The New Paltz Central School District Board of Education (BOE) has welcomed Grade 12 student Julia Crofton of Gardiner, the Board’s new student representative for the 2022-2023 school year. Crofton is responsible for preparing and presenting regular reports on student life and concerns to the BOE. This includes sports, the arts and general student events, as well as any topics of particular concern to students.
Crofton, who attended her first BOE meeting in October, explained how her drive to foster a “welcoming and enjoyable space for all students” was her motivation for taking on her new role. “I feel I cannot only speak about our school’s success, but I can also represent requests made by the student body — whether through describing the achievements of students, the happenings of the school or through discussing student needs and wants,” she said. “I want to be someone students feel they can speak to as an outlet for their ideas.”
Crofton said that she prepares a statement for the beginning of each meeting. BOE members, who have been very receptive to her statements, listen carefully and ask follow-up questions. She then reports back to student government members and advisors, who help her decide what to include in her next statement.
Crofton has been surprised by the number of committees that engage with the Board and marvels over the many different aspects of the District’s work. “I found it very hopeful and inspiring to see how much work goes into ideas and actions that I didn’t realize were happening,” she said. She also appreciates learning about the growth and development of her former elementary and middle schools in the district.
Crofton is the vice president of Public Relations and Social Media for the student government and is also a staff writer for the school newspaper, The Maroon. She is involved in the Drama Club, multiple a capella groups and other musical activities. Outside of school, she works at a local campground and a restaurant and likes to spend her free time reading. She said she plans to attend college and ultimately work in the film industry doing publicity.
BOE president Johanna Herget said that when the student representative reports, the BOE leans in to listen: “It’s another way we can hear what is or is not working in the District.” Herget said that the BOE takes everything Julia says very seriously and looks forward to hearing more from her.