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A School Board Seat to the Rarest of Candidates: a Student

Michael Janofsky | November 6, 2013

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Chase Harrison

Chase Harrison

I want to take a bit of editorial license here – actually, the editor’s license — to call attention to this:

Chase Harrison, an 18-year-old senior at Millburn High School in northern New Jersey, won a seat last night for a one-year term on the Millburn Township School Board. He knocked off the board’s vice president, with 52 percent of the vote.

Normally, LA School Report would not take note of such distant developments. But two facts make this event special: One, Harrison is now believed to be the youngest elected official in New Jersey history. And, two, he is my nephew.

Chase ran on a platform relatively unknown in these parts, to bring a student voice into the decision-making process. With LA Unified, we have teachers, principals, union people, board members, community groups and assorted gadflies arguing for students and their needs. Millburn will now get it first-hand.

“Not only did I win, but Millburn will be seeing many fresh faces and new ideas on the Board of Education,” Chase said last night in thanking his supporters. “I’m ready to show how productive and trustworthy a student can be.”

I’m biased, of course, but that’s a really fresh perspective for a school board.


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