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Omar Jamil, a student at DeSoto Central High School, is one of two student representatives named to advise the Mississippi State Board of Education as a non-voting member of the panel, starting in July.

The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has selected junior Omar Jamil of Hernando and senior Shelby Dean of Clinton for its student representative program, which will begin in July.

Student representatives will be non-voting members but will provide input on policy decisions that affect Mississippi public schools. The students were selected through a competitive process from 52 applicants statewide.

After the senior representative graduates, the junior representative will promote to the senior representative position. A new junior representative will be appointed annually.

“All the students we considered for the representative program are highly accomplished and reflect Mississippi’s outstanding public schools,” said Dr. Jason Dean, SBE chair. “The Board is looking forward to working with Omar and Shelby in the upcoming school year and to the contributions of future student representatives.”

Omar is a junior at DeSoto Central High School who maintains a 4.266 grade point average, achieved a 30 on the ACT in the ninth grade and has been involved with the Student Council, where he served as president during his sophomore year.

Jamil is also a member of the Knowledge Bowl Team, the Interact Club, the Future Business Leaders of America, the International Club, the chess team, and theater department.

“Every aspect of my current high school career that I have shaped has cultivated into the student the Board of Education needs to represent our statewide student body,” Omar said.

Shelby is a senior at Clinton High School. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average, is a member of the ACT 30+ Club, and is active in numerous student and community organizations including the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Science Olympiad. Shelby has been a member of the Student Council since seventh grade, and most recently served as student body vice president.

As a three-sport athlete, Shelby fills key roles in cross country, soccer and track. Shelby plans to become a high school mathematics teacher.

Approximately 15 state boards of education have successfully implemented student advisory programs. In 2018, the SBE adopted a policy outlining the criteria for adding student representatives to the State Board.

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