MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Department of Education Opens Applications for 2020/2021 Student Cabinet 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today announced that it is opening applications for the 2020/2021 Student Cabinet, a group of students that meet regularly with Commissioner Makin and other leaders at the Maine DOE to discuss educational opportunities, improvements, and policy. The purpose of the Student Cabinet is to provide a forum for Maine students’ voices to be heard. 

The Maine DOE launched its first Student Cabinet in 2019 along with the Maine State Board of Education’s student members. The inaugural year provided the opportunity for 34 students to be selected from a pool of nearly 500 applicants to serve on the 2019/2020 Student Cabinet.  

Initially set to meet quarterly with the Commissioner, the Cabinet ended up meeting many more times virtually, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread to Maine and changed everything about the way schools could provide education. Not only did the group set an intentional focus on improving mental health supports in schools, which has led to a set of recommendations to schools, they have also provided input on the Department’s Framework for Reopening Schools and Returning to In-Person Instruction, and have begun a student led effort to combat racism in Maine schools. 

The 2020/2021 Student Cabinet will be comprised of 16 members who were randomly selected from the 2019/2020 Cabinet as well as the State Board of Education’s two student representatives, and an additional 16-20 students who will have the opportunity to apply and be selected during this round of applications. The application is open to students in grades 4 – 12 and first year of college. The newly selected members will serve for a term of two years starting on November 1, 2020.  

Student Cabinet members are selected based on representation of Maine’s geography, with a goal of at least two students serving on the Cabinet from each county in Maine each year. Students are also selected with an emphasis on inclusivity of the diverse experiences, interests, cultures, and backgrounds of students throughout Maine. 

Selected students will be expected to attend scheduled meetings, prepare for each meeting as needed, work in a collaborative manner with one another and with Department staff as needed; and express views and opinions openly, constructively, and respectfully. 

Instructions for applying:
Students interested in serving on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet will need to submit the electronic application, with consent from a parent or guardian, by Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 5 pm. Applications can be submitted electronically here. 

For more information contact Rachel Paling, Communications & Outreach Manager, Maine Department of Education at