An Upper St. Clair High School sophomore was recently selected to serve as one of two student representatives on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Eva Rankin will begin a two-year term this spring.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils selects one student to serve in a two-year term as representative on the state board. The students work closely with the adult representatives to draft and implement policies for basic and higher education in the state. They form close relationships with students across the state to voice their opinions about education, and also organize PASC’s Student Summit in the spring.
Rankin is looking forward to applying her leadership skills and voice to advocate for Pennsylvania’s students and for public education in the commonwealth.
“One of the greatest strengths of Pennsylvania’s public education system is the versatility and magnitude of options available to students,” Rankin said. “Two major pathways students can pursue are college preparation and career readiness. As a person who can see the importance of both paths, I appreciate how the public education system takes into account the different backgrounds, interests, and strengths of their students.”
She believes, though that economic disparity among Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts remains a significant issue.
“One aspect I wish to see improved in our public education system is the economic disparity between districts in our state,” she said. “I am not ignorant of the fact that legislation has been considered and discussions have been had to rectify this issue; however, it remains one of my main concerns when it comes to the Pennsylvania public education system.”
In addition to being an honor student, Rankin is an active member of the Upper St. Clair High School community.
She serves in a leadership role through her participation in Student Council, the No Place for Hate Committee, Leadership Academy, Natural Helpers and Best Buddies. She is a member of the varsity soccer and indoor track teams and participates in choir as well as speech and debate. She also competes in club soccer with the Beadling Soccer Club.
“From day one at Upper St. Clair, Eva has raised her hand and rolled up her sleeves, never turning down an opportunity to serve,” said Brooke Tarcson, high school activities coordinator and student council sponsor. “I have watched her in action, using collaboration and networking to drive to common ground with her fellow student council senators.”
Rankin will represent Pennsylvania’s students at bimonthly board meetings in Harrisburg. In addition, she will attend Pennsylvania Association of Student Council events and executive board meetings.
She also will organize the annual Student Summit, for which the PASC invites Pennsylvania high schools to send six students to Harrisburg for a Student Summit on personal and organizational advocacy. The annual event is designed for students in grades 10 through 12 who have an awareness of and an interest in school, community, state and national issues.
“This opportunity will enable Eva to expand her network of influence to the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils and the State Board of Education,” said Dan Beck, Upper St. Clair High School assistant principal. “Eva has the integrity and dedication to advocate on behalf of students across the state. Her ability to independently manage time, advocate on the behalf of her peers to adults, and convey meaningful topics all make her a perfect candidate for this position.”
Students interested in applying to be a student representative on the State Board of Education must be a sophomore during the application cycle. Applications become available online in January. If selected as a finalist, applicants are invited to interview in Harrisburg.