New Student Board Member

Hillsboro Student Alayna Mitchell Selected to Serve as Student Member of MNPS Board of Education
Posted on 06/15/2022
Alayna Mitchell portrait
Alayna MitchellAlayna Mitchell, a rising junior at Hillsboro High School, will be the next student member of the MNPS Board of Education.

Mitchell was appointed after selection committee members reviewed applications and interviewed rising juniors from across the district for the position. She will join Abenezer Haile, a rising senior at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School who started his two-year term as a junior in 2021, as representatives of the district’s more than 80,000 students.

"I’m so excited to help continue amplifying the voices of MNPS students within the school board,” Mitchell said. “I hope that the continuation of having Student Members of the Board will prove to be a productive and effective collaboration. I want to offer the perspective of those who aren’t always heard and ensure that everyone in MNPS feels seen and adequately represented. I am very honored to be chosen for this position and can’t wait to get started!"

Mitchell, who will serve a two-year term, is a member of the National Honor Society and DECA Club at Hillsboro, where she is pursuing an International Baccalaureate diploma. She also is a Hillsboro cheerleader and the secretary of her sorority, Lambda Iota Theta.

"Alayna has qualities and characteristics that will benefit the board,” outgoing Student Board Member Angelie Quimbo said. “She seems determined to grow from moments of adversity, and she is focused on addressing the disparities present throughout the district."

Dr. Trellaney Lane, principal of Creswell Middle Magnet School of the Visual and Performing Arts, saw Mitchell every day from third through eighth grade and recommended her highly for the position. Mitchell previously attended Creswell and Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School.
“Alayna Mitchell is brilliant, an advocate, a leader, insightful, caring and considerate,” Lane said. “She will be an amazing representative on the board as she brings the perspective of North and West Nashville schools as well as magnet schools."

Student Board Members hold non-voting positions but can weigh in during Board discussions and debates. Mitchell’s first meeting will be in September. She will serve until she graduates in 2024.

District 3 Board Member Emily Masters, who led the committee that reviewed students' applications and conducted the interviews, said the group had a tough decision to make after hearing from so many highly qualified and impressive candidates. She said Haile and Quimbo contributed significantly to the process by engaging in conversations with multiple candidates.

“I'm excited not only to have the opportunity to work with our new student board member Alayna Mitchell for the next two years, but also to continue working with Abenezer Haile in the 2022-2023 school year and to maintain the connections with multiple advocacy-focused students I met through this process,” Masters said. “Meaningful student engagement is a key to success for MNPS, and the student members of the board are important leaders for our entire educational community."

"I think the purpose of this selection is to continue the extremely important work Angelie has done while also making sure the person selected brings in their own new perspectives,” Haile said. “I feel like Alayna Mitchell has a wonderful view on how we can improve our community and our district, and I am extremely excited to start working with her. I also want to thank every single person who applied for the position, and the sheer amount of people that applied exemplifies just how interested students are in their district and how this position is helping move the student body in the correct way.”

The Board revived the two Student Board Member positions in 2021 after more than a decade during which the seats went unfilled. Mitchell will succeed Quimbo, who served on the Board during her senior year at Hillwood High School. Quimbo graduated as Hillwood’s co-valedictorian in May and will be a freshman at Duke University this fall.

“Our student board members have offered key insights and helped to ground our conversations in what matters most – how what we will do will impact the students we serve,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools. “I’m excited to welcome Alayna Mitchell to the Board and appreciate her willingness to serve and represent the diverse student body of Metro Nashville Public Schools.”
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