Having been part of student government organization, Campus Congress, 17-year-old Samuel Gordon wanted to take on a bigger role.
The group of 50 students from all four grades meets monthly at the high school and has tackled issues that affect school policy decisions, including school club offerings and more.
“It has been fun and cool to be involved in the process,” Gordon said. “And I thought it would be a good use of my time to be a member of the district’s Board of Education.” The high school senior was chosen for the position at a meeting last year.
His father, Michael Gordon, on the Board of Education, and was the president from 2009-2011.
The younger Gordon assumes the non-voting student seat on the Board—a tradition that began in 2007—and succeeds who held the title last year.
Sam Gordon spoke with Patch about his upcoming tenure:
Patch: How did you come to your new position as student board member for the K-L School District?
Sam Gordon: I’ve been on Campus Congress since my freshman year in high school and have really enjoyed that. Over the past few years I have been gradually increasing my participation in Campus Congress. Among other things, I began to explore the student board member position and during this past year’s last meeting there was an election and I was chosen to be the student board representative.
Patch: What do you hope to get out of this opportunity?
SG: I hope to represent the students at John Jay to the best of my ability. I really want the voices of the kids around me to be heard and to be relayed to the board so that student ideas can have influence. I’m looking forward to suggesting changes that I think will better the students and our entire community. Lastly I’m looking forward to being able to inform the students around me as to what is going on in the district and our school. Especially now, with some fairly dramatic changes in staff, there is quite a bit of confusion that I will hopefully be able to help allay.
Patch: What did you learn from your father who served as the Board President for two years? Has he given you any advice?
SG: I learned a lot from my Dad, and I can directly attribute a lot of what I know and believe to him. In relation to the school board, or any other organization, he’s taught me that there is never a reason to pick fights—no one wins when you start attacking someone you disagree with just for the sake of being disagreeable. It’s much better to work at trying to find common ground.
Basically, he taught me to stand up for myself and for my fellow students, to be prepared, to be available to the entire student body, and to attend all meetings of the Board and Campus Congress.
Patch: What are some of the issues that are personally important to you?
SG: The issues that are most important to me are: keeping the quality of our schools at a high level, and making sure we recruit the best permanent principal and guidance director.
Patch: What are your interests outside of school and plans for the future?
SG: Outside of school I am a wrestler for John Jay, I am a member and supporter of the JJHS animation club, I am actively involved in the school newspaper, the Focus, and I like to snowboard. Other than that my interests are normal high school things: videogames, relaxing, hanging out with friends etc. In regard to plans for the future; right now I am focused on college admissions.