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Glen Crest eighth graders Emma Waldbusser, Brooke Wills selected as Student Board Members

Two outstanding young leaders were selected as the next Student Representatives to the Community Consolidated School District 89 Board of Education. Glen Crest Middle School eighth-grade students Emma Waldbusser and Brooke Wills will begin their one-year term at the August 19 Board of Education meeting.

“I want to thank all the students who applied for this position. It is always difficult to make a selection when you have so many outstanding candidates,” said CCSD 89 superintendent Doug Eccarius. “I am excited to welcome Emma and Brooke to the board table this school year. I know they will bring many exciting new ideas to our district and be great representatives of all our students.”

Waldbusser and Wills will represent their classmates at the monthly Board meetings. Student Board Members do not vote at meetings; they report on the celebrations and challenges of CCSD 89 students. Student Board Members also often organize initiatives involving other students.

This is the sixth year CCSD 89 will have Student Board Members. CCSD 89 is one of the few Illinois districts to have middle school students serving as Student Board Members.

Emma WaldbusserEmma Waldbusser

Even when she was a student at Park View Elementary School, Emma Waldbusser was already interested in the Student Board Member program. She remembers reading about the district’s first Student Board Members and participating in the Penny Wars fundraiser that was organized by Student Board Members.

Now that her opportunity has arrived, the 13-year-old views this position as a unique opportunity to represent students while also helping her classmates learn more about their district.

“I’ve always wanted to help,” she said. “I’ve looked up to our Student Board Members and I think it’s a great program.”

At Glen Crest, Waldbusser has been involved in Builders Club, cheerleading, choir, cross country, orchestra, Student Leadership Coalition, and track and field. Outside of school, Waldbusser plays travel softball and is active in her church’s youth groups.

Glen Crest literacy teacher Meghan Riley said Waldbusser stands out for her thoughtfulness in her academic work and personal relationships.

“Whether it is going the extra mile to help a struggling classmate or checking in with me to see how I’m doing, she consistently demonstrates a deep sense of empathy and care for those around her,” Riley said. “I have no doubt that Emma’s exemplary character and strong work ethic will make her a valuable member of the CCSD 89 school board.”

When she gets older, Waldbusser would like to be a pediatric nurse.

Brooke WillsBrooke Wills

Brooke Wills believes the Student Board Member position is an opportunity to develop her leadership and public skills. But most of all, she sees this as a chance to give a voice to all CCSD 89 students, from kindergarten to eighth grade.

“I am passionate about doing what is best for the school and community,” Wills wrote in her student board application. “I have always been outgoing and good with talking to people, especially adults. I would love to put that to use and be helpful to the district.”

Glen Crest science teacher Maggie Moran praised Wills’ kindness and inclusivity. Wills is a friend to everyone she meets, Moran said.

“One of Brooke’s most outstanding qualities is her unwavering commitment to being a positive role model for her peers,” Moran wrote. “Brooke demonstrates exceptional integrity and moral courage, standing up for what is right even when it is not the popular choice. Her principled stand and ability to lead by example inspire those around her.”

Outside of school, Wills, 13, is heavily involved in travel softball – both as a player and mentor to younger players. She also volunteers at an animal rescue and babysits for other families. She was a student patrol member at Westfield Elementary School.

As an adult, Wills would like to be a counselor or therapist who works with children.

Posted: July 1, 2024