Senior Titan Represents Student Body


Surrounded by adult members, senior Emily Bylsma is the only student board member at Poway Unified School District board meetings. After a lengthy application process including letters of recommendation and interviews, Bylsma was appointed earlier this year as the 2020 to 2021 school year student board member.

Every month at the board meetings she presents information and votes on decisions regarding the district’s business, academic, and educational endeavors. 

Although she finds it difficult at times to represent the opinions and beliefs of all PUSD students, she still enjoys being able to bring a student voice to the board. In fact, she finds the ability to make thought-invoking comments that “relate student concerns well” to be one of the most rewarding parts of being on the board.

Recently, Bylsma has made her fellow board members think by providing her “perspective on virtual school and our possible return”.

Bylsma plans to major in political science or international relations in college, and she can think of many ways that her position on the board will help her prepare for the future. Primarily, she believes in the importance of civic engagement, and she knows that starting at a local level will help her in the future to be able to make change both in her own community and beyond, as she explained that she believes all government has the “same function but different ability”. 

She says that one thing she was quick to pick up in her position was the ability to “not only look at the broad picture but to also make sure I understand the little details to be fully informed in my decision making.” In addition, Bylsma believes having her position has enabled her to “learn how to manage and maintain professional relationships”.