LEWISTON — Students on the panel that interviewed candidates for superintendent said they appreciated being included in the hiring process.

After they met with each of the three candidates, students filled out forms giving their impressions. The forms were passed on to officials.

Allowing students to meet and ask questions shows how their voices are valued, student Mackenzie Richard said.

High school student “have strong opinions regarding what happens districtwide,” she said. “So incorporating us in the interview process has been a great opportunity to both share those opinions and learn something.”

It also helped the finalists “to get to know what Lewiston is all about through the future of Lewiston itself,” she said.

Koos Mohamed, 17, said she was thrilled students were asked to be involved.

“Usually students aren’t ever asked for their input on something like this,” she said. “It was amazing to feel included in something important to me as a student in this district.”

Hunter Landry, 18, said students talking to and expressing concerns with the next superintendent “means a great deal. It’s a start in making sure conversations remain consistent with the school (and) community leaders.”

Lewiston public schools have done a great job of inclusion, Landry said, adding it’s important. “There can’t be success in school if there’s major inequality or miscommunication between staff and students.”

Lewiston School Committee members will choose the next superintendent.

In recent months, the superintendent search process has involved public meetings, asking teachers, businesses and parents to weigh in on what they want in the next superintendent.

“We truly are trying to get as much input (as possible) from the community, staff and students,” Committee Chairman Mark Cayer said.

He said the committee is expected to announce its selection Feb. 11.

 

Tracy Racicot, center, a candidate for superintendent of Lewiston public schools, speaks with a focus group of Lewiston High School students at the school Tuesday. From left are Fazla Karim, Carolyn Adams, Deko Hassan, Hunter Landry, Racicot, Koos Mohamed, Jordy Dushime, Mackenzie Richard and Amber Veilleux. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Lewiston High School seniors Amber Veilleux, left, and Koos Mohamed react while speaking Monday with Todd Finn, a candidate for Lewiston public schools superintendent. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)


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