March 23, 2015

Why We Pour Our Hearts into this Work

By Nicole Fielder & Gentry Fitch

Nicole: At least five school districts across the Commonwealth are currently in superintendent searches, making HB 236 all-the-more urgent. A student on their screening committees would ensure that the new superintendent prioritizes students, their engagement, and their relationship with the administration, all of which are essential to a properly functioning education system. We’re asking the legislature to let us embrace our position as chief stakeholders in education and allow us to give back to the system that has given us so much.

Gentry: Our team has fought long and hard to get HB 236 passed during this legislative session. We’ve sacrificed so much time and effort to be here now, to make sure this isn’t the end of our bill. I, personally, have made eight treks to the Capitol in the past month, including one where Nicole and I braved the onslaught of snow to testify at a committee meeting that ended up being cancelled. The running joke was that there’s snowstopping the Student Voice Team! My pants, soaked up the thigh, will attest to it.

Being snowed in gave us the opportunity to reflect on the reasons behind our dedication to this cause. Never in our lives have we gone to such great lengths for anything, much less a single sentence. So, at the end of those long days of lobbying HB 236, we’ve find ourselves working day and night for the same cause time and time again: empowering every single one of you around us today, giving a voice to the voiceless. That’s why we pour our hearts into this work, and that’s why we crafted this bill.

Nicole: Beneath all of our mountains of empirical evidence lies one unifying belief -- that Student Voice Matters. Thank you all for sharing that belief. Being here at this rally proves that we are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the leaders of today.

These remarks were deliverd at the Stand With Students Rally organized by the Student Voice Team on the steps of the capitol in Frankfort on March 23, 2015. The Rally called for the passage of House Bill 236, which would add student voting members to superintendent screening committees.

Nicole Fielder

Nicole Fielder

Nicole is a Yoda Corps Advisor of KSVT and former member. She was previously the Legislative Affairs Director. Nicole graduated from West Jessamine High School in 2015 and the University of Louisville in 2019.

Gentry Fitch

Gentry Fitch

Gentry is a Yoda Corps Advisor of KSVT and former member. He was previously Chair of the Postsecondary Committee. Gentry graduated from West Jessamine High School in 2015 and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2019.