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Winders Settles In
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Oakdale High School senior and student school board representative Michael Winders gets comfortable in his new seat. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

The 2015-16 school year is off to a promising start for Oakdale High School senior Michael Winders.

On Monday, Aug. 10 the 17-year-old was formally seated and welcomed into his new role as Student Board Member of the Oakdale Joint Unified School District. It’s a position the student shared he is excited about being appointed to and looks forward to having a voice with the school board.

“I was very familiar with the job description,” Winders said of his pre-interview prep during the 2014-15 school year. “Rachelle (Pabalan) was a big help.”

Outgoing student representative Pabalan (from the 2014-15 school year), became acquainted with Winders during his freshman year. The two were both involved with the Academic Decathlon Team and formed an instant bond.

“I’m more reserved,” Winders said of his personality, “more open around people I do know.”

As for his friendship with Pabalan, he described it as one of the most influential during his high school career.

“She’s had a large impact on who I am today,” Winders stated.

Pabalan will be attending college at Stanford University this fall.

“She’s really involved. The reason I, and so many people look up to and are inspired by her is that she really actually cares. She cares about other people and different things pertaining to school,” said Winders.

The senior also seems to have a caring nature when it comes to individuals and the OHS Student Body.

“What I really want to see this year, is to see kids get involved in clubs,” he said of his goals in his new role. “I didn’t see a lot of freshman participation last year. It’s a great way to get students to have experience with different groups and people.”

Winders also recognized the need for maintaining membership in varying clubs, to keep them intact as students progress through Oakdale High School. He himself is active in CSF (California Scholarship Federation), Science Club, Interact Club, S- Club, Model UN, Link Crew, as well as the Aca Dec team. He’s also a member of the OHS tennis team.

“It’s big in the family,” he said of tennis. “I wanted to try it out, while I have a good opportunity.”

Looking to the future, Winders plans to study Computer Science when he attends college.

“My dream school will be MIT,” he said. “I’ll also apply to Princeton, Carnegie, UCLA, Berkeley and probably Stanford.”

In the meantime, the student board member has his focus set on continued accomplishments with the OHS Aca Dec Team and serving the student body in his school board role.

“Dedicated,” Winders replied when posed with the question of describing himself in one word. “I feel like I’m dedicated to the things I’ve been involved with throughout my high school career. It’s something I’ll continue to be persistent with afterward as well.”