Hylton Seniors Chosen to Represent the Student Voice

Eliana Black and Teresa De Jesus Domingos-Koiza are working hard to ensure that the student voice is heard.

Steve+Walts+and+the+members+of+the+Student+Senate+as+well+as+the+newly+appointed+school+board+student+representatives.++

Steve Walts and the members of the Student Senate as well as the newly appointed school board student representatives.

For the third time in Prince William County Public School’s history, student representatives to the school board have been chosen. This year, Ben Kim of Stonewall Jackson High School and Tahera Hamidi of Freedom High School were picked to represent the student voice, along with Hylton’s own Eliana Black who was chosen as the alternate representative. 

The student representatives to the school board serve as non-voting members who give input on the student perspective and share the concerns, ideas and suggestions of PWCS students. They are furthermore tasked with informing the student body of the reports and decisions made at open school board meetings.

This year’s selection of students marks the second time Hylton has had a student as a school board representative, with class of 2018 alumna Kate Arnold taking the title of the first ever PWCS student representative to the school board.

Alternate Representative Black is a senior and former member of the Watchdog staff. She is a special education aid, assisting Mr. Campagna with activities like the Special Olympics high school events and fundraising for sophomore  Eric “Bean” Mckay’s peanut butter LIDL campaign. Black plans to study psychology and special education at James Madison University.

During her tenure Black plans to focus heavily on issues regarding special education, mental health and the accessibility of resources for families that cannot afford it.

“I want to not only be a voice to the student body at Hylton and in PWCS, but also the parents, teachers, and everyone involved. Together we all have our uniting cause, which is that we all want what is best for us citizens of Prince William County,” said Black. 

In regards to mental health, Black and her fellow student representatives Kim and Hamidi have begun working on a new idea that PWCS students may take a liking to.

“I want to implement Mental Health Days at each PWCS high school (and maybe middle schools) where students can have an excused absence to cope with mental stress as long as they meet with their counselor the next day,” said Kim. 

Although the student representative position and role is only in year three, the school board expanded the program to include a new Student Senate. The Student Senate consists of students from every PWCS high school and Independence Non-Traditional School who applied for the Student Representative position. 

This year’s student senate consists of Spogmai Anwar of Colgan High School, Himayatullah Azizi of Gar-Field High School, Jessica Benitez of Woodbridge High School, Nia Brooks of Brentsville District High School, Aissata Cisse of Freedom High School, Rebecca Custer of Battlefield High School, Teresa De Jesus Domingos-Koiza of Hylton High School, Sadara Funches of Potomac High School, Thumay Huynh of Osbourn Park High School, Benjamin Raidman of Forest Park High School, Aashir Rana of Independence Non-Traditional School, Duaa Satti of Patriot High School and Eric Sledge of Stonewall Jackson High School. 

“Senate members investigate and learn about their school’s issues in order to discuss them at senate meetings. The representative is the one who voices these issues and opinions to the members of the school board. The senate helps the representative learn about schools that are not his or her own,” said De Jesus Domingos-Koiza, Hylton’s student senator. 

De Jesus Domingos-Koiza is a senior and student leader at Hylton. She is in French Club and was selected for Youth Salute. During her tenure, De Jesus Domingos-Koiza plans to focus on student involvement, county-wide activities, mental health, and the dress code.

“I want students to feel like they’re being heard by people who are not only in significant positions, but who also truly understand and share their grievances because they themselves have similar, if not the same, experiences,” said De Jesus Domingos-Koiza.