Greyson Orne, a junior at Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM), the state’s first tuition-free, public, residential high school, has been selected as one of two student members on the Maine State Board of Education. The board advises the Commissioner of Education in Maine’s education laws and policies. Orne will also co-chair the Maine Department of Education’s Student Cabinet along with the other State Board Student Member Casey Maddock.
Orne, from Camden, said, “I’m honored to have been selected by Governor Mills for this position, and I’m excited to represent the students of Maine’s second district.”
The Maine Department of Education website explains the Maine State Board of Education has had two student members in non voting positions since 2008. The application process includes a short essay, letters of recommendation from teachers, and a balance of extracurricular activities. Apart from voting, student members have full privileges of the 9 other adult board members. Student members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Maine Senate. In February of 2021, Orne testified in front of the Joint Standing Committee on Education before his final confirmation.
Orne believes in student involvement in the education system of Maine and plans to advocate for “advanced education in public schools, especially rural areas with little access to other schooling options.” After high school, Orne plans to apply to the three major U.S. Service Academies to become a commissioned officer in the United States Military. Orne said, “This leadership on the board will allow me to better understand how to lead, work collaboratively with others, and use my presence and voice to advocate for others.”
Although this is the first student from MSSM to be appointed to the board, David Pearson, Executive Director of MSSM, noted “in Greyson’s appointment to the Maine State Board of Education, we see not only a successful individual accomplishment, but a reflection of our wider student population who universally are imbued with a driving desire to make a positive difference in the lives and experiences of those around them.”