WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School seniors Aarushi Bhatnagar and Sessina Dani have been named as the first-ever student liaisons to the West Orange Board of Education. The girls will attend board meetings, provide input and present student reports to the board and public.

About Aarushi Bhatnagar

Bhatnagar is an active member of the West Orange community. At school, she serves as vice president of the French Honor Society and is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and Science National Honor Society. She is a member of the Asian Culture Club, the Interact Club and the Health Careers Club (HOSA).

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She is also a Mountaineer Mentor and volunteers at Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation.

“I'd really like to attend New York University,” she said. “It's a great school and it's really close to home, too.”

Bhatnagar added she would like to major in “something related to pre-med,” such as biology or biomedical engineering, in order to secure a job in the medical field in the future.

"Anything concerning student body issues is important to me," she said. "Often, I feel like our concerns aren't fully addressed, or known, for that matter. I feel like there's a lot to cover regarding not only social issues, but issues revolving around our curriculum, as well. I hope to address those issues while I am a student liaison.

“It is for that reason that I wanted to be a student liaison. Last year, around April, Sessina and I got to discussing different issues we'd like to address within the district. We thought about how much of a change we'd like to make, and how much we'd like to work with the board members to make these changes possible. I hope I can contribute to making a positive impact on the school district."

About Sessina Dani

Dani has also been very involved at West Orange High School over the past three years. She is a member of the girls swim team and the Royal Strings Orchestra, and is the vice president of the Science Honor Society, secretary of Rho Kappa. She is also a member of the Social Studies National Honor Society as well as the Spanish Club, several science and math competition teams and the Health Careers Club (HOSA).

Like Bhatnagar, Dani is also a Mountaineer Mentor and volunteers at Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation. On the weekends, she takes courses at Columbia University.

While still unsure about her choice of college, she noted that she would like to pursue a biology degree and continue on to medical school, “hopefully doing research along the way,” she said. After participated in a research internship at NJIT over the past two summers, Dani hopes to pursue this in college as well.

“I’m most concerned with promoting student performance through a more inviting/conducive learning environment, as well as transparency and communication between the board and the students they decide over,” she said. “That leads me directly to my purpose in being a student liaison.

“I’m looking to bridge the gap between our student body and our board of education. I also want to promote student engagement in government and society in meaningful ways, even if starts with making their board of education more accessible and approachable. I think it’s important to raise a generation that feels a sense of ownership over its future and is actively engaged in its government because, in a few decades, it will be my generation that decides the course of not only West Orange but the world.”