Meet the Hawkins BOE's student reps for 2019-20

Jeff Bobo • Jan 1, 2020 at 6:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Board of Education was required by law this year to reduce its number of student board representatives (SBRs), but what it lost in quantity it gained in quality.

It’s been a decade since BOE Vice Chairman Debbie Shedden founded the SBR program, which gives seniors an opportunity to participate in the board’s decision making process during their final school year.

Shedden noted, however, that state law changed last year limiting the number of SBRs allowed per school board to four.

Previously there had been six SBRs on the Hawkins County BOE including two from Volunteer High School, two from Cherokee High School, and two from Clinch School.

As a result of the change, however, in 2019-20, each school will now have only one representative: Hannah Lamb from Clinch, Tyler Lawson from Volunteer, and Cooper Bolton from Cherokee.

To become an SBR, a student must be a senior, must have an overall score of 19 or better on the ACT, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, have no discipline referrals, have good standing in attendance, submit a petition signed by 15 fellow students, and submit three faculty recommendations.

SBRs give reports to the board and are occasionally asked to contribute to discussions. A good example was the BOE’s recent debate on proposed tougher punishment for vaping on campus, where Lawson and Bolton described the rising problem at their respective campuses.

“These young people are superior, and well thought of in their respective schools,” Shedden said.

At the September meeting, Shedden introduced each of the new SBR members members individually.

Hannah Lamb

Lamb is 17, lives in Thorn hill, and enjoys spending time with her family.

She would like to attend Walters State Community College after graduation, study nursing, and work with children.

“When asked if she could live anywhere in the world, she picked Hawaii because it seemed peaceful,” Shedden said.

Tyler Lawson 

Lawson plans to attend Northeast Community College, where he will study industrial maintenance.

He’s also a proud supporter of Volunteer athletics and the leader of the student section.

“He’s also the treasurer of the SGA (Student Government Association), and he said that’s been one of the greatest experiences of his life,” Shedden said. “In his free time, he owns and operates a very successful mowing business, and on Saturdays he works at the farmers livestock market in Greeneville, and he also helps run his family’s cattle farm with around 100 head of cattle.”

Cooper Bolton 

Bolton is the student council president, the senior class president, the debate team president, a member of HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), Beta Club, Heritage Lights youth service organization, the tennis team, and an active member of First Baptist Church youth group.

He is also a clinical intern student at Ballad Health; was selected to attend the 2018 Tennessee Governor’s School International Studies at the University of Memphis; was selected as a delegate to the American Legion Boys State 2019; and attended the Tennessee Electric Cooperative’s Washington Youth Tour as a Holston Electric essay winner.

Upon graduation, Bolton plans to attend medical school and become an emergency room doctor.