LIVINGSTON, NJ — Evan Tong, a Livingston High School senior, will serve as the Livingston Board of Education’s (LBOE) student representative for the upcoming school year.
Tong was selected to represent the student voice during Student Council elections at Livingston High School. The non-voting position is a tradition Livingston has long honored, as the board recognizes the importance of open communication with students and their contributions to Livingston Public Schools.
“I truly believe that the student perspective is incredibly valuable in crafting influential policies,” said Tong, who is interested in the interdisciplinary study of economics, public policy and data analysis. “This is why I personally look to take an active role in policy suggestions and to make the student body more aware of BOE meetings in order to connect the decisions with the students who will be affected by the implementation.”
Dev Thakkar, an LHS graduate attending the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall, served as the student representative for this past school year. Tong was sworn in July 19 by business administrator Steven Robinson during the summer meeting of the LBOE.
At LHS, Tong is captain of the forensics/debate team and president of the Future Business Leaders of America. He is also president and co-founder of the High School Democrats Club. He is active in the Chinese community and has assisted in the Lunar New Year celebration with the high school’s Chinese Club, Huaxia Chinese School and Livingston Chinese Association. He is also a member of the Lancers varsity tennis team.
“Working with the BOE will allow me to interact with constituents of the town, students, and our local policymakers,” said Tong. “This critical intersection of interests will give me the opportunity to observe and experience first-hand the political maneuvering and open communication necessary in any policy-based career.”
Tong added that he might be interested in a career in politics or law, and that this position will help him gain “valuable insight into the workings of formal parliamentary procedure that is found in all governmental work.”
“But more importantly, it will allow me to make sure that all voices are heard,” he said.
Marilyn Joyce Lehren is the Manager of Communications/Community Outreach for Livingston Public Schools.