SACRAMENTO, CA — A San Ramon Valley Unified School District student has been chosen to serve as the lone student member on the board that sets education policy for public schools across California.
Monte Vista High School senior Zaid Fattah, 17, of Danville recently found out he was appointed to the board after a nearly yearlong selection process in which he was interviewed by the governor’s office and current board. As a student member, Fattah will be able to cast votes, just like the rest of the board.
Fattah said he’s had his eye on this position for years.
“I’m feeling exhilarated for this opportunity,” he said. “It’s something that’s really been close to my heart since I really started paying attention to the things that are going on in our education system.”
While he said he’s open-minded on a variety of key education issues, one thing is for sure: Fattah seeks to advocate for amplifying student voices across the state.
Fattah, who launched a campaign earlier this year to include a student representative on the SRVUSD board, hopes to see districts across the state make room for student members. Students are the primary stakeholders in their education, he said, but they should have a greater say in those matters.
“I’d say that I feel empowered,” he said. “I feel responsible for ensuring that the student voice is heard.”
He’s made his district proud.
“His voice will be critical in influencing policy and helping to map a path forward for the students of this State,” said Superintendent John Malloy. “We know Zaid will do a tremendous job in his new role.”
Though Fattah will be focused on schools across the state until his term lapses June 30, he said he’s still interested in ensuring this run smoothly at home.
After discovering that SRVUSD already has a policy on appointing a student board member, Fattah is working to pave the way for students to come onboard. He also hopes to see more students apply to fill the role he once held on SRVUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan committee.
He hopes to attend a four-year university and possibly continue his study of public policy.