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Student represented peers on school board

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By Don Pace

Molly Salman is off to college after graduating with honors from Robertson High School, but she leaves a definite mark on her alma matter.

This last school year, Salman was elected by students to sit with the district’s school board as the student representative. The Las Vegas City Schools is one of the few districts where students have a seat on the governing board.

Ramon “Swoops” Montaño, the board president who also leads the state school board association, said when he was in Chicago recently, colleagues wanted to know more about the contributions students make as members of the board.  

“We’ve had some amazing students sit up here with us, and something I respect about our student board members through the years, is they are not afraid to ask the tough questions. They have not been shy in bringing the concerns of fellow students, and are our eyes and ears within the school district,” Montaño said.

Montaño said through the year, Salman brought a lot of issues to the board that it would have otherwise never considered.

“When she disagreed with us, she let us know in a respectful and positive way, and we are going to miss her input,” Montaño said.

Superintendent Rick Romero said he has always appreciated Salman’s candid spirit.

“It’s a great source of confidence that comes from who you’ve become. You are a very articulate young lady, and at times can be very candid. You’ve stepped up, and advocated for some tough things, like having the freshman class have access to the food carts and looking at safety issues that will protect students for years to come,” Romero said.

Romero said as the school year progressed, he enjoyed watching Salman and her Cardinal teammates play sports and excel at academics.

“You have such a wonderful spirit, I don’t know that I have ever seen you without a smile — I don’t know if you know how contagious that is? Don’t ever stop smiling, it’s one of the best parts of who you are,” Romero said.

Romero said Salman was also a top student and top athlete.

“I’m sure she’s a top child at home as well, and Austin College is going to be very grateful to have someone like you on their campus,” Romero said.

Romero said he hopes Salman continues to serve as a role model.

“Always take with you your participation on this board because very few districts in this state have a student representative on their board. There might be one other school district in the entire state that does this,” Romero said.

Romero encouraged Salman to relish what she has learned by sitting on the board with a group of adults.

“Know that during your last year at Robertson High School, you were an equal to the superintendent and his staff and to the board of education. That’s pretty special,” Romero said.

Salman said she had a great time serving on the board and was happy she ran for the position.

“It has been rewarding, challenging and has given me great opportunities. It will also be great to have this on my resume,” Salman said to laughter.

Board members Gabriel Lucero, Elaine Luna, Phillip Vigil and Patrick Romero also thanked Salman for her service.

“Molly, you always brought up issues that often get overlooked by adults,” Lucero said. “I wish you a lot of luck.”

“I would like to personally thank you for all that you brought to the table this year,” Luna said. “The wonderful thing about Molly is that she’s been so interactive with students at Robertson High School, as well as the younger students in our district. We are going to miss you, but we know that you have so many exciting things ahead, and I’m confident the next chapter is going to be equally as beautiful.”

“Molly has taken a leadership role at her school, in the classroom, on the athletic field, and on this board. I want to congratulate you on your success and wish you the best of luck,” Vigil said.

“All I can say is ditto to all of the above,” member Romero said. “The only thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the delicious cookies you brought to the last meeting.”   

Molly is the daughter of Jeff and Julie Salman. Her brother, Mack, attends New Mexico Military Academy in Roswell.