David Ostern sees the potential in the Wayne Public School District.
Ostern, a senior at Wayne Hills High School, is the school’s student representative to the Board of Education. He also is president of he senior class. Theresa Pascrell is the student representative from Wayne Valley High School.
“I see Wayne public schools having both high schools ranked in the top 20 in the state,” Ostern said. “I think with the leadership of someone as versatile as [Superintendent] Ray Gonzalez and having a Board of Education that has the ability to provide a bright future for our students we can get there.”
Hills was ranked 35th in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine last year. Valley was ranked 64th.
Ostern isn’t afraid to speak his mind at board meetings. While many student representatives often just read a list of financial gifts the district receives, Ostern gives his honest opinion about things.
“By representing everyone, I have the ability to create cohesive ideas,” Ostern said. “My first priority is to ask: how can I change the future of education in this district?’”
Ostern isn’t afraid of being in the spotlight either. He was executive producer of “From All Angles,” a student-run television show. He’s also helped raise money for the American Cancer Society in the district’s annual Relay for Life cancer walk. He has aspirations of becoming a lawyer. He has applied to Syracuse University and Indiana University, among other schools.
Ostern also wants to move over on the dais and become elected to the Board of Education someday.
“My first priority is to move back to Wayne and become a trustee and president of the Board,” Ostern said. “I’m totally up for the challenge.”
Ostern wants everyone to understand what the ultimate priority of local education trustees should be.
“People need to realize that the kids come first, and we’re not here to argue,” Ostern said. “Being a trustee, you have the power to do so many things for people. It creates change.”