A College freshman is running for a position on his hometown’s school board.
If successful, College freshman Harrison Meyer will become youngest ever member of the school board for Lower Merion School District, located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Meyer said he decided to run because the current board is dismissive of the issues their constituents care about.
“Definitely not students, but even the community members that come in and voice their concerns — they’re often kind of shrugged off,” he said.
The 18-year-old Lower Merion High School alumnus is significantly younger than each of the nine other candidates running for positions on the school board — but he sees several advantages in his youth.
“I’m closer to the student body,” Meyer said. “You know, I can understand them more easily than the current board — the current board makes very little effort to reach out to the students.”
Meyer said he believes other candidates seem to have taken him less seriously because of his age.
The Democratic Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth nominated Ben Driscoll, Laurie Actman, Debra Finger and Melissa Gilbert, according to its endorsement meeting .
Other candidates running for school board are Meyer, Mary Brown, Tannia Schrieber, Adrian Seltzer and David Yavil.
While Meyer did not receive any party endorsements, he said he did receive the support of Narberth mayoral candidate Davis Burton.
Meyer acknowledged the disadvantage of not having a Democratic Committee endorsement, but nonetheless remained confident in his chances.
The primary election is scheduled for May 16 and the general election will take place Nov. 7. Elections are being held for a range of local administrative positions, including four seats on the school board.
“I think I got a good chance of winning,” Meyer said. “The other candidates don’t seem to be coming at it the same way; not trying to reach out to the community as much in their campaigning process.”
If Meyer does get elected, he intends to push a platform that emphasizes students’ concerns and tackles problems which have not been addressed by previous boards. These include pushing back start times of schools, increasing support for mental health programs and adapting to increases in enrollment.
If elected, Meyer will serve for a term of four years beginning December 2017.
According to , a data website for elected officials in the U.S., Lower Merion School District school board members “attend meetings, and participate in official school ceremonies and school functions,” as well as “create procedures and policies for the school district’s organization and operation.”
Wharton freshman Aaron Diamond-Reivich, a friend of Meyer’s who is involved with social media outreach for the campaign, said he is optimistic about Meyer’s chances and feels he stands out from the other candidates.
“He’s definitely a breath of fresh air from all these adult people running,” he said, “so I think people might resonate with him.”
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