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Student school board member Miller leads final meeting
Grace Miller

As the school year comes to an end, so too do a number of things, including the 2023-24 schedule of Oakdale Joint Unified School District board meetings. With a final meeting slated for June 10, 2024, it is customary for the current year student school board member to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, as well oversee the May meeting, hosted prior to their graduation.

Monday evening, May 13 that is precisely what student board member Grace Miller did. The OHS senior accepted the gavel from OJUSD Board President Tina Shatswell to run what would be her final meeting.

Before getting to the general business, the board members each shared sentiments and well wishes with Miller.

Board member Diane Gilbert spoke first, highlighting the positivity Miller brought to the board.

“We really got the sense that you really wanted to be here,” Gilbert stated. “You were doing your best. You did a fantastic job. We just wish you continued success, positivity as you go to Sacramento next year.”

Fellow board member Terri Taylor made note of Miller’s tenacity and drive to get what she wants from life.

Board Clerk, Clayton Schemper, shared that Miller had been the coach of his daughter’s volleyball team.

“She generously let me come on and be the assistant coach, so technically she is my boss,” he chuckled. “Just watching the way you work with those kids is amazing. You’re also a great role model for those girls. You set an amazing example and I can speak to that personally, because my daughter tells me.”

Superintendent of Schools Larry Mendonca also added a personal note, as he shared a longtime connection with Miller’s family from his childhood.

“That was a real galvanizing thing for me. To make me feel at home and get to know you,” Mendonca said. “Knowing the great family you’re from and all the people you’re associated with. It was a joy.”

As the comments came to a close, the final sentiments were offered by Board President Shatswell who noted the contrast of past student board members and highlighting their academics, versus the familiarity and connections Miller shared with so many on the board.

“We knew you had your academics and your sports and all your extracurriculars and that it was tough,” Shatswell said of the active senior. “That’s really tough. We appreciate the time you took to be here with us.”

Shatswell also was appreciative of Miller’s approach to the assignment.

“One of my main things, as the President, because we’ve had some crazy meetings,” Shatswell said, “Just to walk in and see your smile. I really appreciated that. Just seeing how happy you were and we knew you were happy to be here.”

The outgoing board member graciously accepted the kind words of the board, offering gratitude to each as they were shared.

Miller will attend Sacramento State University in the fall, where she will major in Kinesiology.

The final meeting of the 2023-24 school year is scheduled for Monday, June 10 at the OJUSD Tech Center with the public portion of the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.