ATHENS, Mich. (AP) — Voters in a Calhoun County community have elected a high school student to the Athens Board of Education.
"I don't think people were upset with the incumbents more than they were just excited to see a younger person with fresh ideas," said Athens High School senior -- and board member-elect -- Eric McClure.
McClure, 18, will start his four-year Athens school board term on Jan. 1.
Among those fresh ideas -- clearer communication between students and the school board. He said he'd like to see students and teachers get better explanations of the board's decisions.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that McClure won elections to the Athens school board Tuesday with 1,183 votes. Incumbent Dan Loew also won a spot with 1,000 votes, while incumbent Kendra Falk missed the cut with 825 votes.
Falk told 24 Hour News 8 she is not upset with voters for choosing McClure. Falk, who has been on the board 17 years, admitted the board could use someone new.
"Some of the issues he's going to have to deal with since he's still in school are going to be challenging," Falk said, citing the economic challenges most districts are facing.
"That's a good point. I'm only 18," McClure conceded. "I'm not a business person. I don't have a checkbook. I'm not a taxpayer. Those are things I don't have experience in, but there's a lot of things I do."
McClure cited his perspective as a student.
"I can see when they cut something. I'm one of the ones that's first affected," McClure said. "I feel like I have feedback and knowledge that they just don't get because none of them are at school every day."
Athens Area Schools superintendent Rich Franklin said he's not worried about a student serving.
"He'll be one of my seven bosses, and I'll be just as happy to work with him as all the rest," Franklin said.
24 Hour News 8's Ryan Takeo contributed to this report.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.