Government Takeover

Staff Reports

Chino Valley – Stepping into the shoes of adults on Thursday gave some high school seniors a new perspective on their communities.

The 38th Annual Student Government Day included participation of Chino Valley fire and police, city governments of Chino and Chino Hills, and the Chino Valley school district.

High school seniors from all four regular district high schools plus Buena Vista Continuation High and Boys Republic were given a chance to shadow principals, police and fire personnel, tour government facilities and participate in mock school board and city council meetings.

Ayala student Deven Reyes, as a school board member, took the pro-position in a discussion about allowing unlimited cell phone use by students.

Despite a strongly crafted opposition argument by Anthony Duarte of Chino High, also a board member, the “board” voted 4 to 1 for cell phones.

Deven, who is involved in student government at his school, said after the meeting that he was surprised to learn how much public dialog is involved in school board decisions.

“I didn’t think they had this much discussion,” he said. “I thought they made decisions in some small room back here, not out in front of the public like this.”

His positive reaction was not one sided.

Superintendent Wayne Joseph said this mock school board was the most impressive group that he had seen in his nine years as superintendent.

“You were so articulate, so elegant with your back and forth repartee,” he said.

Board member Pam Feix told students she was impressed by their confidence.

“Your willingness to step out and speak out will take you far,” she said.