Four new student board members will join the Board of Education

Student board members benefit the district because the student voice is highly valued by district leadership. Serving on the Board benefits students because they can represent their peers and step into leadership roles. Students met with board members and attended a board orientation meeting on June 9 at the District Office. 


Meet our four new student board members: 


Mia Sholes

Mia Sholes, 15, is a sophomore at Durango High School. She said she was encouraged to apply for the role by DHS Principal Jon Hoerl. "It seems to me that a lot of adults in our community don't take students seriously. I think this is a great opportunity to be more of an advocate and be able to do something I love, which is to help people," she said. Sholes enjoys writing and studying languages, and she's bilingual in Spanish. She loves DHS and had a great freshman year. She is part of the Black Student Alliance, Green Team, swim club, and choir, and she loves to ski. She also is on the board of La Plata Youth Services.

Michaela Richardson Michaela Richardson, 17, is a senior at Big Picture High School. She said she had a negative experience with school in the past. “I’ve always been a kid with an IEP [Individualized Education Plan] and have had a lot of struggles in school,” she said. “When I came to Big Picture, my feelings about education completely changed. I had so many opportunities, and I came to love school. Now I want to inspire others, and be on the Board to be that person that others can look up to.” Richardson loves plants, gardening, and hydroponics, and she is passionate about environmental sustainability. She said she plans to take the reins to lead the BPHS Green Team, a sustainability club, in 2023-24.
Heidi Clay

Heidi Clay, 16, is a junior at Durango High School. She joined the board because she wants to make a difference. “One of the ways I like to connect with people is by helping my community, my school, and my peers,” she said. “I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to communicate with people, learn about how the district works, and make an impact for my peers.” She is working as a lifeguard at the Durango Community Recreation Center over the summer. Clay enjoys swimming and kickboxing. At school, she says, “I’m a math and science person. I liked the challenge of taking calculus and engineering.” She’s also on the DHS Aerospace Team. “It’s so cool, we’ve done a lot.” 

David Fitzgerald David Fitzgerald, , 17, is a senior at Big Picture High School. He was motivated to join the board because he wants to advocate for students’ mental health. “There’s a big youth mental health crisis right now,” he said. Fitzgerald is deeply involved in supporting students at BPHS. “One of my biggest things is leadership. I lead our middle school recruitment visits, and I do shadow hosts. I’m basically a student ambassador.” He said he wants to become a teacher. Next year he will be a full-time college student while also being a full-time high school student. He’s working toward his teaching degree, and will eventually attend college. He wants to learn about different levels of teaching – from elementary all the way to special needs at the high school level.