REDWOOD CITY - A sophomore at Stanford made history today, becoming the youngest person elected to the school board for Sequoia Union High School District. The 19-year-old says he’s a product of the district in Redwood City, and he wanted to bring his experience as a student to school policymaking.
Sathvik Nori says after serving as the student trustee on the board, he knew his voice and the voice of his peers needed to be heard. So, he threw his hat in the race, campaigned, and he won.
"When I was a student, I always felt like this feeling of powerlessness, you know? Any of my ideas that I wanted to have or things I wanted to do; it was very hard to actually make that happen," said Nori.
Getting things done should get a little easier for Nori when he starts his 4-year term next month. Nori will represent area D, a place he grew up in and attended Menlo-Atherton High School before heading to Stanford last year.
"I’m thrilled to have a young person on the Sequoia Union High School Board of Trustees. Sathvik brings a fresh perspective to some of our most challenging problems in public education," said Board of Trustees President Carrie Du Bois in a statement. "I’m also impressed with his work on the juvenile justice commission. I hope his successful campaign will encourage other young adults to get involved in public service."
Nori said he was influenced by what he saw when working with kids in the county's juvenile justice system.
"In that role, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of kids at the San Mateo County Juvenile Hall. One of the things that I saw is that, surprisingly, a lot of them went to the same schools I went to. A majority of the kids actually come from the Sequoia Union High School District. They’re overrepresented from areas such as East Palo Alto and Redwood City. And I see how talking with these students, becoming friends with them, and really meeting them, they had a completely different experience with the District than I did," Nori said.
Nori says representing all students is something he cares deeply about, and although he’s still a college student, school won’t get in the way of his board trustee duties.
"Maybe being a college student is my quote ‘full-time job’ but that doesn’t that I don’t have the time or dedication to really assert myself and serve the students of our district," Nori said.
Nori defeated his opponent Jo-Ann Sockolov with 57% of the vote. He says he doesn’t know what this future holds, but he’s ready to get to work on the Board.