New student representative attends first BEA school district board meeting

Matthew Blaylock begins term as student representative.
Matthew Blaylock begins term as student representative.

There was a new face at the table Wednesday night during the Bald Eagle Area School District board meeting.

Matthew Blaylock, 16, is this year’s student representative on the board.

The junior said he was nominated by the student council, and he succeeds Meghan Shiels. His term is for one year, so Blaylock will be present at all board meetings during the 2014-15 school year.

His mission is to address the concerns of his peers.

“If there is any problem that needs to be addressed, I want to bring it to the board’s attention,” Blaylock said. “Instead of complaining, I want to help be a part of the solution.”

Blaylock said he wants to be more approachable to students who can come to him with questions.

Blaylock is a member of the Bald Eagle Area High School student council, cross country team and drama club.

At the board meeting Wednesday, school administrators addressed the positives and negatives of the first week of school, which included adjusting to the new security system at each building and tweaking the new districtwide reading program.

Wingate Elementary School Principal James Orichosky said he expects the first assessments of the “ Reading Wonders” program to be low, but to improve during the year.

“It’s a new way of doing things, but we can only go up from here,” he said.

The new English/language arts program encourages teachers to connect reading with writing, instead of teaching the two subjects separately.

In a second-grade class Orichosky observed this week, he said, the teacher was already helping students connect fables to expository writing, and teaching the basics of each — something the class didn’t know by the end of last year.

The board also approved three new teaching positions.