Student design team chosen for teachers’ feedback


Brianna Erickson

The design team holds up signs stating what they want to talk about during in-service days.

Brianna Erickson, Staff Writer

Five students were chosen to be on a panel to express their views on teaching standards and some specific things going into the new high school. “Listening to what is important for students and their learning is important for all of us to becoming the best we can be,” superintendent Dr. Corey Lunn said. “It feels like a great time to involve students in this work as we begin identifying the vision around teaching and learning for our schools.”

The names of the five students on the panel are sophomores Trent Wignall and Xiao Liu, juniors Karl Rasmussen, and seniors Natalie Larimer and Julian Neely. The students are to come in on Jan . 19, an in-service day, to be on the panel. They were not positive on what will be going on. “As far as I know I’m going to the middle school and participating in a panel with the teachers of Johnston,” sophomore Trent Wignall said.

Though some students do not know what will happen, some have a few ideas. “Were going to be asked questions about what we like about school, and if we dislike the teaching styles,” Liu said. “It’s during the professional staff development day so all the teachers will be there.”

After the panel, students will be having another meeting to talk about the resources for the new high school and what they think should be in the classrooms and in the commons. “(We will) voice our opinions on how the commons are set up, like do we want groups or quiet zones,” Rasmussen said.

The students do not know much of what they are doing, but are told that they will be having a few more meetings. “We’ll see what happens and if we’ll have another one before the panel on January 19,” Neely said.

The students thought they were chosen for different reasons. Liu and Rasmussen were chosen because of their teacher recommendations. “It was a big honor,” Rasmussen said. Wignall thinks he was chosen because he has been in a lot of leadership positions.

Neely thought that he was chosen for his strong speaking voice, and to make the panel more diverse.“I definitely want to speak about the black culture here, it’s a really small percentage, but I want to speak about how they should express the different cultures they have in the school and express them more around the school instead of keeping them secluded,” Neely said.

Principal Brent Riessen explains how he chose the students. “I talked to some teachers and said give me some names of kids, I want a variety of interests, backgrounds, and experiences,” Riessen said. “I’m just trying to get a broad swath of the student body and those were five names that came up.”

The students are interested in being chosen for this panel. “I think it’s cool that they want student input at Johnston,” Wignall said. “For teachers and students sometimes it’s hard to communicate with someone who is younger or older than you. It’s nice that they’re trying to strengthen our relationships.”

Xiao is also happy to be on the panel. “I mean why not? Other than waking up early,” Liu said.

Rasmussen wants to speak for the other students that are not on the panel. “I’ll be able to talk with people and voice their opinions not just mine,” he said.