Student Board Representative
“Serving the board is important to me because I can create that bridge between the schools and the community,” stated Dora Vaughan, one of four student board members for the Peninsula School District. Dora, a current high school senior at Peninsula, already represents her school by serving as A.S.B. President. She coordinates many service activities that invite PHS students to volunteer and reach out to the community around them. Her participation in Board meetings helps give Peninsula High School a voice in the changes being made to our District.
Dora moved to this area and began attending Vaughn Elementary in fifth grade. She also attended Key Peninsula Middle School and then moved on to Peninsula High School. She has been a Running Start student for the past two years. Dora explains the school district was a large determining factor in her family moving to this area, and she couldn’t be happier where she ended up. “Being a part of the community in Gig Harbor is something I really enjoy. I try to be involved in as many ways as possible.” Dora does a lot of work with the YMCA and Camp Seymour. As A.S.B. President, Dora is very involved in everything that goes on at Peninsula. She has brought an emphasis on community service. “We do a lot of things with local businesses and try to give back; something that I think is really important for us as a school to be involved in.”
As a student board representative, Dora’s focus has surrounded the idea of bringing the students and schools of the District closer to the community. “These are their schools just as much as they are ours, as students.They use the gyms, auditoriums, and common spaces; but, they’re not a part of what’s actually happening in our schools. I think that’s especially important for them to understand.” Dora recognizes the distance between our community and our schools and emphasizes that this gap be drawn closer. “A goal of mine is to make sure the community feels like they are a part of our schools because, in the end, the community is supporting our schools both financially and in other ways as well.”
Dora acknowledges and appreciates the emotional support given by the community to Peninsula this past year through all of the hardships the school endured. “In the fall when PHS faced so many hard times, it felt like we were repeatedly getting knocked down. No matter what, the community was there. Being able to see all of the other schools and businesses come together to help our student body at Peninsula in any way they could made me proud and inspired to keep this connection and level of support present throughout good times as well.”
The role of a student board representative is very significant. It allows the elected members to get an inside look at what really goes on in our schools. “I feel like a lot of the time they get the statistics and the data, but they don’t often get the feelings of our students. I feel like I can bring that to them, which is really important to me.” Another reason her role on the Board is so significant to Dora is because her passion for education is something she plans to carry throughout her life. Her goal is to become a school teacher and hopefully return to the Peninsula School District someday. “This is a great foundation for my future; it makes me feel more connected to my future in a classroom if I can understand the things behind it and hopefully serve the Peninsula School District like it did me.”