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School Board adds new member

Shawano Community School board recently gained a new member. After many interviews, they found the right candidate for the  position.

Searching for the right match, the school board finally found Mrs. Starlynn Tourtillott. Ms. Tourtillott decided to go in for an interview after Dr. Derrick Johnson moved out of the area and resigned from his spot on the school board.

The school board is a group of members that the community feels is a good fit to represent the people and make beneficial decisions for as many people as possible. Being a member of the school board includes certain duties.

“Abide by the open meetings law, work to recognize, improve student achievement,” Tourtillot said, “and provide guidance to administration and staff.”

Though anyone can fill out and apply to get onto the school board, not everyone is eligible. There is a process of applying and being interviewed to make your place official.

Tourtillot will improve the staff of the school board and will also help to generate new ideas and new solutions for problems the school is currently facing.

“I think what made me a special candidate was that I am an enrolled member of Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana,”  Tourtillot stated, “and a direct descendant of both Menominee and Stockbridge-Munsee tribes.”

When candidates  are chosen for the position on the school board, they get a line of duties. Attending meetings is necessary, along with making decisions, voting and having independent ideas.

Alysia Pillsbury

“I don’t just show up and vote on what everyone else does,” member Alysia Pillsbury stated, expressing the fact that members have to think deeply about everything being voted on and everyone it is affecting as a whole.

Though not everyone has experience, this is a good learning opportunity for those who would like to hold a position like this one.

“I have never held an elected position before,” Pillsbury said.

The school board is a very important part of the community and helps to generate new ideas and better views for certain situations.

Being a member is “having a voice or sharing a voice for the people that you represent,” said Pillsbury.

This gives freedoms and new perspective. Though the school board is based on change, things take time and change slowly, but when they do, it is worth every minute of waiting. Some of the most positive things according to Ms. Tourtillott are, “So far, I am so impressed with the people I am working with. All are very invested and welcoming.”

Things have to be passed and agreed upon by all members if something big is changing or happening. Though, everything that is done is done to try to benefit the majority of not only the students attending Shawano High, but also the community surrounding it. Which also brings the hard parts of it, such as expulsions, suspensions and dealing with the future of students.  

But looking at the positives, members can bring new ideas to the table to help the students who might need it the most.

“I feel very honored to be able to bring a unique perspective to issues, and conversations as a tribal member,” Ms. Tourtillott expressed.

The school board helps to improve the community and select the best decisions for every situation.