Student Voice in the Snohomish School District


Hiro Hirano-Holcomb, Staff Writer

The newly formed Snohomish School District Youth Advisory Council met in-person for the first time at the Resource and Service Center (the District Office) to meet with members of the school board and to take their group pictures on Wed, Nov 9. 

Headed by Wil Johnson, the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the district, the council is made up of ten students with one person per grade level from Glacier Peak and Snohomish High School and two students representing AIM High School. The group convened for the first time over Zoom on Mon, Nov 7 to discuss what they hope will result from their input and what education means to them.  

“What do students need? What does our community need?” said Mr. Johnson. 

The Youth Advisory Council seeks to answer these questions. 

 “I really want to see some more inclusivity,” said Perlita Martinez, a junior representing GP on the Youth Advisory Council. “I want people to feel involved and feel like they have the right to get involved with their school and their community and I would also like to see more engagement and passion and interest in their own education,” they said. 

“…for some students they don’t feel safe at home, so I think that it’s really important that they have a safe space at school [where] they feel heard and respected,” said Jaymeson Nelson, a senior representing GP on the council.  

The council will continue to meet monthly on the Monday before every school board meeting to discuss the issues relevant to youth in the district and to ensure they are prepared to give their input to the school board. They encourage any interested student to join them in providing youth voice for the school board at their meetings.  Information on time and dates can be found here.

The council ended their online meeting with an officer election.  

“I always brainstorm ideas of what we could do here, how we could fix this, and maybe not necessarily fix but improve so it’s better for the next group of students who go into the building and basically just include everyone,” said Anthony Ilarionov, a freshman representing GP on the council and a candidate for council president. 

“I think that I could bring very many communities together through me because I have a hand in a lot of things and I think that is very useful because people who are in theater aren’t going to have the same opinions as someone who’s on the swim team or in RAKE club or in ASB because these are all communities that are a part of our school but at the same time they’re so disconnected because they’re so different and that’s a good thing because there is a unity and diversity” said Addisyn Clarke, a sophomore representing GP who is also running for president of the council. “I think I would be a good president because I love being in my leadership position and I think this would help me be able to help other people.” 

The Director of Equity and Inclusion, Mr. Wil Johnson, introducing the Snohomish School District Youth Advisory Council at their first in-person meeting with the school board on Nov 9.
Jaymeson Nelson and other Youth Advisory Council members meeting with members of the School Board.
Anthony Ilarionov and other Youth Advisory Council members meeting with members of the school board.