Student on school board represents teens

Ronit Batra gives student input to the Board of Education

Senior+Ronit+Batra+expresses+his+thoughts+during+the+Oct.+6+San+Ramon+Valley+Unified+School+District+Board+meeting.

Photo courtesy of San Ramon Unified School District YouTube

Senior Ronit Batra expresses his thoughts during the Oct. 6 San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board meeting.

Sophia DiGiovanni, Staff Writer

Monte Vista senior Ronit Batra is making history this year as the inaugural student representative on the district’s Board of Education.

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s Board of Education, which comprises six elected  adults, is responsible for making decisions about everything from the district budget to school policies.

  “I really want to make sure that the policies we make are in line with what the students want,” Batra said.

The school board had discovered this year that student input is very important to be able to do their job.

“In order for us to really know what the best decision is to make for our students, we need student voices,” Board of Education president Susanna Ordway said.

This is where Batra’s role comes in.

Batra relays information to the Board of Education from the Student Senate, which is a collection of district middle and high schoolers like Batra. The  Senate was created in February.

“I can tell you that there’s been a distinct shift since he started,” Board Trustee Laura Bratt said. “He gives us a lot of information that we just weren’t getting prior to him being on the board.”

Batra’s role has helped the board make decisions that positively affect students and their everyday lives on campus.

So far, he has been able to provide insight to the board on topics such as the new free lunch program and the district’s change to Schoology.

“I continue to be impressed by Ronit,” Board Trustee Shelley Clark said. “He is so articulate and he is so in touch with what the students’ needs are.” 

Batra’s involvement in the Student Senate began in May 2021, when he was formally inaugurated as the district’s student representative. 

He first heard about this position on the Board of Education through his school, which notified students of this opportunity. 

“I thought that it was really interesting considering my interests, and just in general, wanting to advocate for the student body,” Batra said.

The selection process started with around 60 applicants and was narrowed down through interviews, letters of recommendation and essays.

Batra was eventually notified by his school that he had been selected to fill the position of student board member. A new student will be selected for the 2022-23 school year.