The First Firebird as an Honorary Student Board Member


Genesis Vasquez

Senior, Xavier Martinez is the first student at Phoenix to be chosen to be an Honorary Student Board Member of the Chicago Board of Education for the 2015-2016 school year. The student board is when a student of Chicago Public Schools, CPS, takes part in the meetings to discuss issues. Martinez will represent the student voice and what issues should be fixed.

Martinez had to apply and the application consisted of five essays. Some the essay topics were to write about what leadership skills he had, what issues in CPS should be fixed, and why he should be chosen. After submitting the essays, Martinez was chosen for the interview where he was asked about his experience and why he was a good candidate.

“The selection is very rigorous because many people apply only 60 get chosen and get the interview,” said Martinez.

Martinez has the opportunity to sit in the meetings and get an idea of what the board members talk about, what their roles are, and the process to make change within CPS.

Some of the issues he mentioned were the safety around the schools and more things need to be done for students need to be safe getting to school and home, as well as student athletes that get overwhelmed because the school encourages them to do the same amount of work compared to someone that does not do extracurricular activities.

Martinez applied to the board last year, but due to him being a junior it disqualified him from joining. This year, Colonel Harris and Sergeant Walker encouraged Martinez, and seniors Stephani Lopez, Anthony Labrado, and Selvyn Martinez to apply. Since Martinez had applied last year, he was on record and had a better advantage. The board was glad that he reapplied because it showed that he did not back down. Martinez is proud of himself that he has this opportunity.

“I feel honored because it is a great opportunity, it looks good on transcript, it shows that I am capable of making a difference in cps, and with students and what they feel about what needs to be changed,” said Martinez.

Martinez was congratulated by Colonel Harris, Sergeant Gilliam, and Ms. Tristano for doing a job job and they are very proud of him. Martinez is proud of himself because it adds impact on what he is doing at school.

In the future, this experience will serve to give Martinez better public speaking skills and to make an impact in society for the CPS teens.