New student trustee takes his place at the board table

Board & Committees, Schools & Students

There will be a new student trustee at the board table of the Vancouver School District for the new school year. Making his debut at the board meeting of September 25 is Eugene Jeoung, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student in Eric Hamber’s Challenge Program.

Jeoung was elected by fellow members of the Vancouver District Students’ Council (VDSC), a committee of student representatives from each of the city’s secondary schools. The VDSC provides student input in the planning and decision-making of the district. It’s also an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, work collaboratively on pertinent educational issues and to learn about senior level decision-making and policy development.

Jeoung says his interest in student politics began in Grade 8. “It started around the teacher’s strike, that’s when I learned more about the VSB and the issues around teachers and education,” he says. “It’s because of that strike that I started to look into student leadership and found it really interesting. I’ve always been kind of a leader around team projects.

“In Grade 9 I got more involved in my school community, organizing events for student council. In Grade 10 I started with VDSC as part of CANley cup, a district-wide canned food drive competition.”

This new trustee already demonstrates an impressive knowledge of key VSB issues. “Because of the enrollment decline, there’s been less funding given to the board, and because of that a lot of programs have to be cut,” he notes. “Working with the board, I want to give the students, especially senior students, more of a voice as to some of those cuts we may be experiencing or for some of the curriculum changes we may experience as well.”

Outside of school Jeoung enjoys swimming, skating and getting coffee with friends. He has ambitious plans for after graduation. “Because I did French Immersion, I was planning on doing the international certification for French fluency and then going to university in France to study for a few years and major in international politics,” he says.