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She’s on the USC School Board

By Staff | Nov 22, 2015

USC School Board student representative Bethany Koziolek sits at the board table with USC Schools Superintendent Jerry Jensen (far left) and board members standing behind her. Left to right are John Feist, Dale Stevermer, Kathy Krebsbach, Steve Navara, Tom Legred and Mike Schrader.

There is an 18-year-old girl on the United South Central School Board.

And, with good reason.

Bethany Koziolek is a senior this year at USC who will be attending the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities next fall. She applied for the new student representative position on the USC School Board, a position that was introduced at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

She said she and four other USC students applied for the position on the School Board and were given individual interviews by the board members.

“I was nervous, very nervous,” she says. “But I think that only shows how important it was to me.”

Koziolek stands in front of the USC Rebel emblem in the hallway outside the meeting room at the new USC School building. Koziolek, a senior at USC, is the daughter of Dennis and Dianne Koziolek of Wells.

She was chosen out of the five to be the official student representative that meets with the School Board at their regular meetings.

Koziolek, who is also a class officer for USC’s student government, says her interest in the position is both professional and personal.

“As a person, I like to know what’s going on. I like to know the inside scoop on things, and I also like to see how something works. But I also feel it is important to have a student voice in what happens with school decisions,” she says. Koziolek’s position does not allow her to vote when a School Board decision is being made, but she does get to share her opinions before votes are taken. She also is dismissed when the board goes into closed sessions, but she says she does not mind.

“I know that my position has only so much weight on the board, but as time goes on, I hope that more students will realize what this position is for to be used as a voice between the students at the school and the board,” she says.

Koziolek is also pretty excited about being the first student on the board. She is happy to see another female sit with Chairwoman Kathy Krebsbach.

USC School Board member Dale Stevermer, left, listens as the board’s student representative, Bethany Koziolek expresses her views on the subject of moving prom at last week’s School Board meeting.

“It shows that our school is moving forward and that women can be and are in important roles in politics and government, too,” she says.

Koziolek is very active at USC. Not only is she in student politics, she also is a member of “Big Rebel Little Rebel”, the Honors Society, and Math League. She is also the cross country and track manager for the year.

She says it has given her a fresh perspective on how a high school works.

“You really only think of class and what you’re doing when you’re in school, but when I go to the School Board meetings, I realize how much more goes into running a school on a day-to-day basis,” says Koziolek.

She’s happy to see USC progressing in the right direction, joining the thousands of other schools across the Nation to have a student representative on the School Board.

“There are scholarships available for student representatives of school boards,” says Koziolek. “Having our school bring that opportunity to our students is a great thing, and there is so much to learn from the position.”

Just this summer, Koziolek joined a few of her fellow School Board members in training near the Twin Cities. She stated that she learned much more than she expected to and made some pretty impactful connections.

And in last Tuesday’s School Board meeting, Koziolek’s opinion was heavily weighed when the School Board was deciding to have both prom and post-prom off site. Though the cost would be a little extra, Koziolek did not hesitate to share her perspective with her fellow board members.

“It is great to know that the students’ opinions matter and that they (the board) want to know how we feel,” Koziolek says.

There are people who are 30-something, 40-something and 50 plus-something-years old on the school board and now, there is also an 18-year old that is ready to learn and make an impact at her school.