky recounts how she gained a new level of understanding of her position by the end of the year, which she felt would suit her well if she were to run again the following year.

Kotovsky chose to campaign for the student board again in her senior year and explains that her reasoning lies in the impact she hopes to make in her final year. “I definitely have a lot of ideas for this year,” said Kotovsky.

She describes how she would like to put her newfound knowledge and experience to good use by making a student board member handbook so that new members can better assimilate to their new role.

“I’m also very interested in the grading for equity policy and continuing my work in various subcommittees, primarily the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families [subcommittee],” said Kotovsky.

Her plans for the school district may potentially aid the arriving student board members in initiating them into their roles.

Kruger is a senior at Encinal and spoke of her continuing interest in local politics, which inspired her to run for the position. Through the election process, Kruger made efforts to spread the word of her campaign through flyers, speeches and social media posts.

“I attempted to generate trust around my name and knowledge of what the student board is so people can assess their options in the election,” said Kruger describing her strategy for her campaign.

Kotovsky and Kruger are on the AUSD Board of Education Wellness Advisory Council, City/School Joint, and the Board Policy subcommittees. They are also on the non-AUSD Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families (ACCYF). Lau is on the Wellness Advisory Council, ACCYF, and AUSD/Peralta Joint subcommittee.

Student Board Members may cast preferential votes prior to the official Board vote.

Mia Schneider is an Alameda Sun intern.