For Immediate Release: August 27, 2020
Starkville Junior Selected as State Board of Education Student Representative
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has selected Amy Zhang of Starkville to serve as the high school junior student representative to the SBE for the 2020-21 school year.
Student representatives are non-voting members but provide input on policy decisions that affect Mississippi public schools. Amy will join Omar Jamil of Hernando, who serves as the high school senior representative to the SBE.
“The Board is proud to welcome Amy to the student representative program and is looking forward to her contributions to our work,” said Dr. Jason Dean, SBE chair. “Students bring tremendous insight to the Board and we value their perspective.”
Student representatives serve for two years. After the senior representative graduates, the junior representative will promote to the senior representative position. A new junior representative is appointed annually.
Amy is a junior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, a residential public high school for academically gifted and talented juniors and seniors across the state.
Amy has earned a 4.85 grade point average, achieved a perfect score of 36 on the ACT and successfully completed numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses. She is an award-winning debate and National History Day competitor and has served in numerous school and civic leadership positions including Starkville High School Speech and Debate Club president, Starkville Mississippi State University Chinese School choreographer, MATHCOUNTS student coach, Starkville Mayor Youth Council member and Oktibbeha Young Leaders.
"The personal involvement my community has in the education system motivates me to serve as the student representative because I know how much I can benefit Mississippi,” Amy said.
The alternate junior representative is Christian Dunne, a junior at Starkville High School in the Starkville-Oktibbeha School District. Alternates are named to fulfill the term of student representatives, should they be unable to complete their term for any reason.
Christian has achieved a 4.72 grade point average, successfully completed numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses and served as class representative on the Student Council during his freshman and sophomore years. An award-winning singer and actor, Christian is an active member of the Starkville High School Singers and Thespian Troupe, is a varsity soccer player and has held numerous volunteer positions in his community.
“I love service, and I love feeling like I’m truly making a difference,” Christian said. “I don’t think there is anywhere better to make a difference than in a place that will impact countless lives through education.”
Approximately 15 state boards of education have successfully implemented student advisory programs. In 2018, the SBE adopted a policy outlining the criteria for adding student representatives to the State Board.
State Board of Education Junior Student Representative 2020-21
Alternate State Board of Education Junior Student Representative 2020-21
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications
Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations