Youha Shin was appointed as Saline High School student representative on the Board of Education in 2015-16.
The Saline High School senior was appointed at the board’s Aug. 11 meeting.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent our school,” Shin told the board. “It’s a great, growing, vibrant community and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
A record number of students applied to serve on school board, Saline High School Principal Julie Helber said.
“Typically, we only receive two or three applicants. This year we had six applicants,” Helber said. “Youha did a fantastic job. He’s involved in many parts of the school community – in sports, in clubs, in music and academics. He did a fantastic job in the interview. We’re very proud to have him represent the student body on the school board.”
As part of the application process, Shin wrote a letter that caught the attention of Helber and earned the praise of former Board Trustee Diane Friese. The board voted unanimously to approve Shin as student representative.
Shin took his seat on the Board of Education and immediately contributed to the discussion on the location of commencement ceremonies, with Shin saying he enjoyed watching his brother graduate at Hornet Stadium and hoped he could do the same.
Parents: Myung Koh (Mother), Sunwoo Shin (Father)
Why do you want to represent your peers on the Board of Education?
As a high school student who is involved with multiple sports, clubs, music departments, and extracurricular activities, I take great pride in being close to many different kinds of people here at Saline High School. From these interactions, I feel as though I have been introduced to many different perspectives over the events that occur throughout the school year, and from these varying viewpoints, I am confident that I will be able to represent my peers as best as possible.
The student rep doesn’t have a vote on the Board of Ed, but how do you think you can advocate for students at the board table?
Even though the student rep does not have a direct influence on decisions, I believe that I can provide a different outlook on issues and even give a detailed response on policies that have been enforced at SHS. As a student rep, it is my job to work closely with the Board while best representing the student body's interests.
What’s your favorite subject in school and why?
I have thoroughly enjoyed AP U.S. Government, which is one reason I became interested in the role of student rep in the first place, and have also had a love for the language arts, which I believe has helped me tremendously in terms of writing and public speaking.
What do you plan to study in college? How about career plans?
As of right now, the plan is to study at the Ross School of Business with a minor in psychology (although political science is also a heavy candidate for me). As for career plans, I am still a bit undecided right now, hopefully my senior year will help me get things sorted out!
What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
Currently, I am involved with student council (class representative), Link Crew, STRIVE, debate club, and went to states for BPA (Business Professionals of America). In addition, I am on the varsity soccer and basketball team, and I participated in choir last year. I plan on joining DECA this year as well.
Seeing you on the soccer team and knowing the work you put in, how do you balance the academic, athletic and extra-curricular demands?
Strict discipline and taking one thing at a time. When dealing with a heavy schedule, it is very important that you develop a strong work ethic, instead of relying on just motivation itself. Motivation is a fickle thing, and can let you down easily. Discipline is what will help you get through everything without losing focus. In addition, just having fun with it. High school is supposed to be a fun, learning experience. I have learned that if you take things too seriously, you quickly lose the passion which caused you to join the extracurricular activity in the first place. So, my way of balancing all of my activities? Working hard, staying disciplined, having fun, and learning from it all.
You contributed to the commencement location debate at the board table. What are some of the other student issues you’d like to see addressed by the Board?
Although it is not a top priority by any means, one thing that has always bothered me was the issue of soft drinks at the high school. After Michelle Obama's healthy eating program was enforced at our school, the main target was reducing the calories that was in our foods. However, while the main entrees have been made healthier, there has been a huge addition of reduced/zero calorie soft drinks. While it does correspond with the caloric goals of Michelle Obama's lunch program, considerable scientific data shows that the reduced calorie soft drinks may be even more harmful than normal soft drinks due to the substitute of sugar (aspartame). My question is, if we want to promote healthy living, then why do we also provide such unhealthy drink options? As kids, of course we are going to want to drink pop rather than milk or juice, so why provide such a health deprecating option in the first place? Just my thoughts.