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Meet Aissatou Barry: Student School Board Representative

Joining the school board meeting as a student representative for February, Aissatou Barry held a seat usually reserved for RPS seniors. But the sophomore from Richmond Community High School jumped at the opportunity to elevate her voice and represent her peers across the district.

“Aissatou was a special addition to the board because she’s just a sophomore,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “She was such an impressive student and we wanted to make sure she had this opportunity earlier in her career.”

Ms. Barry is no stranger to student advocacy and leadership roles. She is a member of the Richmond Community High School’s judicial and legislative branches, the Honor Council and Community Council, respectively. She’s also a part of VCU’s Health Science Academy and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.

 “To have the opportunity to provide student input on matters that will impact us directly will help construct a better relationship between the district, students, teachers, and those in our community,” said Ms. Barry. “Participating in the school board meetings has shown me that the people in our community do care about us and our well-being. I have seen the room packed with special education teachers, principals, and parents. They all have a common drive: they want the best for us.”

Aissatou attended two school board meetings where she was asked to weigh in on the proposed calendar for the next school year and had the opportunity to learn more about the budget process.

“We hope this experience is adding to your confidence in expressing your voice because it is a very important one and we hope that you keep sharing it in school and beyond,” added Superintendent Kamras.