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School Board Inaugurates New Members, Selects Chair

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School Board Inaugurates New Members, Selects Chair
Posted on 12/06/2016
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The Portland Board of Public Education on Dec. 5 held an inauguration for two recently re-elected board members and one new member, and for four student representatives to the board.

Taking the oath of office at the inauguration ceremony at City Hall were District 3 board member Laurie Davis and at-large member Anna Trevorrow, both of whom were re-elected to their seats on Nov. 8. Also sworn in was new board member Roberto Rodriguez, who was elected to an at-large school board seat on Election Day. The board also voted to select Trevorrow to be board chair for the coming year.

Also taking the oath of office were new student representatives for the coming year: Christina Donato, representing Portland High School; Saharla Farah, representing Deering High School; and Farhiyo Hassan, representing Casco Bay High School. Kevin Segal, who has represented the Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) for the past year, will continue in that role. He also was sworn in, along with the new student representatives.

Student reps typically serve one-year terms and are elected by their peers to carry the student voices of their schools to the board. The student reps keep the board and the public apprised of events and issues happening in the high schools.

Christina Donato, a junior at Portland High School, is an outstanding scholar, taking honors and AP-level classes. She is a two-sport athlete – cross-country and basketball – and a strong advocate for equality, inclusion, and student voice in education.

Christina is a member of Portland Empowered; the Civil Rights Team; and Voices for Student Centered Learning.
She is also involved with Christina Donato, PHS repSudo, a youth created and led group that focuses on issues in South Sudan, addressing them through art, dance, and dialogue.

In her election speech to the student body, Christina spoke about why she chose to run for student representative: "I decided to take the extra step to represent this diverse school, but specifically for those who don't have a voice. I want to represent those who aren't well represented in this school. Yes, student voice is extremely important, but so is different student voice.”

Saharla Farah is a Deering High School sophomore. She is an active member of the Deering Seeds of Peace group; a three-year veteran of the NAACP King Fellows; a member of the Maine Youth Action Network council; and is presently serving on the host committee planning the upcoming statewide annual youth leadership conference. Saharla Farah, DHS rep

Saharla is also a member of a group of Deering students and staff members  who meet weekly to discuss how to work as a school to address the needs of Deering’s diverse student body. Deering teachers work to create opportunities for students to analyze perspectives and communicate ideas in a respectful way, so the group meets to ensure that teachers and students have the tools needed to engage in thinking about sensitive topics.

Casco Bay High School junior Farhiyo Hassan is a vibrant leader in the CBHS community, and she is deeply respected by both peers and faculty. Farhiyo Hassan, CBHS rep

Last year, Farhiyo's grant proposal was the winner in the sophomore Africa Rising expedition. She attended Coastal Studies for Girls in the spring before returning to CBHS.

Kevin Segal is a senior at Deering and is enrolled in the PATHS Manufacturing Technology program. In that program, he has been working with another student on a project to manufacture 3-D printers, with the goal of providing such a printer to every school in the district. After graduation, Kevin is considering attending Wentworth Institute Technology in an engineering program.
Kevin Segal, PHS rep