The Tukwila School Board has sworn in Foster High sophomore Ekua Monka as its newest student representative. She will replace outgoing senior Eyerusalem Mesele, who graduates on June 10, and join the remaining student representative, junior Amberlynn Ngiralmau.
The two student representatives sit with the school board at each regular meeting, offering their perspective and shaping the policies and procedures that impact their education. The student representatives serve two year terms, through the length of their junior and senior years.
Ekua is an Honor Society scholar, community volunteer, and an officer in ASB (Associated Student Body), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), and Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Ekua says she “understands her position in society as a Black female,” and knowing that the world has already set certain stereotypes about her character has “ignited a passion within [her] to breakdown barriers.” The most powerful tool to do so, she believes, is education. She wants to use her drive and unique viewpoint to advocate for all of her fellow students.
Ekua’s teachers praise her for being “very positive, respectful, hardworking, and dependable” and a “strong leader.”
Ekua will be an exceptional representative, according to board member Mary Fertakis, because of her involvement in many different areas at Foster; that will make her a great liaison between the board and students.
Ekua’s first appearance before the Tukwila School Board was as a seventh-grader representing the Make A Change Club. That experience was powerful for her; when board members asked her to consider being a student representative as a junior at Foster, she took it to heart and remembered that advice for three years until she had the opportunity to apply.
Outgoing representative Eyerusalem Mesele
Coming to the end of her two years of service with the school board, Eyerusalem said that being a student representative this year has given her “insight on everything that occurs behind the scenes.”
“I feel like I have learned more about the process of changing things in education,” she added. “It has given me a chance to advocate for the students at Foster while also being a resource for both the board members and students/staff at school if they don’t understand a certain change that has occurred.”
The school board celebrated Eyerusalem’s two-years of excellent representation at its board meeting on May 23.